Laughing all the way to the top

BRITAIN'S funniest new comedian is a Calderdale welder, elected by the viewers of TV series "Stand Up Britain".

Lea Roberts, 36, of Watkinson Road, Holmfield, Halifax, scooped the title, trophy, and 7,000 prize money last night after beating off stiff competition from six other acts.

Viewers of the live final on ITV1, presented by Ed Byrne, phoned in to vote for their favourite act.

Having won the public over, Lea said he would like to use the cash to pay for a second, more lavish church wedding and reception after marrying his wife Sally, 34, in a register office.

He said: "I'm in shock I never thought people would be voting for me. I don't know if I'll be giving up the day job. I've only got three minutes' worth of material. I've done a bit of after dinner speaking but that's all."

Lea was up against six other comedians who were whittled down from the 144 comics who competed in the final of the contest at the Granada Studios in Manchester.

As part of the prize Lea now has a chance to work with Granada to bring his act back onto the small screen.

Sean Miller, producer of "Stand Up Britain", said: "They only had three minutes each to showcase their act and the added pressure of doing a live show meant that the event was a very big test of their ability to cope with the highest performance pressure.

"Lea did really well and thoroughly deserved the trophy and cheque for 7,000. This gives him the chance to use the show as a platform for future stardom."