Rise of the comedy supergig in 2011

John Bishop, Jimmy Carr, Russell Howard, Peter Kay, Lee Evans, Lenny Henry, John Cleese, Jason Manford and Alan Carr set for 2011 UK tours

When we get to this point next year and look back at the comedy highlights of 2011, no doubt much talk will be of the supergigs. John Bishop, Jimmy Carr, Russell Howard, Peter Kay, Lee Evans, Lenny Henry, John Cleese (yes, that John Cleese), Jason Manford and Alan Carr are all dropping towards our central belt during their big fat national tours. But who are the acts that for now remain relative secrets to the gen pub, but in five years time might be recovering from twitter sex scandals and/or touring to keep up with their maintenance payments?

These days a spot on that McIntyre show is one clear leg-up to the next level (our own Kevin Bridges is testament to that), so assuming it returns for a third series in 2011, keep a very close eye on those line-ups. For the local talents, the likes of Mark Nelson, Scott Agnew, Davey See, Jay Lafferty and Teddy have the talent to go far, but they also need luck and opportunity on their side. Away from stand-up, blokey sketch group How Do I Get Up There? is definitely one to watch while The Broken Windows Policy will hopefully resist making another name change.

After Edinburgh Fringe success in 2010, a strong follow-up will be expected from Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer Roisin Conaty, while of those she left behind on the shortlist, Imran Yusuf looks set for hugeness and sketch guys Late Night Gimp Fight can be relied upon to create a few gory headlines. Those who also made impressions here in August and could go massive in ‘11 are physical, observational comic Seann Walsh (a kind of groggier McIntyre), Unexpected Items (their ‘Gap Yah’ skit is proving rather popular on the old internet), poetry-storytelling guys Tim Clare and Ross Sutherland, slick/sick sketch act Addicted to Danger, fast-talking Irish wag Abie Philbin Bowman and Welsh manchild Elis James.

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