DAVE Bawden is now dreaming of swapping his day job for a career in comedy – after winning Manford’s Comedy Club New Act of the Year competition, in Northwich at the weekend.

The final of the competition took place on Sunday, June 30, at Northwich Memorial Court Theatre to a sell-out show of more than 500 people.

Dave, 29, who comes from Birkenhead and now lives in Ellesmere Port, is a marketing executive at a marine services company and beat nine other comics in the grand final hosted

by comedy superstar Jason Manford.

Over 250 hopeful comics applied to join the competition in December 2018, and after four regional heats followed by the semi-final in Blackpool, it was down to 10 finalists to battle it out in the Grand Final.

Making up the final 10 were Dave Bawden, Evaldas Karosas, Sian Davies, Matt Bragg, Horatio Gould, Usama Khan, Liam O’Brien, Sachin David Kumarendran, Carla Pol and Charlie Hopkinson.

Jason said: “One of the best things about having comedy clubs across the UK is that I get to see all the new exciting acts coming through the ranks.

“This competition has enabled us to give these new acts a bigger leg up. It was a brilliant evening with some fantastic comedy. Well done to everyone who took part.”

As the winner, Dave received a trophy, takes home £1,000 and will be given progression spots with Jason Manford’s comedy clubs. Plus he will be a guest on Jason’s Sunday morning Absolute Radio show.

Runner-up, former Maths teacher, Charlie Hopkinson, who received £250 and also the chance to progress with Manford’s comedy club, was astounded, as he had been entered into the final at the last moment as a Wild Card and impressed the judges and audience with his hilarious impersonations.

The special recognition of ‘one to watch out for’ was awarded to Usama Khan from Bradford, as he had the crowd in hysterics with his punchy and controversial style of humour.

Also performing on the night was the legendary Raymond and Mr Timpkins Revue who simply have to be seen to be believed. They are without a doubt the maddest and funniest double act of comedians on the circuit. They kept everyone entertained while the audience vote was being counted backstage.

Dave was finally announced as the winner after deliberations from the esteemed judges, which included John Thomson (Cold Feet, The Fast Show) Jason Manford and the audience themselves.