Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year

Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2021

The 2021 Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year is postponed until Saturday 5th June 2021.

And while we wait, you can enjoy the ‘Best of LMCOTY’ at The Y on Saturday 20th Feb 2021.

Tickets for both should go on sale on Wednesday 4th November 2020

The event is an annual sell-out as part of the festival and entry is via nomination by one of the selected comedy promoters.

There is no open entry process for LMCOTY so please do not contact us about it.


Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2020

WINNER – Eric Rushton @ericrushton96

One of the longest running comedy competitions in the UK, the prestigious Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year competition took place for its 26th edition on Saturday 22nd February 2020 as part of Leicester Comedy Festival.



Random facts about Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year Competition

  • Tickets for the first Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year Competition cost just £2.50
  • Steve Knuckles won the first competition back in 1995; he then disappeared without trace
  • Reginald D Hunter was runner up to Mitch Benn in 1998
  • Jimmy Carr performed a rap when he entered the competition in 2001
  • John Bishop entered in 2001; the Leicester Mercury review said “we think we’ll be hearing more from him in the future.”
  • Greg Davies was runner up in 2003
  • Leicester based comedian Matt Hollins beat Russell Kane, to win the competition in 2004
  • Shane Allen, big cheese of comedy at BBC, was on the judging panel in 2005 when he worked for Channel 4
  • Jack Whitehall was runner up in 2008
  • Luke Benson is the only comedian to have made it through to the final twice; once in 2008 & then again in 2011
  • Over 6,500 people have watched the competition over the past 21 years; 200 comedians have taken part

Previous winners of the Competition include:

Stevie Knuckles (winner) stevie_knucles


Jo Enright (winner)

Gary O’Donnell
Colin the Fireman
Marcus Cockrell
Bob May



Johnny Vegas (winner)

Natalie Haynes
Kevin Kopfstein
Leslie Gibson

Johnny-Vegas “When you’re up-and-coming, you need something to get your foot in the door and winning the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year – that was great.”


Mitch Benn (winner)

TJ Murphy
Mark James
Mary Bourke
Pete Benett
Johnny Kinch
Reg Hunter
Jack Mann
Darrell Martin



Patrick Kitterick (winner)

Dominic Frisbee
Meryl O’Rourke
Kevin Clarke
David Keay
Michael Tombs
Darrell Martin
Mark Barrett
Jack Mann
Mark James
Kat Nilsson



Jason Manford (winner)

Jason Whitehead
Sean O’Reilly
Barry Glendenning
Eddie Kaulkner



Miles Jupp (winner)

Jimmy Carr
John Ryan



Matt Blaize (winner)

Bill Wooland
Rob Mager
Karen Bailey
Nick Gray
Kevin Dewsbury



Rhod Gilbert (winner)

Claire Pollard
Greg Davies
Simon Amstell
Greg Cook
Donna Spence
Greg McHugh
Marek Larwood



Matt Hollins (winner)

Russell Kane
Matt and Faron
Brandi Borr
Anna Keirle
Chris Roche
Mel Barnes
Matt Dyktynski



Debra Jane Appleby (winner)

Dave Longley
Peter Aterman
Lee Bannard
Lee Brace
Quentin Reynolds
Sam Avery



James Branch (winner)

Emma Fryer

James-Branch “The Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year helps to raise the profile of comedians and get them noticed.”


Carl Donnelly (winner)

Sean Moran
Matt Rudge
Johnny Sorrow
Jason Kavan
Jim Smallman
Paul Smith



Henry Paker (winner)

Jack Whitehall
Andi Osho
Gareth Richards
Helen Keen
Luke Benson
Sam Harlan
Tony Simpson



Seann Walsh (winner)

Fergus Craig
Grainne Maquire
Joe Bor
Chris Stokes
Carl Hutchinson
Chris Ramsey
Tom Adams



Josh Widdicombe (winner)

Ivo Graham
Tom McDonnell
Jake Mills
Rob Beckett
Dan Bland
Ben Davids
Ade Ikoli

Josh-Widdicombe “I was delighted, shocked and excited. It was such an honour to be on same list as so many incredible past winners.”


Ben Target (joint winner)
Tom Rosenthal (joint winner)

Ben Target
Inel Tomlinson
Suzi Ruffell
Luke Benson
Henry Widdicombe
Michael J Dolan
Pete Walsh



Matt Rees (Winner)

Chris Turner
Darren Connell
Danny Sutcliffe
Richard Hanrahan
Joe Wells
Liam Williams



Romesh Ranganathan (Winner)

Lucy Beaumount
Adam Hess
Jamie Demetriou
Danny Ward
Tez Ilyas
Mark Simmons
Kwame Asante

Romesh-Ranganathan “The line-up was so strong I never thought I stood a chance of winning. Everyone on stage that night will go on to become brilliant comedians. Comedy has always been a passion of mine and when I won the competition my career really took off.”


Kate Lucas (winner)

Dane Baptiste
Dave Green
Elliot Green
Harriet Kemsley
Mark Silcox
Phil Jerrod
Daisy Earl



Tom Little (winner)

Stephanie Laing
Kiri Pritchard-Mclean
Ingrid Dahle
Emma Kearney aka Penella Mellor
David Jordan
Jake Lambert
Lolly Adepfope

Tom-Little “It’s such a big deal that the amazing finalists are voted for by the industry. I’m so pleased to be one of them.”


Tom Lucy (winner)

George Lewis
Rob Mulholland
Yuriko Kotani
Ed Patrick
Nigel Ng
Twayna Mayne
Travis Jay

Tom-Lucy “It’s amazing, unbelievable, it’s very flattering to be alongside such big names.”


Alasdair Beckett-King (winner)

Alex Mahoney
Ed Night
George Rigden
Kelly Convey
Sindhu Vee
Tom Mayhew
Tom Houghton

   Being nominated for Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year was a great experience. It was a great show to perform in and such a lovely lineup to be part of. If I could share the title with the other nominees, I would. As long as I get to keep the money..”


Jack Gleadow (winner)

Simon Lomas
Radu Isac
Martin Wratten
Helen Bauer
Catherine Bohart
Rosie Jones
Patrick Spicer


Daniel Sofoluke (winner)

Kathryn Mather
Jen Ives
Riordan DJ
Jeremy Flynn
Simon Wozniak
Jamie Hutchinson
Krystal Evans


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