REMEMBER the name Sarah Mann, because the Cowley comic has been tipped for stardom after being named as one of the UK's funniest new comedians at the Edinburgh Fringe.

The Oxford comic narrowly missed out on the top prize prestigious So You Think You're Funny? competition, which has helped launch the careers of big names like Lee Mack, Peter Kay and Miles Jupp.

With a routine about the possibility of being asexual and the agony when a white lie gets out of hand, the 33-year-old came second to Yorkshire-based Maisie Adams, but still won £1,500 for being first runner up and received plaudits celebrity judges including TV panel show star David Doherty.

The freelance musician, who plays the trombone, said: "It's still sinking in really. It's really exciting but quite surreal, the standard was so high and I was just happy to be there to be honest.

"I haven't thought about plans for the future yet other than carrying on with standup and seeing where it goes."

There is clearly something in the water, because the comic was joined in the final by fellow Oxford comedian Jamie D'Souza, who impressed with a pun-filled set.

The pair are alumni of Oxford's open mic night, which runs every Thursday at the James Street Tavern from 8pm.

Ms Mann said: "Standup is something I've always wanted to do but I'd go through periods where I'd do a gig and then take months off. It was only when I found an open mic night in Oxford that I felt more comfortable and it was more like mucking about with friends."

Organiser and fellow comedian Matthew Chadourne added: "I set it up in February because there is an amazing amount of talent in the city but there was no weekly open mic for comics to try out jokes and perform new material. I really wanted to grow the comedy scene."

The 39-year-old, who is originally from New Jersey, continued: "Sarah, especially, has been a regular and from the first time she showed up she had great jokes and writing. I'm totally unsurprised that she did so well."

"We're getting a lot of people coming in who, even if they're not perfect right now, show a lot of potential and I can see many more of them going on to do as well as Sarah and Jamie."

Since it began in 1988, So You Think You’re Funny? has kick-started the careers of dozens of the country’s top comics including Dylan Moran, Peter Kay, Aisling Bea, Miles Jupp and Lee Mack.

The competition starts in March with showcases countrywide and is open to new acts, who have not been performing regularly since the previous September.

Last year there were over 500 applicants for only 70 places.

Each heat is one and a half hours long with each stand-up allowed eight minutes to win over the judges and the audience. The heats are not a direct competition, with judges instead selecting the best acts they have seen over the entire run to take part in one of seven heats at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, with the chance to go through to the final.

The final, this year held on August 24 at The Gilded Balloon, Edinburgh, was attended by members of the public, talent scouts, agents and celebrities.

Fancy giving stand-up a go yourself? Why not get up on stage at the next Gin n'Jokes night at Turl Street Kitchen on Wednesday?

Jamie D'Souza in action:

I haven’t done any New Year’s resolutions this year because last year I became a vegan, which is quite a big one.

Which is weird because I don’t even think I’m an animal lover. I mean, I wouldn’t have shot the gorilla but I would have put the cat in the bin.

The reason I became a vegan was for Veganuary. It’s one of those things where you stop doing stuff because of a pun.

I hate them, I’ve done so many.

Last year I did Stoptober, Movember and BNP March. They weren’t happy about it.