A UNIVERSITY of Salford student has been crowned comedian of the year – in a competition previously won by the likes of Josh Widdicombe, Rhod Gilbert and Romesh Ranganathan.
Jack Gleadow, aged 23, won the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year award, which features the best new acts nominated by promoters around the country, seeing the Hull-born comic following in the footsteps of Johnny Vegas and former Salford student Jason Manford.
Jack is in his final year studying BA Television And Radio (BATAR) at the MediaCityUK campus, but says he uses the University’s famous links with comedy to help advance his stand-up career.
Comedy legends such as Peter Kay and his Car Share co-star Sian Gibson studied at the University of Salford, while the University launched one of the country’s first degree programmes in Comedy Writing and Performance.
Jack said: “Salford has got such a great history in comedy, there must be something in the air here. A lot of my friends are on the comedy course, and we meet and chat about comedy, and I try to use Salford as much as I can.”
The competition saw eight of the UK’s best up and coming stand-up acts performing their best seven minutes of material at an open final.
Jack, who has previously won accolades including the Amused Moose National New Comic Award and the Great Yorkshire Fringe New Comedian Of The Year title, performed extracts from his show featuring a mix of one-liners, stories, audience participation – and physical gags using his trademark scooter.
He now juggles coursework with performances up and down the country, including at Manchester’s Frog And Bucket and Comedy Store venues, and now plans to take his show to the Edinburgh Festival before embarking on a career in stand-up.
He said: “I was happy just to have been nominated by the comedy industry as one of the acts appearing in the competition – I’m blown away to have won it.
“Some incredible people have won this award and to be included in that list is very special. I’m not looking for fame – it’s nice if that happens but all I want to do is make a career out of doing what I love.”
Lecturer Ric Michael who has taught Jack said “The TV and Radio degree at the University of Salford attracts highly creative and talented students and allows them to discover their own strengths in storytelling. Jack’s win is a terrific achievement and hugely well deserved.”
Jack plays at Craftbrew Comedy Confidential at the Lowry Plaza in MediaCityUK on March 29.