No joke: Comedian Suzi Ruffell's search for funniest class was ‘tough job'

The primary school pupils who win the Beano competition will be turned into characters and feature in the comic in late June.

Comedian Suzi Ruffell has said judging the jokes in the Beano’s nationwide search for Britain’s funniest class was a “tough job”.

The annual competition, now in its fourth year, challenged primary school children across the UK to write original jokes.

Members of the winning class will be turned into characters and feature in the comic in late June, as well as winning Beano subscriptions and books.

Created in partnership with children’s mental health charity YoungMinds, the initiative aimed to “lift classroom spirits and help build resilience” while inspiring the next generation of comedy writers.

Ruffell, 36, said: “I am so excited to be a part of this year’s competition – it’s such an incredible opportunity for kids to find their inner comedian and let their imaginations run wild in true Beano style.

“Judging the jokes was a tough job and now it’s over to the public to decide who will appear in the comic with me!”

Hundreds of entries from across the UK were whittled down by head judge Ruffell and the Beano team to a shortlist of 10 finalists, with the winner to be decided through a public vote online.

Mike Stirling, director of mischief at Beano Studios, said: “Now in our fourth year of Britain’s Funniest Class, we’re honoured to have Suzi and her many comedy gongs join us as head judge.

“At Beano we know the power of a good laugh and are very proud to work with YoungMinds on an initiative that grows in importance for kids each year.

“The jokes were, as ever, incredible, and I’m very pleased it’s up to the public to pick our winner – I don’t know how they’ll choose!”

2021 British LGBT Awards – London
Suzi Ruffell was head judge for the Beano’s Britain’s Funniest Class competition (Jonathan Brady/PA)

Olly Parker, head of external affairs at YoungMinds, said: “We’re delighted to continue our initiative with Beano to find Britain’s Funniest Class for another year.

“Laughing together can help children build relationships, cope with challenges and express themselves, and we hope the lessons plans downloaded by hundreds of schools have helped students have important, healthy conversations about their mental health.”

The winning group of 2021 were Class 5B from Forthill Primary School in Dundee with their joke “What did the face mask say to the face? I’ll cover you.”

In 2020, when schools were shut due to the pandemic, the competition became Britain’s Funniest Family, with the Millers from Ipswich taking home the trophy for their video of lockdown life.

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