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Edinburgh Festival 99 Wednesday, 25 August, 1999, 08:08 GMT 09:08 UK
Danny Bhoy's pipe dream comes true
Danny Bhoy: Poking fun at Posh and Beckham's nuptials
A 24-year-old Scot has walked off with a 2,000 cheque and the chance to perform in the Montreal and Melbourne comedy festivals after winning the Open Mic award, one of the UK's top prizes for up and coming comics.

Danny Bhoy, 24, from Moffat in Dumfries and Galloway, was the unanimous choice of a judging panel including past Perrier award winners Steve Coogan and Jenny Eclair.

The Daily Telegraph Open Mic award is open to any stand-up comic who has never received payment for a gig.

Edinburgh Festival 1999
Bhoy, who now lives in London, only started performing 10 months ago and has done less than 100 shows so far.

But on stage he appeared full of confidence and gags - and received an overwhelming response from the packed crowd.

"He's going to go far," Coogan said. "He's a natural, at ease and self-assured. He looked like someone who's been doing this longer than he has."

Steve Coogan looks at the next generation of comedy
After spraying the awaiting photographers with champagne, Bhoy insisted he had not taken success for granted when he entered the competition.

"I thought it would be very tough," he said. "I thought the standard was excellent.

"It feels fantastic, it really does."

Since graduating two years ago, Bhoy has worked mainly as a barman.

He based much of his early material on characters he served in Moffat's George Hotel and also used the pub to develop his material.

"That's the way it works. You start making people laugh in the pub and you think, Could I do that on stage?"

Before studying history at Glasgow University, Bhoy said he had been expelled from school.

Risky material paid off

During the final of the Open Mic contest, 10 contestants had just five minutes each to convince the judges of their talents.

Bhoy's 2,000 cheque will go on student debts
Bhoy took a risk with a panel including Coogan by opening his act with a series of jokes aimed at the wedding of Manchester United and England footballer David Beckham and Spice Girls singer Victoria Adams.

He continued risking accusations of bad taste with a gag about the death of Emu entertainer Rod Hull, which involved holding his mic stand upside down.

But he succeeded through his natural charm and delivery. Afterwards, he said he hoped to go on to achieve the level of success of Coogan, who starred in the BBC series Knowing Me, Knowing You and I'm Alan Partridge.

"I'll be better than him - think he's got a lot to learn," Bhoy joked.

Karen Taylor: Confidence to succeed
Karen Taylor: Confidence to succeed
He added: "I just want to see how far I can go with this at the moment. I just really enjoy making people laugh.

"I'd quite like to come back next year and have my own show."

The prize money would go on paying off student debts, he said.

The judges also commended two of the other finalists, Lawry Lewin and Karen Taylor, both from London.

"I think the other two who we gave commendations to will do well," Coogan said.

Eclair said she found Lewin hilarious, while she thought Taylor had the charisma to succeed in any number of entertainment fields.

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Danny Bhoy reflects on his comedy success
Links to more Edinburgh Festival 99 stories are at the foot of the page.


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