A FUNNY thing happened to Lochwinnoch schoolboy Luca Samrai when he entered a joke-telling competition.

For the nine-year-old’s rib-tickler was chosen as one of just 18 to make the final shortlist.

And that led to Luca being invited to London to deliver his punchline in front of VIP guests.

More than 5,000 entries from children across the UK were received for the Voice Box contest, which is run by the Royal College of Speech and Language Therapists (RCSLT), in partnership with the National Association of Head Teachers.


Luca, who is a pupil at Lochwinnoch Primary, put a smile on judges’ faces by telling a joke about a tractor.

His reward was being named one of two runners-up, earning him a trophy and a £50 book voucher.

Primary five pupil Luca told The Gazette: “I go to Cubs and that was one of the jokes that people were telling. I just liked it as it’s quite funny.

“I told the joke to my class and they liked it and then it won best joke in the school, so it was sent into the competition.

“When I got a letter to say it had made the grand final and I could go to London, that was amazing. It was very different telling the joke in front of so many people.”

When asked if this marks the start of a budding comedy career, Luca said: “I like telling jokes but I don’t know if I’ll do it for a job.

“I really like watching Doctor Who, so maybe I could become The Doctor.”

Voice Box encourages pupils across the UK to develop their speech, language and communication skills and aims to remind people that there are children in every classroom who need support to help them speak and understand what is being said to them.

Pupils at Luca’s school got involved as nine-year-old Lochwinnoch girl Erin McAleer has a gran who works as a speech and language therapist.

Lochwinnoch Primary headteacher Julie Bell said: “We are always keen to make our pupils aspirations a reality, so I was delighted to support and encourage Erin when she suggested running the school competition, and we were all so excited when Luca won.

READ MORE: Here's Lochwinnoch pupil Luca Samrai's award winning joke in full

“I’m sure the trip to London was an experience that neither pupil will forget and we couldn’t be prouder of Erin and Luca for showing such enthusiasm and determination.”

Kamini Gadhok, RCSLT chief executive, added: “In every classroom there will be between two and three children with communication difficulties.

“The Voice Box competition helps teachers, children and parents to focus on the impact effective communication can have on a child’s social and emotional wellbeing.”

Read all the latest from Renfrewshire and beyond