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Friday, 23 August, 2002, 09:48 GMT 10:48 UK
Perrier comedy award contenders
Omid Djalili
Looking for a lift: Omid Djalili
BBC News Online's Rebecca Thomas looks at the credentials of the nominees for 2002's Perrier comedy award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

Adam Hills
Adam Hills hails from Australia, where he is seen as one of the country's leading comedians. He returns to the Fringe with a brand new act called Happy Feet, after being nominated for the Perrier award in 2001.

Hills says he has based his show around his experiences since the terror attacks on 11 September. He has an artificial foot, made of metal, and has come in for some tough grilling by airport security guards on heightened alert.

"I have set off every metal detector in the country and people seem much more scared of my foot than of a terrorist attack," Hills says.

"But it helps to be different when you are a comedian. It gives you an usual frame of mind and plenty of material for your act."

The Scotsman newspaper said: "If you can't enjoy Adam Hills, you cannot have a pulse."

Phil Nichol
Phil Nichol spent most of his life in Canada, after his parents moved there when he was eight. Originally from outside Glasgow, he has lived in London for the past four years.

Nichol's act is called Things I Like, I Lick and is based around all the things that that make him feel good, from clean towels to John Travolta and Jack Daniels whiskey.

Nichol describes his Perrier nomination as the best thing that could have happened to him at the end of a disastrous year. He broke his wrist, sustained a serious groin injury, broke his nose and split up from his girlfriend of three years.

His decision to turn his life around - by getting fit and eating new food - has led to this show and being included on the Perrier shortlist.

"If you have a positive attitude, positive things in life will happen," Nichol concludes.

Noel Fielding
Noel Fielding looks like a 1980s pop singer and his stand-up act has been described as "hip, childish, sexy, magical, oh yes, very funny too" by the Sunday Times.

His routine incorporates shaving foam, woodland creatures and heavenly bodies.

As well as being a solo act, Fielding has performed with Julian Barratt. They won the Perrier Award for Best Newcomer and a nomination for the Perrier in 1988.

Jimmy Carr
Jimmy Carr's show has been described by the Metro newspaper as "likely to offend... but with the complicity of the audience. These are jokes we guiltily share among ourselves but hesitate to air in the presence of strangers".

Carr's grounding for such frank oberservation is a former career as a marketing executive.

He has also starred in Channel 4's comedy series Jimmy Carr's World Of Corporate Videos and featured on BBC Radio 4's Loose Ends.

Omid Djalili
Omid Djalili has become a regular at the Fringe, and this year he returns with a topical act centred around the terror attacks of 11 September.

Unabashed by causing outrage, Djalili pokes fun at sensitive issues, particulary attitudes to race and his own ethnic origins.

In 1995, he had an act called Short Fat Kebab Shop Owner's Son, followed in subsequent years by the Arab & The Jew and Omid Djalili Is Ethnic.

He has won numerous awards and has been called "a tower of comedy strength" by the Metro.

Daniel Kitson
Daniel Kitson comes from Denby Dale - which he describes as the "pie village".

He first won a Perrier nomination in 2001 for his show Love, Innocence And The Word Cock.

Critics say Kitson is able to befriend the audience as soon as he steps out on stage.

"This stuttering. myopic, sartorially, select raconteur is surely one of the greatest comedians the country has to offer," said Metro.

He first began doing stand-up at the age of 16, making his TV debut two years later on Blockbusters - of which he says he is extremely proud.

Among his other interests, he lists PlayStation 2 and Barnsley FC.

Coverage of the 2002 Edinburgh Festival from BBC News Online

The buzz

In focus

Fringe diarists



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