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Last Updated: Sunday, 28 August 2005, 00:00 GMT 01:00 UK
Female comic wins Perrier award
Laura Solon
Laura Solon wrote the script to her one-woman show in two months
Comedian Laura Solon has become only the second woman in 25 years to win the prestigious Perrier Comedy Award.

Solon, 26, won the 7,500 prize for her show Kopfrapers Syndrome, in which she plays eight different characters. She was one of five acts shortlisted.

Also nominated were 2004 runner-up Chris Addison, Jason Manford, spoof children's entertainer Jeremy Lion and sketch group Dutch Elm Conservatoire.

Previous winners include Steve Coogan, Lee Evans and Frank Skinner.

The last woman to win the Perrier Comedy Award was Jenny Eclair in 1995.

Last year London-based Australian comedian Sarah Kendall was shortlisted for the prize, the first time a woman had been shortlisted since Eclair's victory.

The 2004 award was won by Will Adamsdale for his self-help satire Jackson's Way.

Fringe debut

Solon, who started writing and performing at Oxford University, had not been the bookmakers' favourite.

Her one-woman act, in which she plays a series of bizarre characters, was her debut at the Fringe.

She had originally been due to perform a show about a boy with a rare mental illness with a male comic.

But he pulled out and she decided to go ahead, keeping the title of their show, Kopfrapers Syndrome: One Man and His Incredible Mind, to avoid confusing people who has booked tickets.

Laura Solon is an extraordinary writer and performer who will become a major star
Nica Burns
Director, Perrier Awards

"How fitting, in the 25th year, that out of the blue a young woman of extraordinary talent should be discovered in an out of the way venue and become the surprise winner and only the second solo woman to win the Perrier," said Nica Burns, Director of the Perrier Awards.

She said: "Laura Solon is an extraordinary writer and performer who will become a major star.

"Let us hope that in the next 25 years, a woman winner of a comedy award will not be an unusual event."

The Perrier Comedy Award shortlist is compiled by 10 judges, including seven comedy professionals and three members of the public.

Nominees who did not win but have gone on to bigger things include Graham Norton, Johnny Vegas, Peter Kay, Harry Hill and Eddie Izzard.

  • The Perrier Best Newcomer Award was won by Australian comic Tim Minchin.


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