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Sunday, 25 August, 2002, 00:14 GMT 01:14 UK
Kitson wins Perrier award
Daniel Kitson
Daniel Kitson has been in TV's Phoenix Nights
A bearded comic whose show focuses on "life, love and swearing" has won the UK's biggest comedy prize of the year, The Perrier Award.

Daniel Kitson, 25, from Denby Dale in Yorkshire, was handed the award at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival on Saturday for his stand-up show Something.

The prize has launched the careers of Steve Coogan, The League of Gentlemen and Al Murray, who have all won it in the last 10 years.

The other nominees
Jimmy Carr
Adam Hills
Omid Djalili
Noel Fielding
Phil Nichol
Kitson, who has been described as a "stuttering, myopic, sartorially select raconteur" beat five other comics judged to have been the best stand-ups at this year's Fringe.

Kitson, who won a Perrier nomination in 2001 for his show Love, Innocence And The Word Cock, and was also this year's Time Out Performer of the Year, will receive 7,500.

He can currently be seen on TV in Peter Kay's comedy series Phoenix Nights on Channel 4.

List controversy

Many winners in the award's 21-year history have gone on to find stardom, although it is not a guaranteed path to the big time.

The winner in 2001, Garth Marenghi's Netherhead, has yet to become a household name.

Past winners
2001 - Garth Marenghi
2000 - Rich Hall
1999 - Al Murray
1997 - The League of Gentlemen
1996 - Dylan Moran
1995 - Jenny Eclair
1993 - Lee Evans
1992 - Steve Coogan
1991 - Frank Skinner
1990 - Sean Hughes
But other past winners include Dylan Moran, Jenny Eclair, Lee Evans, Frank Skinner and Sean Hughes.

Many unsuccessful nominees have also gone onto bigger things, including Graham Norton, Johnny Vegas, Peter Kay, Harry Hill, Alan Davies and Eddie Izzard.

This year's all-male shortlist was criticised for discrimination, with some suggesting that female comics are still not given the same credit as their male counterparts.

The Scottish Socialist Party's equality spokeswoman Catriona Grant called this year's shortlist "a disgraceful example of male chauvinism".

England's Emo

And the Equal Opportunity Commission's Scotland spokeswoman Alyson Thomson said: "We are disappointed to see an all-male short list for such a prestigious award.

"The gender imbalance on the shortlist suggests that many women are still not getting the credit or recognition their talent deserves."

Omid Djalili was among the other nominees
Awards director Nica Burns said she "would do cartwheels down Princes Street if a woman won it".

But she added: "Half of the judging panel for this year's award are women and they simply did not think that any of the female stand-ups were good enough."

One of the other nominees, Jimmy Carr, has been called England's answer to Emo Philips and recently completed a new series, Your Face Or Mine, for Channel 4's cable station E4.

Omid Djalili calls himself Britain's funniest Iranian stand-up comedian and actor.

Noel Fielding
Noel Fielding had his own series on Radio 4 as part of Boosh
His current show includes much material written since the 11 September attacks on the US.

Noel Fielding is an old hand at the festival, having been a Perrier nominee in 1999 as one half of the act Boosh, with Julian Barratt.

The previous year the pair won the Perrier best newcomer award.

Phil Nichol, once a member of the Canadian comedy group Corky and The Juice Pigs is known for a lively, physical stage act - and for haranguing the audience.

Australian Adam Hills has also been Perrier-nominated before, for his 2001 show Go You Big Red Fire Engine.

Coverage of the 2002 Edinburgh Festival from BBC News Online

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05 Aug 02 | Entertainment
26 Aug 01 | Entertainment
31 Jul 01 | Entertainment
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