Page last updated at 00:23 GMT, Friday, 22 August 2008 01:23 UK

Festival prize for Winehouse joke

Zoe Lyons
Zoe Lyons scooped the inaugural comedy award from TV channel Dave

A dig at troubled singer Amy Winehouse has been declared the funniest joke of the Edinburgh Fringe.

Comedian Zoe Lyons took the top spot after her jibe star was chosen in a public vote on digital TV channel Dave.

Her winning one-liner is: "I can't believe Amy Winehouse self-harms. She's so irritating she must be able to find someone to do it for her."

The 33-year-old, from Brighton, makes the joke in her show, Mangled Mantra of the Messed-up Modern Mind.

She scooped the prize in the inaugural comedy award the TV channel, which bills itself "the home of witty banter".

Ms Lyons said: "I am absolutely delighted to have won the award. I know self-harming is not funny but it's just a joke, so I'm not going to beat myself up about it."

Long process

She received almost 12% of the public vote and takes home the Dave Award for the Funniest Joke of the Fringe and a cash prize.

Selecting the winner was a long process.

First, 10 of the UK's leading comedy critics trawled through masses of comedy acts at the Fringe and picked out their favourite three jokes.

It is estimated they sat through an average of 60 different comedy performances, which included 3,600 minutes of material and 7,200 puns.

The 30 shortlisted were then put to the public, and from 2,000 votes Lyons came out on top.

She made her debut at Edinburgh last year with her solo show Fight or Flight, where she was nominated for an If.comedy best newcomer award.

In second place was Andrew Laurence, with his joke: "Most of us have a skeleton in the cupboard. David Beckham takes his out in public."

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