Birmingham Comedy Festival and The Glee Club announced Josh Pugh as the recipient of the 'Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award 2015.' Standing in front of an enthusiastic Glee Club audience, Josh was presented with his award by BBCWM’s Daz Hale. Describing his win as “validation”, Josh said: “It spurs you on to do the next thing … to do 10-20 minutes, longer shows.”
Performing for just 18 months, Nuneaton-born Josh lives in Atherstone, Warwickshire, and works in Coventry. His winning performance saw him discuss X-Factor, parties, namedropping, sporting achievements, bottled beer, the butterfly effect, and the films of Liam Neeson.
Judges were impressed by Josh’s confidence, originality and unpredictability.
Five other acts were also nominated for the title: Brummie Thomas Rackham, Tamworth’s Michael Dryburgh, University of Birmingham graduate Jo D’Arcy, Rugby-born Lucy Thompson and Wolverhampton’s Jack Kirwan, who took to the stage as quirky character Gary Powndland.
The acts were selected by a team of established comedy professionals including Jo Enright (Job Lot, Life Is Short, Rough Works), James Cook (mac Birmingham comedy course tutor, comedian, broadcaster), Alex Jackson (The Glee Club booker) and Maureen Younger (MY Comedy, comedian).
The judging panel for the night consisted of 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: “The judging panel were blown away by the level of professionalism of all the acts making the selection process tough, but Josh’s performance was particularly impressive and we look forward to seeing how his career develops over the coming years.”
A collaboration between the festival and the multi-award-winning Glee Club, the Birmingham Comedy Festival Breaking Talent Award aims to recognise, and support, emerging comedic talent from Birmingham and the surrounding West Midlands. The event was sponsored by Fosters.