Silver Stand Up Competition

Nipper Thomas winner of Silver Stand Up Competition 2019

Silver Stand Up Competition

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

  • Nipper Thomas (66) from Birmingham crowned Silver Stand Up of the Year 2019.
  • Fifthteen comedians aged 55 – 72 were shortlisted to perform and 8 comedians took to the stage to compete for the coveted title.
  • Nipper Thomas was crowned Silver Stand Up of the Year 2019 on Thursday 21st 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; Monica Winfield (BBC Leicester), Martyn Allison (Chair of Big Difference Company) and Helen Tomblin (General Manager – Big Difference Company).
  • The competition takes place in two parts, with a round of heats at 4pm, followed by a live show at 6pm.

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 2019 comedians are…

Brian Cowles

Christine Crawley

Jac Bevan

Janis Haves

John Butler

Kevin Hudson

Lois Bromfield

Nik Hill

Nipper Thomas


Pam Tiling

Pat O’Connor

Professor John

Sally Firth


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.

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