Silver Stand Up Competition

Leicester Comedy Festival’s annual competition for the finest up and coming comedians, aged 55+

  • Fred Ferenczi (63) from Aylesbury crowned Silver Stand Up of the Year 2018.
  • Fifteen comedians aged 55 – 72 were shortlisted to perform and 8 comedians took to the stage to compete for the coveted title.
  • Fred Ferenczi was crowned Silver Stand Up of the Year 2018 on Thursday 22nd February, seeing off fierce competition from up and up and coming comedians aged between 55 and 72.
  • The contestants each performed their 5 minute sets in front of the crowd and the judging panel; Martin Ballard (BBC Leicester), Martyn Allison (Chair of Big Difference Company) and Nicola Ward (comedy promoter).

Leicester Comedy Festival is renowned for nurturing new voices in comedy, and offering audiences the opportunity to be among the first to spot the stars of tomorrow. As well as the Silver Stand Up competition, the prestigious Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year award has launched many of today’s comedy heroes, with Johnny Vegas, Miles Jupp and Rhod Gilbert all previous winners.

The full list of shortlisted Silver Stand Up 2018 comedians were…

Sandra Hale, Herts (65)
Nik Hill, Gloucester (59)
Jac Bevan, Devon (64)
Debra Heighton, Leicester (62)
Sally Firth, London (62)
Baldy, Brockham (55)
Geri-Raptric, Shoreham-by-Sea (65)
John Butler, Leicester (60)
Kevin Hudson , Leicester (57)
Sha Wylie , Hove (72)
Christine, Banbury (67)
Bruce Sidlo, Morecambe (67)
Pat O’Connor, Surrey (62)
Bakshi Shemar, Walsall (55)

The first Silver Stand Up competition was won by Shelley Bridgman who continues to gig regularly across the UK and was a founder member of the Trans Comedy Award, working with BBC writers to develop scripts that portray funny and positive representations of the trans community. The winning script, Boy Meets Girl, aired on BBC Two in 2015, to critical acclaim.

The 2013 winner of the Silver Stand Up competition, Marc Lucero, regularly gigs across London, and the 2014 competition was won by Peter Callaghan, a member of the comedy collective Old Folks Telling Jokes, which performs around the country.

In 2015 the competition was won by Ed de Cantor.  Ed had given up performing stand up aged 40, thinking he was “too old”.  On winning the competition in 2015, he said “I am completely over the moon. Winning this competition is a dream come true.” 

 The 2016 winner was Marguerite Grant, a Missouri native now based in Cambridgeshire, who performed in-character as a housewife and inventor.

Applications for Silver Stand Up 2019 are closed. For more information please email

The competition takes place in two parts, with a round of heats at 4 pm, followed by a live show at 7pm.


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