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Rose Matafeo takes out Billy T award

By Jessica Beresford

Published: 12:55PM Monday May 20, 2013 Source: ONE News

New Zealand comedian Rose Matafeo has taken out this year's Billy T award for her show in the 2013 NZ International Comedy Festival.

The Rose Matafeo Variety Hour was one of more than 100 shows in the festival, showcasing local and international comedic talent, which came to a close last night.

The U Live host said it was a surprise to win because of the "incredible" talent of the nominees she was up against, including Tom Furniss, Eli Matthewson, Pax and Joseph Moore.

"The nominees had some of my favourite shows of the competition, so I was stoked that people thought I was as good as them.

"I had so much fun this year, and I think that meant the audience had fun too, and then I tricked them into giving me an award."

Named after late New Zealand comedian Billy T, the award is an initiative from the New Zealand Comedy Trust to recognise up-and-comers.

A spokesperson for the festival said the nominees were selected for their comedic talent, dedication, current form and potential, and that Matafeo had now joined the "who's who" of New Zealand comedy.

Matafeo said her show this year was very different to last year's show, Scout's Honour, for which she was also nominated for the award.

"I decided I wanted to do a show with all the things I find funny, and there's perhaps not even a point to the show, but I'm just going to stand up on stage and do an hour of jokes."

"A lot of my humour in last year's show was very self-deprecating. Maybe this year I got a weird boost in confidence."

Performing had become a lot easier, Matafeo said, since her first stand-up show six years ago.

"I look back at jokes that I did when i was 16 or 17, and think 'why on earth did do that? That was a terrible joke'.

"Back then I was just doing an impersonation of a comedian, and I think I've come a long way since then in the fact that I'm writing material that I quite like."

The comedian said she wanted to continue doing stand-up, but said she also wanted to use it as a launching pad for other projects.

"I love writing and I'd love to write a show or a movie or a book."

However, Matafeo said if that failed, she always had the option of moving to Palm Springs and becoming a Barbra Streisand impersonator.