So, on Saturday 30th January 2010, I was a finalist in the very prestigious competition The Hackney Empire New Act of The Year. Now most of the acts that enter aren’t actually new acts – ie they haven’t just been going for a year, most have been going for at least 18 months. Some for years.
I didn’t win. But the standard was so high with straight stand ups, character acts and music acts (I was the only magician) that I imagine that the judges had a tough choice placing the top 3 or 4 acts (apart from the winner, Abandoman – quite a clear winner in most peoples opinion).
Previous finalists include Russell Brand, Catherine Tate, Harry Hill, Tim Vine, Eddie Izzard, Simon Amstell and Daniel Kitson – and non of them won either! Losing is the new winning.
This is the only major competition I’ve entered in recent times (I was once the Long Riston Tennis Boys Champion in 1988) but I enjoyed the whole experience and might do another in the future. Watch this space.
Just for posterity – here is a full list of competitors ABANDOMAN / ALAN HUDSON / ALYSSIA KYRIA (ARIADNE THE GREEK WAG) / ANDREW RYAN / DAVE GIBSON / FRISKY & MANNISH / GIACINTO PALMIERI / INEL TOMLINSON / JO SELBY (TATIANA) / LUKE BENSON / LUKE GRAVES / NATHANIEL METCALF / RICHARD RYCROFT / SIR HAROLD HACKNEY (THE ALTERNATIVE MAYOR OF LONDON) / VAL LEE