HAMPSHIRE has the funniest students in Britain. And that is official.

Earlier this year 19-year-old Southampton student Hannah George was crowned queen of the laughs.

Hannah, who is doing a degree in comedy writing at Southampton Solent University, scooped the award after taking part in the Paramount Comedy on Tap search for a rising UK funny man or woman.

Her battle of wits was against scores of would-be comediennes at London's world-famous Comedy Store.

Now completing Hamp-shire's comedy double triumph is master of mirth, 20-year-old Tom Deacon.

The former Barton Peveril College student produced a side-splitting performance to win the national Student Comedy Awards, staged at the renowned Pleasance venue in Edinburgh during the recent Fringe Festival.

His five-minute set, which was hailed as brilliant, covered subjects such as walking round Edinburgh, criminals on healthy diets and the quirky lyrics of an Australian rap group.

Tom said: " It is really overwhelming to win.

"There was a great atmosphere and the crowd were really behind me which gave me a big boost."

Among those in the audience was Barton Peveril's performing arts tutor Debbie Hewett, who taught Tom.

Full of praise for her star pupil, she said: "The whole audience really warmed to Tom's on-stage charisma and acutely observed idiosyncrasies of everyday life.

"He has always been a fine mimic and actor with excellent comic timing and as a result he packed a lot into his allotted spot."

Currently studying drama at Exeter University, Tom has been a stand-up comedian for several years.

Tom's prize for winning the Student Comedy Awards is the chance to compete on the global stage. Next year he will be appearing at Yuk Yuk's Great Canadian Laugh Off in Toronto.

Meanwhile he has been back to Barton Peveril, rolling out his quickfire humour during a special set at the college's prizegiving.