BLACKPOOL proved its comedy credentials once more as the resort showcased the next generation in stand-up talent.
The Grand Theatre was transformed into a maelstrom of mirth as six finalists in BBC Radio Two’s New Comedy Awards 2012 battled it out in front of the mike.
And it was Hull’s Lucy Beaumont who had the last laugh as she was crowned winner after a public vote, beating off competition from Pete Otway, Sunil Patel, Tommy Rowson, Matt Rees and Matt Winning.
Last night’s show - broadcast live on Radio 2 and on TV via the red button - was the culmination of two months of heats, with 800 acts whittled down to the last six.
Irishman Patrick Kielty, who presented the show, said it was only fitting the final was being staged in the resort which was synonymous with great entertainment.
He told the audience: “It’s great to be here in Blackpool, the Las Vegas of the North.
“What happens in Blackpool, stays in Blackpool.
“If only Prince Harry had decided to come here instead of Vegas.
“Things would have been so much better.
“Those pictures wouldn’t have seen the light of day. Playing pool naked - that wouldn’t have even made the sports pages of the Blackpool Gazette.”
The show also paid tribute to the resort’s rich comedy heritage.
Patrick added: “Blackpool has a fantastic history which has given us some of the UK’s best live comedians.
“Ken Dodd is in his 54th year performing to crowds in Blackpool.”
But it was very much today’s generation in the spotlight on the night.
Last year’s winner Angela Barnes, comedian Stephen K. Amos, and musical double act Frisky and Mannish made up the rest of the set.
Among the audience were Geoff and Linda Tolson, archivists at the Grand Theatre, who said it was great to see the venue host such a prestigious event.
Linda added: “It’s national coverage and not only promotes The Grand, but Blackpool itself as the foremost centre for entertainment.
“It has been tremendous publicity for the town.
“People are so surprised when they realise Blackpool has such an architectural gem right in its heart.”