Edinburgh, 27th August: The results of the most prestigious prizes in live comedy, Dave's Edinburgh Comedy Awards, have been announced today at a ceremony held at the Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh.
In the 40th year of the awards, Sam Campbell has been announced as the winner of Dave's Edinburgh Comedy Award for Best Comedy Show, and Lara Ricote is Dave's Edinburgh Comedy Awards Best Newcomer, whilst Best in Class has been awarded the Panel Prize.
Sam Campbell is an Australian comic whose show goes into weird, diverting and fun places. He's the sixth Australian to win the award following Los Trios Ringbarkus (1983). Lano and Woodley (1994), Brendon Burns (2007), Sam Simmons (2015) and Hannah Gadsby (2017). Sam comes well equipped with sharp observations and snappy one-liners and is a cult favourite on the comedy scene. The Telegraph says: "The amusement motors along so quickly, with such handbrake-turns of tone and for-the-hell-of-it bouts of recircling emphasis, it attains a runaway uncontrollable hilarity." The Guardian adds: "Operating at a fine comic pitch."
Lara Ricote is a girl (woman), she's Latinx and she's hard of hearing. A triple threat. Her show GRL/LATNX/DEF is about all of those things - it's "minority jokes for majority crowds". She was born in Mexico, grew up in the US and now does stand-up and improv in the Netherlands. She's also developing a sitcom with Fudge Park about her and her (also deaf) sister's relationship. The Guardian says: "The endearing comic's Edinburgh debut is a riotously inventive show that blurs notions of race, gender and disability", whilst The Skinny says: "Lara Ricote's debut Edinburgh Fringe hour, GRL/LATNX/DEF is full of energy, goofiness and heart."
Celebrating the best of both established and up-and-coming comedy at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, this year's leading panel of judges, consisting of seven industry professionals and three comedy punters representing the public, saw nearly 600 eligible shows. The presenters for the ceremony this year were 2019 winner Jordan Brookes and four times nominee Russell Kane, who won the 30th anniversary award for Best Comedy Show in 2010. Alfie Brown, Colin Hoult, Jordan Gray, Josh Pugh, Larry Dean, Lauren Pattison, Liz Kingsman, Seann Walsh and The Delightful Sausage were the other comics in the running for the Best Comedy Show accolade, whilst Amy Gledhill, Emily Wilson, Emmanuel Sonubi, Josh Jones, Leo Reich and Vittorio Angelone were Best Newcomer nominees.
The Panel Prize - which is at the discretion of the panel - has been awarded to Best in Class, a crowd-funded, profit-sharing initiative that champions working-class comedians from across the UK to access the Fringe. Sponsored by waste grounds, knock-off trainers, spam, weed, the unions, crap schools, bunking off, failed MOTs, failed GCSEs, bus-stops, pay-day loans, fierce mums, tired dads and empowerment. Previous acts have included BBC Comedy Award finalists and weekend comedy headliners, proving that the arts should be accessible to everyone, no matter what their background.
Nica Burns, Director of Dave's Edinburgh Comedy Awards, says of this year's awards:
A truly outstanding international year. Sam Campbell, winner of the Best Comedy Show award is original, sometimes surreal, his show is full of jokes and often unexpected. He changes gear throughout and takes his audience on a journey of laughter. Lara's debut act at the Festival is an absolute delight. She's completely distinct and very funny. She is a stand-out performer who happens to be hard of hearing. We've had the widest representation from across the whole country, from Scotland to Sussex and everywhere in between. The Panel Prize for Best in Class championing and supporting those who cannot afford the cost of performing in Edinburgh has caught the spirit of this year's Fringe.
The awards are sponsored by UKTV's award-winning entertainment channel Dave, with the aim of further celebrating and supporting comics, from much-loved names to those breaking into the industry.
Cherie Cunningham, Dave channel director , says:
We're over the moon at Dave to be supporting and celebrating these amazing comics. The standard was incredibly high this year and we're so pleased to crown such deserving winners. We look forward to seeing Lara and Sam on Dave soon.
The prize money for Best Comedy Show is £10,000, with £5,000 each for the Best Newcomer and the Panel Prize winner. A full history of the winners and nominees, eligibility rules and all other details about the Awards can be found at: www.comedyawards.co.uk