British Comedy Guide

2013 Edinburgh Fringe

Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2013 shortlist

Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards

The shortlist for the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards 2013 has been announced.

Below is the list of the nominees alongside the programme descriptions written by the comedians. Click on any name to see a full show listing, including a summary of all the reviews for that show.

The nominees for the main award are first, followed by the Best Newcomer nominations. This year there are seven nominees for the main award as the judging panel couldn't decide between them, resulting in an unprecedented second vote.

Best Comedy Show

Bridget Christie - A Bic for Her. Bridget Christie

Bridget Christie - A Bic for Her

Star of BBC Radio 4's Bridget Christie Minds the Gap, BBC2's It's Kevin, and Comedy Central's Alternative Comedy Experience, starts the day by eroticising waterproof jackets and roller coasters, ridiculing biro manufacturers, and destroying the patriarchy. And all at 11:10 am in a Gloucester accent. Includes some shouting. The only stand-up to have been billed alongside both Lionel Blair and Naomi Wolf.


Carl Donnelly: Now That's What I Carl Donnelly! Volume V. Carl Donnelly

Carl Donnelly: Now That's What I Carl Donnelly! Volume V

Join Edinburgh Comedy Award Nominee Carl Donnelly (who you may have seen on such shows as Mock The Week, Russell Howard's Good News and Dave's One Night Stand) for a brand new hour of hilarious anecdotes and observations on the current state of affairs and his plans on how we should be dealing with it. No gimmicks, just an hour of 'Gripping, unmissable stand-up' (Guardian). Come on down!


James Acaster - Lawnmower. James Acaster

James Acaster - Lawnmower

Foster's Comedy Award Best Show Nominee 2012. It's time for some low-key stand-up from an angular young man. A whole host of topics is about to get what they've got coming to them. Quite frankly, it's about high time someone gave it to them the way they're about to get it. Here we go.


Max and Ivan: The Reunion. Image shows from L to R: Max Olesker, Ivan Gonzalez

Max and Ivan: The Reunion

Class of 2003, assemble! Fresh from the Melbourne International Comedy Festival - and their Barry Award 2013 nomination - Foster's Award-winners Max and Ivan (BBC Radio 4, BBC3) spin a bewitching narrative sketch comedy tale of love, loss and shatterproof rulers.


Mike Wozniak - Take The Hit. Mike Wozniak

Mike Wozniak - Take The Hit

His wife's parents have moved in. Permanently. Not so much a show as a person getting out of the house. But fear not, Wozniak has more show business in his moustache than he does in his little finger. Where do you keep yours? Let's find out if we get around to it. 'Just could be the new comedy hero.' Time Out wrote that ages ago. 'Completely hilarious, highly recommended' (3 News - they are real and based in New Zealand). Wozniak has a total of 43 stars from an undisclosed number of reviews.


Nick Helm: One Man Mega Myth. Nick Helm. Copyright: So Television

Nick Helm: One Man Mega Myth

Comedian and inspirationalist Nick Helm has overcome pain and suffering his entire life to become the greatest living example of not giving up the world has ever known. This year he returns with a show so monumental it will change your DNA forever. Nick Helm will entertain you until it kills him. The burden is his.


Seann Walsh: The Lie-in King. Seann Walsh. Copyright: BBC

Seann Walsh: The Lie-in King

Star of Live at the Apollo, Argumental and Seann Walsh World returns to Edinburgh with an all-new hour to show the world that he's the Lie-in King!


Best Newcomer

Aisling Bea: C'est La Bea. Aisling Bea

Aisling Bea: C'est La Bea

Highly anticipated debut stand-up show from Irish comedian and winner of So You Think You're Funny? 2012. Featuring joke filled tales of life, death, hip-hop, raving and riding. The Independent's "One To Watch", an Amused Moose semi-finalist, as seen on Jack Dee's Don't Sit In The Front Row (Sky), Dead Boss (BBC3), Cardinal Burns (E4) and Russell Howard's Good News (BBC3).


