A BRADFORD comedian is now just one performance away from securing a place in the final of a national unsigned comedy competition.

Ben Peel, from Wibsey, has qualified for the semi-finals of the So You Think You’re Funny competition, after impressing judges earlier this year in the qualifying heats.

The 32-year-old will now appear at the prestigious Gilded Balloon venue during the Edinburgh Fringe Festival for the semi-finals on Friday, August 4.

Only one person will qualify for the final from this round, with the final being held a few weeks later.

The funnyman impressed the judges at his gig at the Angel Comedy Club in London in May, and said he was “ecstatic” when he was told he was through.

He said: “I’ve waited ages for the phone call, I even saw the judges posting online mentioning how they are putting through people from their live notes.

“Eventually they posted saying that our phones would call in the next 48 hours, and it was torment waiting for my phone to ring.

“When I got the call I was ecstatic. They said they would like to invite me to the next heat in Edinburgh at the Fringe, and that I have done exceedingly well to reach this stage.

“They said this has been an exceptional year and I had seen off some stiff competition to get through.”

The former Buttershaw High School student is currently working as a trainee distiller at a gin distillery in London, and received the call while he was at work.

“Naturally I screamed with joy, the people at work didn’t know what was going on,” he said.

“There has been an amazing buzz online, and I have got a lot of great admiration from all my friends, family and even beyond back in my home town of Bradford.

“I had people I have not seen since school, old friends, parents of friends, and friends of friends reach out and get in touch, and I want to thank everyone for their support so far.”

Past winners of the competition include comedic heavyweights such as Peter Kay, Lee Mack and David O’Doherty, and Mr Peel is hoping to follow in their footsteps when he appears at the Fringe.

If successful, he will secure a slot at the Fringe Festival and trips to perform at comedy festivals in Montreal, Canada and Bergen, Norway.