Bethnal Green comic is five minutes away from prestigious award

Bethnal Green comedian David Mills is preparing for the most important five minutes of stand-up he could ever perform.

The American-born comic, who mixes cabaret-style storytelling in with his laughs, is just one stellar set away from being named the New Act of the Year at the Barbican Theatre on Saturday.

The prestigious competition, which has shifted this year from its traditional home at the Hackney Empire, has previously launched the careers of comedians Stewart Lee, Ronni Ancona and Linda Smith and Russell Brand, Simon Pegg and Catherine Tate have all appeared as finalists.

David, 42, who lives in Wilmot Street, said: “I’m nervous but I can’t wait.

“A lot of great people started by winning it but then some disappear without a trace.


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“I just want to enjoy it because I might never step on stage at the Barbican again.”

Having been chosen from 150 entrants, only 13 other comics stand in the way of David and glory.

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His act has been honed from over 10 years of cabaret performing and a shift to stand-up a year ago at venues including the Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club and the Bistrotheque in Poplar.

He said: “I used to perform next to a piano player but I dropped him because he got too expensive.

“But I kept the stool and the stories. “It’s old-school.

“Nowadays a lot of comics look like they’ve just got out of bed but I like to go on in a really sharp suit.”

Tickets for the final cost between �10 and �26.

To book visit barbican.org.uk or call 020 7638 8891.

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