AN aspiring comedian from North Devon has won a national competition to find the UK's best new stand-up.
Adam Skuse, from Beaworthy, only started doing stand-up comedy this year, while living in China.
Despite his inexperience he has been named as one of three winners in the Stand Up and Get Heard competition, organised by audiobooks publisher AudioGO.
Skuse, 33, impressed competition judges with a two-minute recording of his “outrageous” stand-up routine, which has been described as “scatological” and “Freudian”.
He will now follow in the footsteps of comedians such as Tim Vine, Al Murray and Lee Mack by getting the chance to professionally record his set.
Skuse, a freelance editor, said: “I've barely been doing stand-up for half a year so I would in no way call it a career, nor would I even have the gall to call myself a comedian.
“I started out by doing open-mic while living in Shanghai, which has a small but dedicated stand-up scene.
“It was inspiring and daunting in equal measure, but I got up and it went reasonably well, and I've been plugging away ever since.”
AudioGO launched its Stand Up and Get Heard competition in July to mark its sponsorship of the Pleasance Theatre during the Edinburgh Fringe festival, which ran throughout August.
To enter, budding comedians had to submit an audio recording of up to two minutes in length of their best original stand-up routine.
The first prize was an all-expenses trip to Edinburgh to see a comedy show of their choice during the Edinburgh Festival.
The the top three entrants got to visit the AudioGO studios in Bath to have their act professionally recorded.
Skuse, who counts comedy heroes including Bill Hicks, Steve Coogan and Chris Morris among his influences, admits that his comedy style is still evolving.
But the Devon funny-man says that he is enjoying honing his performance for its own sake, rather than in an attempt to make a full-time career out of comedy.
He said: “I'm genuinely approaching it as an end in itself. I don't think I've developed a style yet but it's still early days, and part of the fun as you gain confidence is having the nerve to try different approaches.
“I would really like to increase the number of gigs I'm doing, pay my dues and do the grind that will hopefully let me develop my confidence, delivery and material."
A spokesperson for AudioGO said Adam’s comedy talent “stood out from the crowd”.
Nick Steel, director of the annual Bath Comedy Festival, said of the risqué material: “Adam shows no fear as he systematically empties the taboo cupboard."