Review: Great Yorkshire Fringe, New Comedian of the Year Final, White Rose Rotunda, July 29

HOW many comedians does it take to make you laugh? Well, ten, if this show is anything to judge by.

For the fourth year running, the Great Yorkshire Fringe has hosted its ‘X Factor’ talent hunt for new comedians and eight made it to the final cut. The other two acts came in the shape of MC Mick Ferry, who ably amused and abused the audience with his warm humour, and a laugh-out-loud stint from last year’s winner Jack Gleadow, who brought mime, music and sheer cheekiness to the packed-out crowd.

Of the finalists, six were men and 23-year-old Harry Stachini got things nicely started with a decent five minutes on the plight of a man not yet ready to become an adult.

Teenager Samuel Serrano couldn’t have been more different: 18 and dressed in a blouse and full make-up, he put the X into X Factor with his blue routine about his sexual exploits with men and women. He was rewarded with a second place for his efforts.

The two women in the running brought another dimension to the evening altogether. Lois Mills stomped on stage, promptly whipped off her dress to reveal an unforgiving black full-length leotard and proceeded to prance around a la Kate Bush making strange noises, much to crowd’s bemusement as much as amusement.

Scarborough’s Charlotte Brooke took the musical route, performing energetically in song from behind a keyboard and tackling the modern-day curses of clean eating and self loathing. Her first song – an ode to the bread basket – was especially enjoyable, with the lines: “Clean eating makes me want to die, cake isn’t dirty and neither am I!”. And the message: stuff your face with bread, cakes, pasta and pizza and don’t be gluten-free if you don’t have to be. She secured the third-place slot alongside Charlie Hopkinson, whose impressions were so fab he should build a show just around them.

Glaswegian Chris Jones and “white, working class, northerner” Brian Bell, also put in a good turn, but the well-deserved winner of the night was Mark Grimshaw, who came on, told us he was autistic, and then did a deadpan act that was topical, insightful and just plain funny.

Roll on next year.