Tirbutt, who performs stand-up comedy under the stage name ‘Ed de Cantor’, was named the winner of the event at TV channel Dave’s Leicester Comedy Festival in association with Silver Comedy, the specialist comedy organisation that works specifically with older people.
Judges were particularly impressed by his clever wordplay, impressive stage presence and confident delivery. Tirbutt formerly performed stand-up regularly in the late 1990’s and decided to recommence his comedy career after seeing many people he used to gig alongside go on to become household names. In addition to a £500 first prize, Tirbutt’s winner’s package includes follow up gigs and career advice from industry professionals. Some previous winners have gone on to forge distinguished careers in the comedy business.
Tirbutt says “I am the type of comedian who bombards you with carefully crafted jokes with punchlines as opposed to trying to be too observational. This is more by necessity than choice because whenever I’ve tried my hand at observational humour during comedy courses I’ve done it has always been greeted with deafening silence. In the 1990s I think it is fair to say that I was a better gag writer than performer but this time around I have felt a lot more relaxed when performing.
“Being a freelance journalist, I am fortunate in being able to work flexible enough hours to allow me to get to gigs all around the country. This is the highest accolade that someone of my age can possibly win in the comedy world, and I am so grateful to Silver Comedy for giving me the break. I really hope that it leads to me getting more paid work and higher profile gigs. I am already starting to get enquiries about doing spots at private parties and industry functions. However, I have never even considered giving up the day job. Once a journalist, always a journalist. It’s in the blood!”