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News: Newcastle-based poet Scott Tyrrell wins BBC Poetry Slam

Newcastle-based poet Scott Tyrrell wins BBC Poetry Slam

South Shields-born Scott Tyrrell, a Stand-Up Poet and Graphic Designer, has just won the BBC Edinburgh Fringe Poetry Slam Grand Final. The BBC Slam is now the most diverse and most coveted Poetry Slam in the UK, with the widest national and regional representation of UK Poetry.

This year alone the competition featured a World champion, a European champion, 7 national champions and the Roundhouse champion. The competition has been running over the festival in a series of heats to decide which poets would make the final four competitors, who battled it out on Saturday night in a packed BBC Festival tent. The event was streamed live on BBC Arts via the iPlayer. The Final featured excellent established performance poets Dan Simpson, Paula Varjack, Toby Campion and of course, Scott Tyrrell. The event was put together by Spoken Word artist and Slam host, Sophia Walker – herself a previous BBC Slam winner.

The Grand Final featured three rounds; in the first each poet had just 3 minutes to wow the judges (who comprised of five esteemed figures from the UK Spoken Word and poetry publishing scene). The judges scored the poets from 0-10 on performance, writing and audience response. In the second round the lowest scoring poet was dropped and the three remaining poets battled it out again, with another 3 minute poem. In the final round Scott and Toby Campion went head to head.

It was close but Scott pipped it by just 0.3 of a point.

Scott is multiple poetry slam winner, award-winning comedian and graphic designer. He has been writing and performing poetry for 15 years and was a founding member of the legendary Tyneside poetry troupe, the Poetry Vandals. He has represented Newcastle/Gateshead in three major national Poetry Slams and won. He lives and works in Newcastle with his wife, stepdaughter and son.

This has been a great year for Scott - winning both The Great Northern Slam at Northern Stage earlier in the year and the UK Anti-Slam Championship at The Roundhouse in London. (The Anti-Slam is a tongue-in-cheek national competition in which established spoken word artists battle it out to be the worst poet in the UK). So Scott is now technically one of the best and worst performance poets in Britain! Scott was also official Blogger for the poetry tent at Glastonbury this year. 

The Full 2015 BBC Poetry Slam on BBC iPlayer:

The UK Spoken Word scene has exploded over the last decade, with vibrant scenes across the whole of the UK including Edinburgh, London, Manchester, Bristol, York and Newcastle, and is growing into a formidable poetry scene. The likes of Kate Tempest (Mercury Prize winner) and huge talents Hollie McNish, Dizraeli and Luke Wright and Kate Fox have been among those leading the charge to establish Spoken Word as an art form that’s here to stay in the UK.

Young poets from all over Britain and Ireland are finding an outlet for their talents as writers and performers, particularly in Slam competitions – an idea which started in Chicago decades ago and has become an international approach to inject real energy and competition into what has been traditionally a very bookish art form. Anything to do with Spoken Word goes with Slam. So comedy, rap, drama, beat poetry and storytelling are all allowed - and encouraged - which is why slams nearly always feature a diverse range of literary talent.

Slammers are wanted for an event in Newcastle in November – see


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