This year’s SPARKies host, Bethany Black is a triple threat: comedian come actor come writer.

Bethany (pictured right) is no stranger to the stage and has an impressive repertoire behind her, having been in the business since 2004. She’s rubbed shoulders with the likes of Alan Carr, Sarah Millican, Tim Minchin, Rhys Darby – and even David Tennant! The latter of which she writes an amusing sketch about the time she was on the set of Doctor Who, on a spaceship with a gun and catches sight of David.

She has also enjoyed lots of success at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. Bethany’s new show UNWINNABLE was a huge hit and reeled in a host of 5- and 4-Star reviews.

Fest Mag says about the show, “Unwinnable’s greatest strength is that it feels effortlessly coherent… Black has the skill to readily incorporate up-to-date material into her act, and one gets the impression she would feel compelled to drop any routine which no longer resonated with her.”

It was clearly a stitch-inducing performance as The LGBTQ Arts Review says, “I went for an hour laughing at every other word.”

And Bethany was also cast as Helen in Russell T Davies multi-channel shows CUCUMBER, BANANA and TOFU where she was the first trans actor to play a leading role.

Her act has been dubbed Britain’s only goth, lesbian, transsexual stand-up comedian – she warns against attempting to pigeonhole her identity.

But the comedian’s job wasn’t always to make people laugh. Before her career in funny boomed, she was a techie herself! Presenting The SPARKies is a satisfying turn of events for her.

Bethany is looking forward to gracing the stage in front of the best tech heads in the South West, if not slightly dubious about our technical abilities, “I am so excited to be hosting this year’s SPARKie Awards. As someone who once had the most boring job in tech, alpha testing GUI’s for back end AS400 banking software and… zzz… sorry, I dosed off there just thinking about it.

Tech awards are always so exciting as you never know which bit of tech will fail on the night.  I once did one where they gave me a script on an iPad, and no sooner had I got on the stage in front of the 500+ industry bods, than the app with the script booted me and started to update itself. 

The quick thinking of the team got me a paper script… with 6 pages missing. So, I had to wing a 10-minute speech. It was exhilarating!” 

We’ve already assured her there won’t be an iPad in sight.

You can get your tickets now to see Bethany Black host The SPARKies at the Bath Assembly Rooms on 27 June. Until then, give her a follow on Twitter: @BeffernieBlack.

Shona Wright

Shona covers all things editorial at TechSPARK. She publishes news articles, interviews and features about our fantastic tech and digital ecosystem, working with startups and scaleups to spread the word about the cool things they're up to. She also oversees TechSPARK's social media, sharing the latest updates on everything from investment news to green tech meetups and inspirational stories.