Sight Gags for Perverts. John Kearns. Copyright: Baby Cow Productions / Signal TV

John Kearns - Sight Gags for Perverts

'Sight Gags for Perverts', is how one critic described Stanley Kubrick's Dr Strangelove upon its release. Stan cherished this, writing it down on a list headed 'Titles in Search of a Script'. It was never made, this won't be either. I've got a little wig and some false teeth, a few things to say about Berlin Zoo before wearing a dress and singing Bruce Springsteen. Support from Yogi Baby.


Liam Williams. Liam Williams

Liam Williams

Lyrical anti-lad Liam Williams snarls out his sulky debut. An hour of soul-smithied jokes and negative energy. May he keep his demons and his eczema at bay.


Matt Okine: Being Black & Chicken & S#%t. Matt Okine

Matt Okine: Being Black & Chicken & S#%t

Winner, Best Newcomer, Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2012. Award-winning comic Matt Okine is black, likes chicken and make his Edinburgh debut off the back of a massive year of recognition around the world. One of the most exciting comics to emerge from Australia in recent years, Matt was nominated Time Out Sydney Comedy Festival Show of the Year, and earned a nomination as Time Out Sydney Comedian of the Year.


Romesh Ranganathan - Rom Com. Romesh Ranganathan. Copyright: BBC

Romesh Ranganathan - Rom Com

Romesh Ranganathan is trying to make sense of the world, but cannot make sense of his own house. Here he presents his struggle in an acerbic hour of razor sharp comedy - blending social commentary with personal tribulations. This show has already won Best Show at Dave's Leicester Comedy Festival. Come and see the comic fast becoming one of the most exciting acts on the circuit. As seen on Comedy Central at the Comedy Store (Comedy Central), Chris Ramsey's Edinburgh Fringe (BBC3) and winner of Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year 2013.


Steve Coogan

Now in their 33rd year, the prestigious Edinburgh Comedy Awards (which were previously known as the Perrier Comedy Awards), aim to locate future comedy stars. Previous winners of the title include pre-fame Frank Skinner, Lee Evans, The League Of Gentlemen and Al Murray.

The panel of judges have seen a record-breaking 578 eligible shows and since the start of the Fringe the Panel has made 1,454 individual show visits to obtain the shortlist. It should be noted not every comedian is judged though - the rules state that acts considered to have 'star' status are not eligible.

The results will be announced at a ceremony at Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh at lunchtime on Saturday (24th August). Steve Coogan (pictured), who won the award himself in 1992, will act as the presenter alongside last year's winner, Doctor Brown.

This year the prize money for Best Comedy Show is £10,000, with £5,000 each for the Best Newcomer and the Panel Prize winner. There is no shortlist for the Panel Prize, or eligibility rules - the winner of this award will be announced at the weekend alongside the two other categories.

Nica Burns, producer of the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards said: "After the longest Best Comedy show shortlist debate in the history of the Awards, going to an unprecedented second vote, the list is, for the first time since Lee Evans won in 1993, seven strong.

"In complete contrast to last year, 2013 will be remembered as the year of the stand-up with an exceptional laugh count. This year's shows all combine great writing and outstanding performances with subject matter ranging from feminism, settling down, sky-writing, cats, love, life, lie-ins and the dangers of school reunions.

"The newcomer's shortlist are the stars of tomorrow. A wonderful new generation of comedians who will make every corner of Britain laugh."

The judges this year are Alice Jones (The Independent), Claire Jones (BBC Radio), Dominic Maxwell (The Times), Rachel Springett (Channel 4), Ben Williams (Time Out) and public competition winners Charlotte Lowey, Dale Platt and Stuart Wilson.

Some of the nominees explain how they first heard they had been nominated:

See Also: Alice Jones, one of the panel judges, writes about the process of judging shows in this blog for The Independent

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Published: Wednesday 21st August 2013

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