Rosco Mcclelland wins Scottish Comedian of the Year

Scotland’s finest underground comedic talent contributed to a good cause at the 2016 Scottish Comedian of the Year final.

Feature by Holly Callender | 29 Nov 2016
  • Rosco Mcclelland

Rosco Mcclelland was announced Scottish Comedian of the Year 2016 at the final, held at Glasgow's Barrowlands.

Mcclelland’s gravelly and animated onstage presence impressed the judges and emitted continuous laughter from the audience. His set’s main story of an argument with his girlfriend regarding a Facebook photo from a night out was intertwined with punchlines and audience interaction before reaching a satisfying finale. Coupling this with naturally humorous delivery and surreal observations of Glasgow’s citizens, it made for a remarkable performance.

"This is one of the nicest things that’s ever happened to me and I am so grateful," he said, shortly after receiving the grand prize of £1,000, alongside a trip to Australia and an Edinburgh Fringe run. "It’s a privilege, and I hope I can make people proud. This is cool."

Host Des Clarke kept up the night’s pizzazz, with some topical Trump material presented in his usual energetic manner. Ally Houston and Stuart McPherson were awarded joint third place, with a sharply dressed Houston offering up a memorably bizarre set, including his qualms of growing up posh and a song about a heroin-addled unicorn; while McPherson divulged he was dry like white wine, and pondered what the other half of Semi-Chem is.

Leo Kearse placed second and though his material on shopping in Lidl and being tall arguably could have pushed the envelope a little more, his solid presence and strong delivery commanded the stage.

2016’s SCOTY finalists were all of a decent standard, making it a tough competition on the night. Newcomers are drawn to the award due to its open entry heats, and as such it tends to offer a platform to comedians without television appearances and sold-out arena tours. Despite this, this year's line-up sadly lacked diversity with all only white men on the bill.

Donations on the Door

In an innovative move, organisers Haha Comedy substituted paid tickets for foodbank and toy donations at the door. Instead of paying a flat fee, attendees reserved tickets and brought either food, a goodie-filled shoebox, or a Christmas toy.

Alan Anderson, SCOTY organiser said, "It was a spectacular result with the donations. It seemed the right thing to do as the Awards fell on Black Friday this year. It’s nice to counteract the impulsive spending and commercialism of the festive period, while making sure a lot of kids will be better off this winter.

"Our team were inspired by comedian Dave Johns (star of Ken Loach's critically acclaimed new film I, Daniel Blake). We’re all friendly with him, and he emphasised how many struggling families there are out there. We’re very pleased with our effort."

The Scottish Comedian of the Year Final was held at Barrowlands, Glasgow on Friday 25 Nov