Audience can’t help but laugh at comedy rookies

David Throssell with comedian Alfie Moore
David Throssell with comedian Alfie Moore
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It might have been a charity event, but all the laughs were genuine as eight amazing volunteers did stand-up in front of hundreds of people after just 10 hours’ training.

Each one took the stage and delivered a turn worthy of a professional comedy club. It was testament to their abilities and expert mentoring over five weeks.

Funny Business at Sheffield City Hall’s Memorial Hall is perhaps the most daunting charity challenge yet - tougher than a double marathon and scarier than a skydive.

Yet all eight - Tracey Cheetham, Nigel Short, Mick Lee, Matt Morris, Martin Miles Moore, David Throssell, Martin Loxley and Jim Richardson - pulled it off, raising more than £20,000 for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity.

Comedian Alfie Moore returned as mentor for the third year.

He said: “I told them, ‘don’t come with any preconceived ideas about your comedy persona, you have no idea what it is going to be until you start to practise’.”

David Throssell, medical director of Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, was the winner.

His deadpan delivery and surreal observations had the audience in stitches.

Meanwhile, orthopaedic surgeon, Matt Morris, joked: “How do you hide £10 from a locum? Put it in the patient’s notes.”

Royal Air Force physio, Martin Miles Moore, started by asking the audience to stand, raise their hands and clap, before announcing he’d bet his boss £100 he could get a standing ovation in the first minute.

And Mick Lee, managing director of Constant Security, joked he’d been faithful to his wife for 46 years before declaring: “I love my house.”