A STAND-UP comedian from Blackburn has reached the semi-finals of a BBC Radio 2 competition.

Tez Ilyas, 28, hopes to follow in the footsteps of hometown hero Lee Mack by reaching the final of the 2011 New Comedy Award.

Originally from Whalley Range, the former St Barnabas Primary School and Witton Park High School pupil asked Lancashire Telegraph readers to vote for him online.

He was named in the top 12 out of 700 acts and will now compete at the next stage in Bath on Friday.

The former Lancashire Telegraph paperboy said: “There will be six comics, with three going through.

“I’m very happy and excited. Thanks for the support.”

You can find out more about his comedy at tez-the-comedian.co.uk or facebook.com/tezcomedy