With the Brighton Grin Comedy Award launching next week, up-and-coming comedy hopefuls will go head-to-head at The Electric Arcade before a panel of the best in the funny business.

With submission videos viewed, reviewed, and rated, entrants for the South’s newest comedy award, sponsored by Brighton Gin, have been whittled down to the top forty comics. Contestants will now compete in one of four live heats throughout October (6th, 13th, 20th, 21st), before the final on the 27th. As well as stand-up, sketch, and musical comedy acts have also been accepted, resulting in a wonderfully unique cast of performers at each live show.

Panel show regular & award-winning comedian Zoe Lyons (Live at the Apollo, Mock the Week) heads the judging panel for the first heat, alongside Brighton Gin and BBC Radio Sussex’s Kathy Caton. David James, a comedy coach and stand-up known for his dry, deadpan wit, will also judge, as well as Otherplace Artistic Director Nicola Haydn.

As the heats continue, rising star Esther Manito (Leicester Comedy Festival 2021 Winner, Stand Up Sketch Show) will take the chair, besides super-vet and national treasure Marc Abraham OBE. Perhaps one of the most notable names to join the judging team is Masie Adam (Mock the Week, 8 Out of 10 Cats), who’s quickly become a household name in UK comedy. Lulu Baker, who’s currently Assistant to the Head of Comedy at the BBC, will be joining the panel for the award’s final.

The overall winner will be granted a hefty £500 cash prize, as well as the chance to perform at  Brighton Fringe’s flagship comedy night, The Late Show. The much-loved event played host to Romesh Ranganathan, Seann Walsh, Reginald D. Hunter and Zoe Lyons earlier this year, and is well known for providing many of today’s stars with their big break.

The Brighton Grin Comedy Award hopes to provide a chance for comedy newcomers to test their mettle after an impossibly difficult period for live performers.

“Over the last sixteen years, we’ve had countless up-and-coming comics come through our doors, with many going on to become panel show regulars, launch sell-out tours and become household names,” says Nicola Haydn. “We thought a new act competition would be a good way to encourage and discover some more future stars. We’re thrilled that some of our top-tier comedians we met along the way will be joining us to judge various heats, as well as the final”.

All four heats and the final will be held at The Electric Arcade on the aforementioned dates. Tickets are now available online on the Otherplace ticketing website.