Midlands Comedy Awards 2016 winners

Monday 28th November 2016, 10:31am

Image shows from L to R: Duncan Oakley, Barry Dodds, Masai Graham.

The winners of the 2016 Midlands Comedy Awards have been announced.

This year, it was Nottingham-based comedians and clubs that dominated proceedings, taking six of the ten trophies.

Veteran comics Duncan Oakley and Barry Dodds walked away with the top prizes, winning Best Act and Best MC respectively, with Dodds also winning the Online Comedy award for The Parapod, a podcast he records with fellow comedian Ian Boldsworth.

Masai Graham - who won the UK Pun Championship and Dave's Joke Of The Fringe this year - was crowned Breakthrough Act 2016; whilst character comic Paul Palmer, who performs comedy magic as Count Evil, took home the Alternative Act prize despite having performed less than twenty gigs at the time of writing.

In the clubs-based categories, Nottingham-based Funhouse Comedy secured the main Best Comedy Club trophy, while Best Small Club went to FAF Comedy, another Notts-based endeavour.

The final award of the evening went to Dave Francis and Billy McGuire, who received the Outstanding Contribution prize for Bushfest, an event billed as the world's smallest comedy festival. Operating on two stages, one indoor and one outdoor, Bushfest delivers four days of free comedy every summer at the Holly Bush venue in Cradley Heath.

The winners in the various categories were chosen by the public.

Jay Islaam, who heads up the Awards Committee, says: "This year's Midlands Comedy Awards have been bigger than ever. More comedy clubs than ever before were involved in the process of deciding the shortlists. And almost 5000 votes were cast to decide the winners.

"Created in 2013, the Awards recognise the huge number of hard working and talented people in our regional comedy community. These are the individuals who bring laughter to thousands across the Midlands and beyond every year, and this Awards Gala is our big annual celebration for the regional scene. We started out very small, and couldn't have imagined how important they would become to the acts and comedy clubs in the Midlands, who now see them as a fixture in the industry calendar.

"We've had a really exciting night, with performances by some exceptionally gifted comedians, and a wonderful celebration of the huge amount of comedy talent across the Midlands region. I'd like to congratulate all of the winners. I'd also like to thank the hundreds of people in the comedy industry, as well as the wider public, who took part in selecting the finalists and deciding the final results."

David Longley. Copyright: Midlands Comedy Awards.

The ceremony, which took place on Sunday (27th November) at the Canal House venue in Nottingham, wasn't without incident. David Longley, who didn't appear on the nominees list, made an impromptu stage invasion, parodying Kanye West whilst wearing a gold jacket and oversized sunglasses. With a bullhorn in hand, he announced his entrance into the room, repeatedly shouting "This is all Bullshit!" before forcing the compere Barry Dodds off the stage to deliver a ten minute angry comic tirade explaining why all the other finalists are inferior to his "enormous talents." One of those witnessing the event said: "It was a joy to behold as Longley laid into several comedy promoters and award winners. It was one of the highlights of the night."

Here are the full list of winners...

Best Act

Duncan Oakley. Copyright: Midlands Comedy Awards.

Winner: Duncan Oakley

Runner-up: Masai Graham

Third place: Scott Bennett

Best MC

Midlands Comedy Awards 2016. Barry Dodds. Copyright: Pete Prodge.

Winner: Barry Dodds

Runner-up: Gareth Berliner

Joint third place: Jon Pearson & Wayne Beese

Breakthrough Act

Midlands Comedy Awards 2016. Image shows from L to R: Masai Graham, Daniel Nicholas. Copyright: Pete Prodge.

Winner: Masai Graham

Runner-up: Alex Hylton

Third place: Josh Pugh

Best New Act

Winner: Moses Ali Khan

Runner-up: Sarah Johnson

Third place: Harvey Hawkins

Alternative Act

Count Evil - Midlands Comedy Awards. Image shows from L to R: Moses Ali Khan, Paul Palmer. Copyright: Pete Prodge.

Winner: Paul Palmer

Runner-up: Andrew McBurney

Third place: Daniel Nicholas

Online Comedy

Winner: The Parapod

Runner-up: Jack Kirwan

Third place: Masai Graham

Best Comedy Club

Spiky Mike. Copyright: Midlands Comedy Awards.

Winner: Funhouse Comedy

Runner-up: The Glee Club

Third place: Fitz of Laughter

Best Small Club

FAF Comedy - Midlands Comedy Awards 2016. Image shows from L to R: Masai Graham, Stewart Coleman. Copyright: Pete Prodge.

Winner: FAF Comedy

Runner-up: Blue Giraffe

Third place: Fitz of Laughter

Best Live Show

Image shows from L to R: Andrew McBurney, Jack Kirwan. Copyright: Midlands Comedy Awards.

Winner: Late Night with Boabby Roaster (Jack Kirwan and Andrew McBurney)

Runner-up: I Came, I Saw, I Complained (Alex Hylton)

Third place: Hell To Play (Paul Savage and Alexander Bennett)

Best Open Mic Show

Winner: NCF Canal House (Nottingham)

Runner-up: Holly Bush (Black Country)

Third place: Roadhouse Comedy (Birmingham)

Outstanding Contribution

Bushfest prize - Midlands Comedy Awards 2016. Glen Gandy. Copyright: Pete Prodge.

Winner: Bushfest (Billy McGuire and Dave Francis)

To find out more about the awards visit midlandscomedy.org

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