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Last Updated: Tuesday, 13 December 2005, 12:11 GMT
Actor scoops BBC New Comedy Award
Tom Allen
Tom Allen trained as an actor at the National Youth Theatre
A 22-year-old actor has been named the best new comedian in the UK at the BBC New Comedy Awards.

Tom Allen won 2,000 at the final of the contest, which has previously helped launch the careers of Peter Kay, Simon Pegg, Daniel Kitson and Lee Mack.

Allen trained as an actor at the National Youth Theatre and will be seen on the big screen with John Malkovich in Colour Me Kubrick.

He also appeared in ITV drama Tom Brown's Schooldays.

And he triumphed in Five's So You Think You're Funny contest at this year's Edinburgh Festival.

Tom showed enormous wit and storytelling ability
Paul Schlesinger
Head of BBC radio entertainment
"It's been a really wonderful experience, I've met some genuinely brilliant people and it's fantastic to do something with the BBC," he said. "My mother is beside herself."

The judges included BBC head of comedy Jon Plowman and head of BBC radio entertainment Paul Schlesinger.

"The finalists were all very different and all very good in their own way," Mr Schlesinger said. "All were original acts but Tom in particular showed enormous wit and storytelling ability."

The runners-up were Edward Aczel, a marketing project manager, and Sarah Millican, who has turned her divorce into a stand-up routine.

The other finalists were student Luke Roberts, film editor James Branch and Australian Aaron Counter.

The final will be broadcast on digital radio station BBC7 on 6 January.

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