Nic Wright

Sophie Willan takes Magners New Act crown

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Sophie Willan has won this year’s Magners New Comedy Act award.

The final, which was held at Greenwich Comedy Festival on Sunday, saw Manchester comic Willan beat five other comics to the title and £1,000.

After making it through the first heat at Bristol Comedy Garden, Willan was then shortlisted as one of the acts to be put towards a public vote, which took place over social media. After a month of voting, Willan, Chris Washingston and Benji Waterstones progressed to the final.

The three then performed a short set in front of a live audience and a panel of comedy critics, including Bruce Dessau (Evening Standard & Beyond The Joke), Steve Bennett (Chortle) and reputed comedy booker Georgie Donnelly.

Cass Briggs, Festival Producer, said: “The Magners New Act competition set out to find the best of new comedy talent and we succeeded.

“Sophie deserved the title after receiving a brilliant reception from the audience and panel, and I have no doubt that we’ll see more of both Sophie and her fellow contestants in the future.”

Andy Cross, Brand Director at Magners, said: “Sophie really deserved the title of Magners New Act – she had the audience and panel literally rolling around the floor throughout the act.

“This is the first year of the New Act contest and we’ve been extremely impressed with the calibre of talent. We wish Sophie the very best of luck and we look forward to seeing her career flourish.”