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Last Updated: Saturday, 25 August 2007, 23:34 GMT 00:34 UK
'Edgy' Burns wins top comedy gong
Brendon Burns
It is Burns' eighth appearance at the festival
Brendon Burns has won the top comedy prize at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

The Australian comedian won the 8,000 if.comedy award for So I Suppose This Is Offensive Now, a show branded "edgy and dangerous" by award organisers.

The festival regular beat comedy troupe Pappy's Fun Club, Ivan Brackenbury's Hospital Radio Roadshow and stand-ups Andrew Lawrence and Andrew Maxwell.

Formerly known as the Perrier award, the prize was re-named after new sponsors Intelligent Finance last year.

The Perriers had been a feature of the festival since 1981.

Awards producer Nica Burns said: "The controversial Brendon Burns' edgy and dangerous show has taken him from Edinburgh regular to this fantastic win."

The producer said Burns had been nominated for his "challenging" show, which ends with a surprising and "extreme" twist.

Bookmakers' favourite

The winners were announced by Hollywood actor Christian Slater at midnight.

This year's judging panel included Times critic Dominic Maxwell, Paramount Comedy's Kathleen Hutchison and BBC producer Colin Anderson.

Burns had been the bookmakers' favourite to win the coveted prize, according to UK comedy website Chortle.

Andrew Maxwell
Andrew Maxwell has been called the Irish Billy Connolly
William Hill posted odds of 2/1 for Burns to win, with Maxwell second favourite at 5/2, it reported.

The if.comedy prize for best newcomer went to Tom Basden for his show Won't Say Anything.

His multimedia show beat stand-ups Jon Richardson, Micky Flanagan and Zoe Lyons.

Judges attended 335 separate shows to draw up the shortlist for the two awards.

National recognition

Although there were three stand-ups in the running for the main prize, their shows were very different.

Andrew Lawrence made the shortlist just one year after he was nominated for the newcomer award - an achievement Nica Burns calls "extraordinary".

The comedian's angry rants target the obese, "chavs" and vegans - not to mention himself. He notes his ginger hair is "the colour of sexual rejection".

Andrew Maxwell is a more traditional stand-up, whose whimsical monologues have been likened to the work of Billy Connolly and Dave Allen.

Nica Burns says the Irish comedian has come close to being shortlisted for the comedy awards before.

Tom Binns made the shortlist with his comic creation Ivan Brackenbury, an inept hospital radio DJ in the style of Smashie, Nicey and Alan Partridge.

Four-piece comedy company Pappy's Fun Club were the final nominees, with their "silly" and "joyful" sketch show.

Previous winners of the comedy prizes, which bring national recognition, include Lee Evans, Frank Skinner, and Al Murray the Pub Landlord.




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