Arthur Smith crowned Legend of Comedy at Leicester Comedy Awards 2023

Monday 27th March 2023, 10:00pm

Arthur Smith

The results of the Leicester Comedy Festival Awards 2023 have been announced, at a ceremony in the city hosted by Scott Bennett.

The winners are...

Best Debut Show

Fatiha El-Ghorri

Fatiha El-Ghorri

(Work in Progress)

Best New Show

Bethany Black

Bethany Black

(Always Bet On Beth)

Best Show

Stuart Goldsmith. Credit: Jessica Newell

Stuart Goldsmith

(Spoilers (WIP))

Best Music or Improv Show

CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation

CSI: Crime Scene Improvisation

Best Kids Show

Image shows from L to R: Rachel Watkeys Dowie, Ruby Clyde, Shelf. Copyright: Corrine Cumming


(The Kids' Show)

Legend of Comedy

Arthur Smith

Arthur Smith

Accepting the award, he said: "I turned down a knighthood and a Nobel peace prize but I am delighted and very honoured to receive this Legend of Comedy award from the fabulous Leicester Comedy Festival. I have had so many laughs over the years at the festival and caught up with so many fellow comedians. Leicester is the only place to be in February".

Lifetime Contribution to Leicester Comedy Festival

Geoff Rowe

Geoff Rowe

Rowe co-founded the festival 30 years ago and has overseen its running ever since. He announced last year that he would be stepping back from the organisation at the end of this year's festival.

Other winners on the night included Peril Design (Contribution to LCF 2023), Menphys (Tracey Miller Community Award), Firebug (Liberty Award), The Black Horse (Best Small Venue), The Y Theatre (Best Large Venue), King Richard III pub (Best New Venue), Sturgess (Business contribution), Cezara Buburuzanu (Student of the Year) and TripleCeePee (Best Promoter).

Running in February, this year's festival saw hundreds of comedians performing across many venues. It's reported one comedy fan even enjoyed over 77 live shows across the 19 day period.

Geoff Rowe, talking before the awards ceremony and before the surprise of the Lifetime Contribution award, said: "Leicester Comedy Festival has only been able to grow and develop over the last 30 years due to the massive commitment and support from all sorts of people and organisations and our awards ceremony is our chance to thank them and acknowledge what they do."

Charlotte Laidet, Festivals and Programme Director of Leicester Comedy Festival, says: "It's an honour to bestow the Lifetime Contribution Award to Geoff Rowe, this festival wouldn't exist without him. It has been an inspiration working alongside him and the whole team at Big Difference Company wish him luck for his future endeavours."

The Leicester Comedy Festival & The UK Kids' Comedy Festival will return from the 7th to 25th February 2024. For further details about the festival visit

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