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Amnesty International's Secret Policeman's Ball 2012 starts search for next British comedy star

A budding British comedian will win a spot on the great stage at Radio City Music Hall in NYC for the Secret Policeman's Ball

An aspiring British comedian will win the chance to perform the gig of their life at this year’s Secret Policeman’s Ball at Radio City Music Hall in New York City. A new competition to land ‘The World’s Shortest Gig’ launched by Amnesty International will give an up-and-coming comic a place on the bill at the biggest comedy show in the world – he or she just needs to be very funny for 15 seconds.

Aspiring UK comedians who think they’ve got what it takes to appear alongside the stellar line-up can upload a clip of their funniest 15 seconds to the Secret Policeman’s Ball Facebook page. The winner will find themselves in front of over 5000 comedy fans at Radio City Music Hall on Sunday 4 March 2012.

The entries will be shortlisted by a panel, which is chaired by author and journalist Caitlin Moran, alongside comedian Peter Serafinowicz who will be appearing in the show, actor and writer Simon Bird, comedian Andi Osho, 11-time Emmy Award winning writer of The Daily Show David ‘DJ’ Javerbaum, who is head writer at this year’s Secret Policeman’s Ball, and Amnesty International’s Maggie Paterson. The public will then be asked to vote for the ultimate winner on The Secret Policeman's Facebook page .

Chair of the panel Caitlin Moran said: “Being the chair of this panel, and scanning the skies for the next generation of comedians, is the sexiest admin I’ve EVER done. MAKE ME LAUGH. Tip: I still find poo very funny. Also the word ‘face’.”

Since John Cleese and friends first brought together a star-studded mix of comedians and rock stars in 1976, the legendary Amnesty International show has showcased the best of British talent. The winner will be flown to New York to perform their 15 second piece on stage at the Ball on March 4th.

Judge Peter Serafinowicz said: “Being funny, clever and charismatic in just 15 seconds is a massive challenge for any budding comedy performer, but at least it’s not 14 seconds, and I’m looking forward to judging the efforts of others and uncovering the UK stars who will headline future Balls.”

The competition is open to entries from right now until 3.00pm 20 February 2012. Once the submissions are shortlisted by the panel, it will be up to the general public to vote for the eventual winner. Voting will open from 23 until 27 February.

To find out more visit The Secret Policeman’s Ball Facebook page where you can upload your entry, see the latest entries and vote on the final shortlist, and follow The Secret Policeman on Twitter to keep up to date with news. 

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