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The Independent Culture

New Act of the Year Final 96 Arthur Smith (right), the world's finest MC, hosts this influential competition, which has previously been won by Ardal O'Hanlon, now starring as the hilariously dim Dougal in Father Ted. Finalists - whittled down from an original 150 - include the gloriously- named Cornish Patsy and Hovis Presley. Hackney Empire, London E8 (0181- 985 2424) Sat

Jenny Eclair The comic who celebrated her Perrier Award as "a blow for womanhood, for cellulite, for bodies that are falling apart everywhere" ends her scabrous tour which has done nothing to change her image as Britain's most outrageous woman. Cardiff Sherman (01222 230451) Sat; Bristol Old Vic (0117-987 7877) Sun

The Great Off the End of the Pier Show Rory Bremner makes a foray onto the live stage to present this benefit for the Family Holiday Association. The impressive bill includes likeable observational comedian Alan Davies, professional yob Keith Allen, clever poet John Hegley and the ineffable Prunella Scales. Hackney Empire, London E8 (0181-985 2424) Sun