A “wacky” local teaching assistant has made it to the final of a national comedy competition.

Candy Markham, 24, of High View Road, South Woodford, is in with the chance of winning the New Acts of the Year Showcase (NATYS) and will face 14 other hopefuls in a competition previously won by acts such as Julian Clary and Paul Merton.

After graduating from stage school, Miss Markham decided to pursue her dream of becoming a stand-up comedian alongside her day job as a teaching assistant in a special needs school. 

She said: “Comedy is what I want to do eventually - that would be the dream. At stage school I wanted to do musical theatre but after I graduated I realised comedy was what I enjoyed the most.”

Speaking of her style of comedy, Miss Markham describes her act as “wacky and completely out there.”

She said: “I start my act by coming onstage in a vintage wedding dress which used to belong to my mother and putting it over people’s heads.

“My act is really out there and completely mad.”

Miss Markham claims she still gets nervous before competitions and in front of larger audiences.

She said: “I’m looking forward to the competition and am really not concentrating on winning at all.

“I measure my success on how much I don’t mess it up.”

The final will take place at Bloomsbury Theatre, London, on January 26.