West Midlands’ best new comedian revealed

Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award 2016 winner, Harv Hawkins

– Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award 2016 winner announced

– Balsall Common estate agent scoops major comedy prize

Birmingham Comedy Festival and The Glee Club are pleased to announce Harv Hawkins as recipient of the festival’s Breaking Talent Award 2016.

Standing in front of an enthusiastic Glee audience on Friday night (7 October 2015), Harv was presented with his award by Brum comedy legend Jasper Carrott.

The Balsall Common-based comedian, who by day works as an estate agent, has been performing for less than a year.

Judges were impressed by Harv’s confidence and original material, which explored the appeal of certain childhood toys, traffic tailbacks, popular phrases, and the housing market.

“I’d love to earn a living from comedy,” said Harv, after receiving his award. “Some comedians have ambitions for TV, that comedy will lead to other things, but I just want to do stand-up; if I could do that … I’d be a very happy man!”

Four other acts were also nominated for the title: Ali Warwood, a psychiatric nurse from Walsall, who touched on her experiences of motherhood; the darkly humorous Moses Ali Khan; poet/ comedian Richard Quarmby; and “albino Meat Loaf” Tom Christian.

Tom, from Sutton Coldfield, was commended by judges for his excellent performance, which looked at challenges of booking at table at restaurant TGI Friday, and TV channel names.

The judging panel for the night consisted of Jasper Carrott, Steve Bennett, from influential comedy website Chortle, BBCWM presenter Daz Hale, The Glee Clubs’ founder Mark Tughan, and Dave Freak, from Birmingham Comedy Festival.

A spokesperson for the festival said: “All the acts were excellent, but in the end it boiled down to two names – Tom and Harv – and after much deliberation, the judges decided that it should be Harv who walked away with the prize.”

A collaboration between the festival and the multi-award-winning Glee, the Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award aims to recognise, and support, emerging comedic talent from the city and the surrounding West Midlands.

Birmingham Comedy Festival 2016 kicked off on Friday 7 October, and continues at venues across the city until Sunday 16 October. Highlights include appearances from Romesh Ranganathan, Jason Byrne and Kerry Godliman, a Rocky Horror revival, a new panel show from Mock The Week’s Gary Delaney, and the second of two Free Half-Dayers, featuring 10 free comedy shows.

For full listings and more information, see: www.bhamcomfest.co.uk

Jasper, Tom and Harv on stage at The Glee

Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Awards 2016: (L to R) Jasper Carrott, Tom Christian, Harv Hawkins


…the Breaking Talent Award final aimed to demonstrate that Brum’s got comic talent with a night full of the comedy stars of tomorrow.” – What’s On [Read full review]

Once they had all performed, it was clear that that Birmingham Comedy Festival’s Breaking Talent Award was a two-horse race.” – Chortle [Read full review]

Breaking Talent Judging Panel

Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award 2016 Judging Panel: (top) Daz Hale, BBCWM, and Dave Freak, Birmingham Comedy Festival; (seated) Steve Bennett, Chortle, The Glee’s Mark Tughan, and Jasper Carrott.


About the Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award:

The competing acts were selected by a team of established comedy professionals including James Cook (mac Birmingham comedy course tutor, comedian, broadcaster), Adam Jaremko (The Glee booker), Maureen Younger (MY Comedy, comedian), and Jay Handley (Fat Penguin Comedy Club, comedian), based on their performances over the last 12 months.

2015’s winner was Josh Pugh from Atherstone, Warwickshire, who has since gone on to win the English Comedian Of The Year title.

Also see: Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award 2016 shortlist announced.

  • Harv Hawkins is available for selected interviews. For more information, contact us: