Page last updated at 21:41 GMT, Wednesday, 13 August 2008 22:41 UK

Byrne stands-up to health check

By Pauline McLean
BBC Scotland arts correspondent

Ed byrne
Comedian Ed Byrne came out top in the health checks

Ed Byrne is officially the Fringe's healthiest comedian.

The Irish stand-up was one of 15 comedians who were checked over by Unison nurses in Edinburgh on Monday as part of a campaign by the health union and Leicester Comedy Festival to improve health at the festival.

Stand-up comics with their late night shows, long tours and exposure to bar rooms were deemed the profession most at risk of health problems.

So the nurses had lots of advice for surviving the festival.

Perhaps unnecessary for Mr Byrne.

The 36-year-old comedian came out tops, closely followed by Matt Kirshen and Tom Roden from New Art Club.

Most of the comics took the advice to heart - Zoe Lyons was heard to say "I'm off to buy some broccoli" but some habits die hard ("I'm off for a ciggy" was Janey Godley's response).

Organisers were strangely quiet about who was the unhealthiest comedian.

The rumour is that it was Carl Donnelly - the London born comic and a mere stripling at just 26.

But could it have been Leicester Comedy Festival's very own John Ryan, who in the interests of accuracy, downed several pints and a kebab in the early hours of Monday morning to highlight the health issues of the average comedian.

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