The RTÉ Two New Comedy Awards continue next Tuesday with another fistful of funny folk looking to take the inaugural crown.
This nationwide search runs over five weeks as 25 of the best new stand-up acts in Ireland perform in The Sugar Club, Dublin for a place in the final. The winner will receive a trophy and €5,000 prize money.
Hosted by Republic of Telly stars Jennifer Maguire and Bernard O’Shea, the next five comedians up include Anna Ryan – who freely admits that her journey to the Sugar Club isn’t part of some master plan.
“I was doing a set in Blackrock one night after work and I happened to meet a bunch of people who were doing some stuff for RTÉ, and they told me about it,” she recalls. “And basically, within a week, I was down in the Sugar Club recording.”
Working full-time in advertising (that would’ve got the late, great Bill Hicks going), Anna was surprised to discover how much stand-up grew on her and offered an alternate view of life.
“I initially was doing it for the craic because I really enjoyed it, and it was a way for me to stop being passive-aggressive,” she says.
“And then the more you do it the more you realise that there’s a whole community of people who – it’s not just something they do for two hours of an evening, they actually make a living out of it.
“The more you see of it, the more contagious it becomes. You start thinking: ‘This is exactly what I want to do. These people are amazing.’”
Ryan makes her TV debut Tuesday on RTÉ Two New Comedy Awards. Does this mean champagne and canapés for 20 or a bottle of Chardonnay and a night alone with her cat?
“I’m sort of in two minds about Tuesday,” Anna admits. “There’s a part of me that’s going: ‘Oh God! I don’t want a whole crowd of people because it’s strange.’
“But no doubt there’ll be a bunch of people coming over. But they’ll all be just taking the piss out of me anyway.”
Click here to see Anna Ryan’s performance - and those of all 25 contestants - on the RTÉ Two New Comedy Awards.