Published on: 26/06/2011 07:20 PMReported by: editor
The winner of Radio 2's New Comedy Award says she has no fear in coming home to perform in front of Kent's toughest audiences.
Angela Barnes, 34, scooped the prize at a ceremony last weekend and is now looking forward to returning to the town where she grew up andndash; Maidstone andndash; which was recently voted by 100 famous stand-ups as the third most hostile in the UK.
Goofy comic Alan Carr had previously labelled the town's audiences as "homophobic, narrow-minded morons".
But Angela, whose first performance was in November, 2009, says the majority of her experiences in front of Kent's live audiences have been positive so far.
She said: "I've done two gigs in Maidstone, both were open mic nights. They're always a bit dodgy so I can't really blame the town as a whole.
"The first at Drakes was lovely but the second at the Druid's Arms was a bit more difficult.
"It was Easter Sunday, everyone had been drinking and it got pretty rowdy in there.
"But I love gigging in Kent. What's nice is that the majority of crowds want to be entertained and are on your side, as opposed to London audiences, who are spoilt for choice and come wanting to be impressed."
Angela, who attended Invicta Grammar School but now lives in Brighton, picked up the New Comedy Award at a ceremony hosted by Irish comic Patric Kielty.
To get there she had to fight her way through the regional heats and a semi-final before beating five other hopefuls in a public vote.
Stand-up talents Sarah Millican and Stephen K Amos were among those in attendance.
Angela said: "I nearly didn't enter the competition at all so it was a massive shock to win.
"I really hope I can get my foot in the door now and perform at clubs and gigs I wouldn't have been able to before.
"What I really want to do is radio comedy. I've always been a massive Radio 4 nerd and the News Quiz is great. Linda Smith was my hero, so to follow in bher footsteps would be an absolute dream."
Angela, who also works as a freelance proofreader, copy-writer and transcriber, describes her comedy style as "self-deprecating but not in a depressing way".
But she is also not averse to poking fun at her home town, as was demonstrated during her set at the Brighton heat of the New Comedy Award.
She asked the audience: "Any- one know Maidstone? It's a hole isn't it. It's no coincidence that an anagram of Maidstone is 'I am stoned'. Nothing else to do andndash; just anagrams."
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