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7 Comedians who Deserve to Break Through in 2019

2018 has been a great year for comedy with the likes of James Acaster, Rachel Parris, Tom Allen and Mo Gilligan really breaking through.


But with 2018 now over, I look ahead to the next twelve months and pick out the seven comedians who I believe deserves to hit the mainstream in 2019.


Darren Harriott


In 2017, Birmingham-born Darren Harriott first appeared on Live at the Apollo following a successful debut run at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, which earnt him a Best Newcomer nomination at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards.


Darren returned to Edinburgh in 2018 with his second hour Visceral and made a number of television appearances including Mock The Week, Comedy Central at the Comedy Store, Roast Battle UK and Dave's Advent Calendar. He also appeared in all six episodes of ITV2's brand new panel show Don't Hate the Playaz, as a regular panellist alongside Lady Leshurr.


When I interviewed Darren in 2018 he spoke about his ambitions to "come back and host" Live at the Apollo, which considering the great television exposure he's already achieved so early on in his career is a realistic ambition as the series no longer relies on the usual safe names to host.


Whether or not Don't Hate the Playaz returns, with more panel show appearances, his Visceral tour, a third Edinburgh show and perhaps a comedy pilot thrown in for good measure, there's no reason why Darren can't be a household name by the end of 2019.


Want to see Darren live? Book tickets for his various appearances including his Visceral tour of the UK, here.




Jayde Adams


I attend the Edinburgh Festival Fringe every year and for the last two years I've awarded Jayde Adams five stars after 2017's Jayded and 2018's The Divine Ms Jayde have both left me in awe of this Bristolian's talents.


Jayde already has been a guest on Romesh Ranganathan's BBC Three series Romesh Talking to Comedians, has played a small part in BBC Two comedy A Gert Lush Christmas, and more recently performed on Comedy Central at the Comedy Store and took part in Roast Battle UK opposite Alex Edelman.


What I love about Jayde is that she's unashamedly entertaining, She can sing, tell jokes and connect with audiences of all ages in a way most can't. In my review for The Divine Ms Jayde, I wrote "if this doesn't secure her her own television show or a run in the West End, then I'm not sure what else can." and I still stand by that.


Her 2016 pilot for Sky Arts, Bloody Tracy, might not have made it to series but when I interviewed Jayde in July, she told me "I've got a self-titled sitcom in development with King Bert which is an ongoing thing. I've also got something I'm writing which is a classic rom-com and it will probably be a series and then a movie and then a musical". All projects I can't wait to see and find out more about.


But knowing how long these things can take to get off the ground, it seems that Jayde's biggest chance at hitting the mainstream is Amusical, the monthly comedy night she hosts with Kiri Pritchard-McLean (see below) in which comedians are taken out of their comfort zone and made to sing songs from musicals in front of a live audience.


The show which has become an annual Edinburgh tradition for me, was picked up by Comedy Central who filmed a pilot in 2018. No official word yet on whether or not there's a series but having been to Amusical a number of times, I can't see any reason why this show shouldn't translate well to television. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed!


And the good news is that Jayde has confirmed that she WILL be returning to Edinburgh this year with a new show.


Want to see Jayde live? She'll be appearing at the Soho Theatre in London with The Divine Ms Jayde from 31st January to Saturday 9th February and you can book tickets here. You can also try and book tickets for the almost sold-out Amusical show on 30th January here.




Kiri Pritchard-McLean


Comedian Kiri Pritchard-McLean has hosted the All Killa No Filla podcast alongside Rachel Fairburn since 2014, where they talk all things murder and macabre and they regularly perform the podcast live.


A regular MC on the circuit, Kiri's warmth, humour and no-filter attitude has won her a legion of very dedicated fans and telly fans might recognise her from her performances on The Russell Howard Hour and Comedy Central at the Comedy Store.


She took her first solo hour to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2016 and has returned every year since with her latest show, Victim, Complex selling out in 2018, including all extra performances and 2019 will see Kiri tour the UK with her third hour including London's Soho Theatre.


Her biggest chance at hitting the mainstream is Amusical, the monthly comedy night she hosts with Jayde Adams (see above) in which comedians are taken out of their comfort zone and made to sing songs from musicals in front of a live audience.


The show which has become an annual Edinburgh tradition for me, was picked up by Comedy Central who filmed a pilot in 2018. No official word yet on whether or not there's a series but having been to Amusical a number of times, I can't see any reason why this show shouldn't translate well to television. So I'm keeping my fingers crossed!


