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Lady HaHa: Meet the finalists!

By Theresa Caney
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Lady HaHa: Meet the finalists!

lady haha Lady HaHa: Meet the finalists! Wow – Company readers are a funny bunch. Funny \'HaHa\', obvs! We were inundated with entried to our fabulous competition and after long deliberation, we have selected eight budding stand-ups for our March 19 workshop, in London, run in association with Funny Women. Meet our Ladies HaHa...\r\n

Chelsea Herbert, 20, from Leicester

lady haha gallery \"I’ve always felt destined to perform in some way, but being an actress and learning scripts just seemed like too much hard work. Too much dieting too! When I moved to uni in Birmingham, I knew nobody and making people laugh is how I made friends. I saw this competition in Company and thought – aha! This is actually something I can do! My fave joke is the first joke I I remember telling. A classic! Knock Knock. Who’s there? Boo. Boo who? Stop crying, it’s just a joke! Er, gets me every time.\"\r\n

Danna Wills, 25, from London

lady haha gallery \"I\'ve always enjoyed making people laugh but realised I wanted to be a stand-up when I went to the Edinburgh Festival a couple of years ago. I saw a bunch of really bad comedians which made me think \'if they can do it, I can too!\' Gina Yashere has had a big influence on me, and I also love Terry Alderton - he\'s bloody brilliant! My funniest joke? I was so fat at school, kids used to smoke behind my arse when the bike shed burnt down.\"\r\n

Ellie Taylor, 27, from Basildon

lady haha gallery \"Best joke? I grew up living the ‘Essex Girl’ punchline. I got into comedy a year ago, after watching one of my friends at an open mic night. It made me think, ‘If she can do that, then so can I’. So I did. I don’t like swearing in public and material is observational. I try to keep things topical and varied, meaning I’ll be chatting about the fall of the Egyptian government in one breath, vajazzling the next. Victoria Wood is my hero - each word is chosen with such precision. She inspired me to be a better writer, and in turn, a kick-ase comic.\"

Lisa Thompson, 24, from Edinburgh

lady haha gallery \"I’m from Edinburgh - the Festival City, where so many stand-ups started their careers. My own first gig was in Inverness, at a drama conference, because I have a weird obsession with facing my fears. I put a positive spin on the embarrassing bits of my life. Some of my favourite comedians are Eddie Izzard, Bill Bailey and Josie Long.\"\r\n

Zahra Barri, 25, from Bristol

lady haha gallery \"I got into comedy through my acting degree at Bretton Hall. They encouraged me to write my own characters and I discovered I had a flair for stand-up. My comic idols are Catherine Tate, Russell Brand and Keith Lemon! I don’t know about my favourite joke - there’s one about a chicken crossing the road but it ends badly and it ain’t funny. For me, it’s not about jokes, it’s about quick wit. If someone says you’re big headed, tell them your not big-headed, you’re small-minded. You’ve measured your head and it’s below the average, so there!\"\r\n

Arna Spek, 27, from Amsterdam

lady haha gallery \"My last name Spek actually in Dutch means Bacon, but I suggest we keep that a secret. I got into comedy at university. I found out I really like it when people laugh at me, so stand-up seemed perfect. My comedy idols are Bill Connelly, Bill Bailey, Stuart Lee and Jo Brand. One of my funniest jokes is when people ask me: ‘So, you’re from Holland. Do you wear clogs?’ I answer: ‘Yes of course. You see, I live in a windmill and every day I step on my bicycle, go through fields of tulips on my way to the red light district to say hello to my mum. That’s a bit rude, isn\'t it? Actually it’s my aunt.’\"\r\n

Caraid Lloyd, 28, from London

lady haha gallery \"I got into comedy through acting and also having inspiring friends who were doing stand-up. I started going to gigs and got swept up in writing my own stuff. Then some mates asked me to do their gig, and it went from there. My comedy idols are Kirsten Schaal, Tony Law, Julia Davis. My funniest joke involves loose women, the Russian revolution and a schoolchild. It’s a really brilliant one. I also wear a great jumper when I tell it.\"\r\n

Bianca Arlette, 30, from London

lady haha gallery \"After having been bitten by the comedy bug in childhood, I was drawn to stand-up myself and have done over 100 open spots at venues such as Downstairs at the pubs all over the country. My material so far is mainly based around my reasons for leaving my home in Switzerland and living in Britain. I love Adam Hills for his natural style and Steve Hughes for his intelligent political paranoia. One of my favourite jokes is: My favourite thing about British Transport are those announcements you get at least once a week somewhere on London Underground saying ‘Tthis service is currently being delayed due to a passenger under the train’. If he’s under the train does he really still count as a passenger?\"\r\n

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