Two comedy acts from Islington are following in Eddie Izzard’s footsteps and through to next week’s NATY final

Jonny and the Baptists who are through to the final of the New Act of the Year 2013

Jonny and the Baptists who are through to the final of the New Act of the Year 2013 - Credit: Archant

Two acts from Islington have made it through to the grand finale of an illustrious comedy competition which has seen the likes of Eddie Izzard, Alan Davies, Matt Lucas and Russell Brand competing in the past.

The New Act of the Year (NATY) competition is now in its 30th year, and showcases the best emerging talent in the comedy world.

Alex Perry from Finsbury Park and satirical comedy band Jonny and the Baptists who live in Liverpool Road are down to the final 16 - picked from 175 contenders.

‘Grumpy Old Man’ Arthur Smith will host the final in the Bloomsbury Theatre as each act performs a five minute routine, from a range of styles which go across the comedy spectrum, from musical, sketch, poetry and novelty to stand-up.

Manchurian Alex Perry is probably one of the more traditional acts in the competition.

“I like to tell stories and make a connection with the audience and talk about things that most people can relate to,” he said.

“But hopefully do that in an interesting and funny way.

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“Before I did stand up, like most people, the idea of performing it petrified me, but when you do it and it goes well the adrenaline rush is incredible.”

Meanwhile Jonny Donahoe sings and plays the guitar and piano in sketch act Jonny and the Baptists, accompanied by Paddy Gervers on guitar and Amy Butterworth on the violin.

The trio are over the moon to have got through.

Mr Donahoe believes NATY is ‘the very best’ of all the comedy newcomer awards: “Not only is it the most prestigious, with the best pedigree of former winners, but it’s the most exciting competition with lots and lots of really modern, genuinely engaging and innovative acts involved,” he said.

Will they be nervous as they perform their songs covering everything from library closures and Quentin Blake, to the decline of the British pub?

“Amy gets no nerves whatsoever, but I’m not always 100 per cent sure she knows what’s going on,” said Mr Donahoe.

“Paddy’s nerves are so severe he might as well be preparing for the gallows. As the rational member of the group I fall directly between my two ridiculous companions,” he added.

The final takes place at the Bloomsbury Theatre, 15 Gordon Street next Sunday January 27. Ticketes cost £12.50 or £10 for concessions. Call 020 7388 8822 or see