Want to see Kiri live? She'll be appearing at the Soho Theatre in London with Victim, Complex from 18th to 23rd February and you can book tickets here. You can also try and book tickets for the almost sold-out Amusical show on 30th January here.




Lauren Pattison


25-year-old comedian Lauren Pattison made her debut at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2017 with a sold out run of Lady Muck, which earnt her a Best Newcomer nomination at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards. In 2018, she returned to Edinburgh with her second show Peachy, which once again sold out and was widely praised by audiences and critics alike.


It's looking ever more likely that Lauren will not be returning to the Fringe in 2019, which means fans will have to wait a little bit longer for her third hour. When I last interviewed Lauren, she mentioned how she'd like to do more television in a bid to raise her profile. That was six months ago and so far I only recall seeing her on Comedy Central At The Comedy Store. So c'mon television producers, book Lauren now!


With her endearing Geordie accent, Lauren's natural warmth, charm and ability to make an audience laugh is every television producer's dream so when Live at the Apollo inevitably comes back around towards the end of 2019, I'd love to see her on the bill.




Sindhu Vee


Born in India and now living in London, comedian Sindhu Vee reached the finals of BBC's New Comedy Awards in 2016, appeared on Alan Davies: As Yet Entitled in 2017 and took her first solo show Sandhog to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2018 which sold out and I awarded five stars to.


She also made her debut on Mock The Week, performed part of her debut hour on Live at the Apollo, played a minor role in Karl Pilkington's Sky One sitcom Sick of It and stars in Tez Ilyas' Channel 4 comedy pilot Bountry which is available to watch now on All4.


Sindhu is an exciting new voice; assured, unfiltered and refreshing and Sandhog proved that she is a great storyteller, so every television channel should be knocking down her door to allow her to tell her story.


Want to see Sindhu live? Buy tickets to see Sandhog at the Soho Theatre here and book tickets for the rest of the tour here.




Stephen Bailey


Prior to 2018, comedian Stephen Bailey's television credits included Channel 5's It's not Me, It's You and Big Brother's Bit on the Side as ITV2's Safeword and CelebAbility.


But in 2018 as well as further appearances on Big Brother's Bit on the Side, Stephen hosted Channel 5 reality show Celebs on the Farm, became a regular on Zoe Ball on Saturday and Sunday, performed on Comedy Central at the Comedy Store, took part in Roast Battle UK and towards the end of the year landed his dream role playing MC of the Weatherfield Hairdresser Awards in Coronation Street.


Also in 2018, Stephen took his fifth show in as many years, Our Kid, up to the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, an hour which was a joy to watch from start to finish. His natural ability to tell stories and please a crowd is second-to-none and his cheeky, charming and charismatic style was deserving of the four stars I awarded him.


When I interviewed Stephen back in June he told me that he "definitely won't be back" in 2019. But with a UK tour planned for Spring, Celebrity 5 Go Camping starting Friday 5th January on Channel 5 and another series of Celebs on the..., Celebs on the Ranch to host, a year away fro Edinburgh is probably no bad thing.


Already Stephen has kicked off 2019 by announcing that he'll be joining Eamonn and Ruth on their Channel 5 series Do The Right Thing which returns Sunday at 9pm. I can't wait to see what else 2019 has in store for Stephen because if one thing's for sure it's that his star is shining very brightly indeed.


Want to see Stephen live? You can book tickets for Our Kid here.




Suzi Ruffell


If I had done this list in 2018, one name which would definitely have been included is Suzi Ruffell. Her fourth Edinburgh Festival Fringe show in 2017, Keeping It Classy was a sellout hit and widely considered her best show yet by audiences and critics alike.


In 2018 she took her fifth hour, Nocturnal, to Edinburgh and is on the brink of breaking through after making her debut on Mock The Week, fronting her own BBC stand-up special, appearing on every possible comedy show on Comedy Central including Roast Battle and rounding off the year by performing on Live at the Apollo.


When I interviewed Suzi in July, she told me how she's developing her podcast with Tom Allen, Like Minded Friends for television and revealed that she's got a sitcom in development with former housemate and fellow comedian Jenny Bede.


As a fan of the podcast and an admirer of Suzi's stand-up I'd love nothing more than for at least one of these projects to really pick up traction in 2019 and for Suzi to become the household name she deserves to be.


Want to see Suzi live? She'll be touring the UK with Nocturnal from 1st February through to 25th May and you can book tickets here.



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