A charity’s fundraising manager, a customer services employee and a food processor worker are among contenders for the crown of king of comedy.
The hotly-contested Crooked Smile title fight hits the Winding Wheel, Chesterfield, on Thursday, August 29.
Contenders polishing their gags in readiness for the big night include:
Carl Jones, a 28-year-old community fundraising manager for the British Heart Foundation. Residing in Wingerworth, where he’s originally from, he spent five years living in Ripley. Carl, who has been on the comedy circuit for three years, said: “I’ve wanted to gig in my hometown ever since I first started performing. It will be great to have the chance to perform in Chesterfield where I’ve been to see some of my favourite comedians.”
Steve Norman, 51, who works in customer services for Stagecoach and lives in New Tupton. He was inspired to enter after participating in a comedy workshop run by competition organiser Anthony J. Brown. He said: “My biggest inspiration is the love of my life, Paula South. She’s given me back my confidence, my self-belief after a heart attack in December 2010.” Steve’s first live show was a fundraiser for Tupton Village Hall
Andy Peck, 46, a food processor, lives in Brinsley, near Ripley. He’s done a dozen gigs and said: “The worst part is leading up to going on stage and the best is making people laugh and also having a knowledgeable crowd who are willing to listen. I’m just a lover of comedy and talk about stuff that makes me laugh. I love Sarah Millican and I have fits listening to Chubby Brown but I’ll listen to anyone in the hope that they make my sides split.”
David Hopkins, 41, from Mansfield, will be performing under the name of Harry Lime. An established songwriter, he’s been inspired to enter the competition by his daughter, Lucy Wardrobe, a finalist in a previous Crooked Smile contest. He said: “We were on the same bill last month, she had roars of laughter and I didn’t get any - but I learned from that experience. I’ve done four shows - two good, two bad. I’ve always known that I have a sense of humour - people just haven’t caught on yet.”