Page last updated at 13:08 GMT, Thursday, 4 June 2009 14:08 UK

Awards boss to fund comedy prize

Nica Burns
Nica Burns said she was reduced to tears after receiving a touching letter

The organiser of the Edinburgh Comedy Awards is to use more than £100,000 of her own money to run the event after failing to get the right sponsor.

Nica Burns said she was reduced to tears after receiving a touching letter from comedians saying they would try to raise the money to keep it running.

The theatre producer said this had been the turning point which led to her deciding to stump up her own cash.

Intelligent Finance pulled out after sponsoring the event for three years.

This left the event without a main sponsor for the first time, after 25 years of association with Perrier and then three years as the If.Comedy Awards.

It changed my professional life, so I am delighted to be paying it back in this way
Nica Burns
Edinburgh Comedy Awards

This year the awards will be dubbed "the Eddies", as shorthand for the Edinburgh Comedy Award.

Ms Burns - who co-owns Nimax Theatres, which owns a clutch of theatres in London - said she wanted to pay back the Edinburgh Festival for all it had done for her.

She told the BBC Scotland news website: "It would be wrong if the comedy awards were not to run and I thankfully am in a fortunate enough position to do something about that.

"My career changed when as a young actress I performed at the Edinburgh Festival. It changed my professional life, so I am delighted to be paying it back in this way."

She said the awards had been offered sponsorship from a comedy promoter, which she thought it would not have been right to accept.

"In the industry these awards are known for their integrity, in which they have complete confidence, so there was no point in not doing it right," she said.

She said the judges viewed every eligible show, so it was "very important" to keep the award running.

Ms Burns admitted she would be spending a six-figure sum on the awards, but would only say that the exact figure was more than £100,000.



Print Sponsor


RELATED INTERNET LINKS
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


FEATURES, VIEWS, ANALYSIS
Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

BBC navigation

BBC © 2013 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.

Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific