It's more than six months to next year's comedy festival, but the Billy T Award nominations for up-and-coming stand-ups have been announced.

The five in contention for the title to be announced at the festival's closing show in May are: Tom Furniss, Tevita Manukia, Rose Matafeo, TJ McDonald and Guy Williams.

The 2012 nominees won the judges over with a five-minute pitch of their show concept and a seven-minute set at a showcase at The Classic Comedy Club. They will be judged on all aspects of their 2012 Festival show, including marketing, promotion and production as well as performance. The winner will take home the prestigious Billy T yellow towel and a $2500 cash grant from the New Zealand Comedy Trust.

Of the nominees, Williams is probably best known for his supporting role on TV3's The Jono Project, which included posing as a pro-whaling lobbyist during an interview by Paul Henry on TVNZ's Breakfast.


Among the others, Tom Furniss was part of the team behind the winning entry in 2011's 48HOURS film contest.