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Meet the finalists

Now you can find out who grabbed the judges eyes and made into the final of Witty and Twisted.

 

Miriam Elia The Winner
Miriam Elia brings us 'A Series of Psychotic Episodes'.
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Stephen Carlin Runner Up
Follow the sacred cows of British culture with Stephen Carlin.
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Lee Derbysire Finalist
Lee Derbyshire gets involved in a bit of 'Sportstalk'.
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Andrew Wallace Finalist
A down-at-heel theme park is home to Andrew Wallace's 'Wonderworld'.
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Stuart Goldsmith & Samuel Hutchinson Finalist
Stuart Goldsmith, 29 and Sam Hutchinson, 27 have created 'G-Force'.
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Rupert Jones & Thomas Bowker Runner Up
Rupert Jones and Thomas Bowker offer us 'Botley'.
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Mark Steele Finalist
A 'Message to Mars' is delivered to us by Mark Steele.
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James Wilkes Finalist
Enter the world of 'The Great Caravaggio’s Travelling Circus'.
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James Kettle Finalist
Find out about 'James Kettle’s Skyscraping Ambitions'.
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Gareth Gwynn Finalist
Gareth Gwynn gives us 'Broken by Design / BBC Backchat'.
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Stuart Goldsmith & Samuel Hutchinson - G-Force

Stuart Goldsmith & Samuel Hutchinson Despite the benefit of a private education, Stuart Goldsmith, 29, has wasted the last eight years as a street-performer, simpering at the gainfully employed and being spat on. He is a dilettante, counting tightrope-walker, continuity writer and now adds stand-up comic to his so-called careers. He dresses in the style of a male prostitute, which may explain his disastrous love-life.

An only child, Sam Hutchinson, 27, whiled away his youth wearing a variety of hats in the West Midlands. His schooling was modest, but his arrogance immense. Upon arrival in London, he took up work as a librarian and Soho lounge-lizard, but now settles his flamboyant tailor's bills by doing something spurious with technology. He has long given up the pursuit of the fairer sex, in favour of gentlemen's clubs and revenge.
Sketch: G-Force follows the call-to-arms transmissions of two field agents from an organisation so secret is does not even exist.

Miriam Elia - A Series of Psychotic Episodes

Miriam Elia Miriam Elia, 24 and three quarters, is a Graphic designer from Muswellhill, London. Miriam graduated with a Master’s degree from the Royal College of Art in 2006 after completing her BA in graphic design at Brighton University. Towards the end of her time at art school, she got very bored with galleries, ’wine and cheese’ private views and people that use the word ‘juxtaposition.’ In her RCA 2006 graduation catalogue she wrote that she was ' very, very, very, very deep.'

Miriam soon got sucked into the world of stand-up comedy. She entered the Witty &Twisted competition after being told about it by a friend, who has gone into hiding since the shows broadcast in March.

Miriam is also a finalist in Channel 4’s ’gags to go’, with her short film 'Cockface.' This is a short film about an alcoholic robotic rabbit that has a shuttlecock for a nose. Miriam was brought up by artistic middle-class bohemians, who forced her to watch black and white polish animations as a child. As a result, she has spent much of her late teens and early twenties trying to be normal. She likes hanging out at Homebase, and is campaigning for a much bigger JD Whetherspoons on Camden lock. Much of this is illustrated in her society‚ The New Normals.

Sketch: A series of Psychotic Episodes was recorded at The Drill Hall on the Tuesday 20th February 2007.

Lee Derbyshire - Sportstalk

Lee Derbyshire Lee Derbyshire, 29, from Hindley near Wigan is a self-employed web designer who also runs his own T-shirt printing business.

Lee has been writing comedy since finishing university. He left Humberside University in 1999 with a degree in Fine Art.

Lee has previously tried writing for television and was short-listed in the 2003 BBC New Comedy Awards (television sketch-writing category).

Sketch: Sportstalk is the first work Lee has written and performed for radio.

Andrew Wallace - Wonderworld

Andrew Wallace Andrew Wallace, 37, is the Facilities Manager at the London Eye. Talking about work Andrew says, "I get really excited about vending and stationery. Well, not so excited about vending anymore, the dream died when I got carte blanche to install the vending system I have always dreamed of and everyone has just bitched about it, really loudly, for about three months now and I am on a hair-trigger, a hair-trigger I tell you. But stationery is still sweeeeet... don't get me started on the smell of new paper or those really toxic pens that have been a staple of my spiritual development since school."

When he’s not managing facilities, Andrew can often be found doing stand-up on the London comedy circuit. "I remembered that people have always laughed at me, whether I have wanted them to or not, in fact especially when not - for example when I am trying to be a Great Leader at work. When everyone in the company said how funny my Health & Safety emails were a little light went on and I thought, 'Oh, yeah, comedy. That's what I've always loved. Why didn't I think of it before? Am I slow? Who am I talking to?'" Since 2005 Andrew has done about 200 gigs on the London comedy circuit and is the proud winner of Loo of the Year 2006 (Water & Theme Parks National Category). The two are not related however.

Sketch: Wonderworld is a sitcom set in a down-at-heal theme park in the South of England.

Stephen Carlin – Gus Murdoch’s: Sacred Cows

Stephen Carlin Stephen Carlin, 30, is a Scottish comedian who has been gigging on the London circuit for a few years. Stephen did his first Edinburgh Festival Fringe Show in 2006 and in 2005 supported Stewart Lee on his '90’s Comedian' tour. He was also a Finalist in the Hackney Empire New Act Competition 2005. By day Stephen can be found working in the offices of the Advisory, Conciliation and Arbitration Service (ACAS).

