After six gruelling weeks of tough crowds and tense gigs, three British comedians will go head-to-head in the live final of ITV1’s stand-up showdown, Show Me The Funny, at 9pm on Thursday 25th August. Patrick Monahan, Dan Mitchell and Tiffany Stevenson have all made it through six tough gigs to reach the live show.
Last night's penultimate episode saw a double exit as former model Ellie Taylor, and ex-circus performer Stuart Goldsmith, were eliminated, leaving former undertaker and Welshman, Dan Mitchell, experienced warm-up act, Patrick Monahan, and seasoned comedienne, Tiffany Stevenson, to battle it out for the biggest prize in comedy - £100,000, a DVD deal and the chance to headline a multiple-date, nationwide tour, kicking off on 17th September.
Having survived six gigs of often raucous crowds including heckling troops, distracted school kids, rowdy rugby players and medical professionals, the three finalists will take on their toughest audience to date as they face 3,000 punters at London’s renowned comedy venue, Hammersmith Apollo.
In the hope of becoming Britain’s next stand-up superstar, the comedians will each deliver a live set of brand new stand-up material. Hosted by Jason Manford, judges Alan Davies and comedy critic Kate Copstick will be on hand to voice their own opinions and will be joined by guest judges and mentors from previous episodes Bob Mortimer, Ross Noble and Johnny Vegas – but the comedians’ fate will be in the viewers’ hands with the first and only public vote of the series.
With everything at stake, the all-star mentors have taken each of the contestants on a comedy crash course to hone their stand-up skills in the run up the hotly contended final. Ross Noble takes Dan out in public to endure embarrassing situations while Johnny Vegas heads to speakers corner with Pat for a public speaking challenge and Bob Mortimer heads to personal venues with Tiffany to explore anecdotal back-stories.
So far all three finalists have received some criticism with Dan branded a “disappointment” after failing to impress his home crowd in Wales and Pat reprimanded for time-wasting during his sets. But they have each bounced back, strengthening their craft each week to rapturous applause, so will be hoping to continue their impressive run by delivering their best routines yet.
Dan’s popularity soared during week two’s army barrack task where he was hailed by Kate Copsick as “brilliant” but stumbled in front of his home crowd when he allowed hecklers to get the better of him. Speaking on the final he said: “Somehow, I'm in the final, which means the Hammersmith Apollo. That is both scary & exciting. I've been preparing myself by talking nonsense to increasingly large numbers of people, working my way up from one old man to the entire population of Wales (27). Vote for me if you want someone who thinks outside the box, largely because I haven't got a box.”
Serial-hugger and all-round funnyman Patrick was a hit with the school kids in week three following a tense start with rival Cole in week one but has been branded a “faffer” by Kate Copstick for his excessive crowd interaction. He said: “I’m so thrilled to be in the final. I’m hoping to put Middlesborough and the North East of England on the map and make my parents proud.”
Tiffany, who got off to a flying start with Liverpool’s all-female audience fell back down the ranks when she was called back in the bottom two after a less than impressive gig at the school. As the last woman standing in the competition she said: “I’m very excited and nervous… it’s like I’ve taken a big laxative. I really hope the viewers like what I do and vote for me!”
Jason Manford said: “The live final is upon us, and playing to a crowd of 3,000 people is hard work, for any comedian. But I know these finalists will rise to the challenge and all the weeks of gigging will have finally paid off. They're here because they deserve to be here, so they need to just go out and enjoy themselves.”