Sketch: The show follows investigative reporter Gus Murdoch as he examines the sacred cows of British culture.

Rupert Jones & Thomas Bowker – No Working Title

Rupert Jones & Thomas Bowker Rupert Jones, 24, got involved in Hospital Radio at the tender age of 14. He eventually got his own show, albeit with an audience of up to 4 people, when he was 16. Thomas Bowker, 24, grew up in Bristol and despite his mum and sister having the local accent; he appears to have lost it. Rupert and Thomas met through student radio at Cardiff University where they were both studying Journalism, Film & Broadcasting.

Rupert explains, "We first met near the end of the first year of University when I had the dubious honour of 'training' Tom at 7 in the morning, to present a show on his own. After one such training session I invited Tom to stick around and appear on my amazing Breakfast show (also with a listenership of about 4) and despite being quite rubbish, we got on well and seemed to find the same things funny. For the second year we decided to do a show together and set about writing loads of features, sketches, parodies, songs and anything else that popped into our heads."

Towards the end of their university course they decided that a job in radio would be quite nice and not too much work and so set about sending demo's to stations. After 18 months, posting around 90 demo tapes, and driving a six hour roundtrip every Friday night to present an unpaid overnight shift at a radio station they landed jobs in commercial radio in Oxford where they 'try to be funny'.

Sketch: No Working Title was recorded at the Drill Hall on 20th February 2007.

Mark Steele – Message to Mars

Mark Steele Mark Steele is 34 and since 2001 has been a lecturer in law at Stoke-on-Trent College. 'I am very popular with my students because I let them go early.' Before this he embarked on the longest academic path he could find. He spent three years at Sheffield University which resulted in a law degree after which he attended Chester College of Law for another year and then spent two years as a trainee solicitor.

Mark finally qualified as a solicitor in 1997 and began suing people almost immediately. He was a litigator. This meant being aggressive but Mark says, 'I’m not aggressive. I have seen more aggression in a pebble.' Thus, having spent an inordinate amount of money and time qualifying, he decided it wasn’t for him.

Mark says he has always written and in 1996 he finished his first novel which was seized with great apathy by the publishing world and it was swiftly unpublished. He has also written several wedding speeches which have been met with thunderous applause from his wife. Mark is married and has a 10-month old daughter, Katie. Mark says the day Katie was born was the second proudest moment of his life. 'The first was coming second in the Staffordshire Police Under 12s BMX race in 1982'.

James Wilkes, Tom Green, Gabriel Norland & Jane Warwick – The Great Caravaggio’s Travelling Circus

James Wilkes James Wilkes, 26, is a tutor in French and English as well as a writer and poet. Tom Green, 27, is an actor, writer and musician. He mostly works in Theatre in Education, touring Europe and the UK wearing silly wigs and trying to persuade unsuspecting schoolchildren to do the same. His musical past is a messy tale of student bands, acoustic duos, wedding singing and barbershop quartets.

Jane Warwick, 24, works as an actor and Gabriel Norland, 26, is a musician, DJ and music teacher. Together they wrote The Great Caravaggio’s Travelling Circus. They all attended Oxford University and James and Jane first met in the halls of residence at New College. However, Jamie and Gabe met each other later, on the creative writing Masters course at the University of East Anglia (UEA).

James Kettle - James Kettle’s Skyscraping Ambitions

James Kettle James Kettle, 24, is commercial writer or as he puts it 'I write junk mail'. A graduate of New College, Oxford, James edited the weekly student newspaper Cherwell while at university. He has written for BBC Radio 2’s Parsons and Naylor’s Pull-Out Sections, and worked for several months as script-editor on the cabaret show Newsrevue.

James was born in Chichester but now lives in London. He has been a stand-up on the London comedy circuit for the past 18 months and has reached the semi-finals of three national competitions - the BBC New Comedy Awards 2005, the Laughing Horse New Act Competition 2006 and So You Think You're Funny 2006.

Gareth Gwynn – Broken by Design / BBC Backchat

Gareth Gwynn Gareth Gwynn, 23, is from Brecon in Wales. At Bath University Gareth was involved with student radio where he produced and presented a series of music and comedy shows, winning the Gold award for Best Comedy and Drama Show at the 2004 Student Radio Awards. He was also involved in the Silver award winning "Because Fish are Funny" (2003) and was nominated for a succession of other comedy shows.

Gareth progressed to commercial radio in February 2006 by filling in for absent presenters on 106.3 Bridge FM, where he was soon given his own show. From March to November that year, Gareth wrote, produced and presented the topical comedy show "Gareth Gwynn's Big Night In" every Saturday evening, making extensive use of pre-production and voice-bending techniques to create the illusion of a cast of thousands (who all sounded slightly like Gareth).

By day Gareth is currently working as an office assistant for an independent financial advisor but by night he performs stand-up comedy. Gareth reached the semi-finals of the Laughing Horse New Act of the Year 2006 competition after a handful of gigs. To date, Gareth has performed 32 gigs and can be seen in front of audiences in Cardiff, Bristol and Bath, wowing them with material based on true stories and items he's found in Brecon's charity shops. If he ever passes his driving test, he might be able to do gigs further afield.

 



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