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Last Updated: Sunday, 3 September 2006, 08:07 GMT 09:07 UK
Stand-up award for new comedian
Wes Packer with comedians Steve Coogan (left) and Bill Bailey (right)
The prize includes a comedy spot at a festival in Canada
A stand-up comedian from the Rhondda has won a top Edinburgh fringe award in his first year on the circuit.

Wes Packer, 29, from Ton Pentre, beat 200 other hopefuls to win the "So You Think You're Funny?" newcomers' prize.

Previous winners have included Peter Kay and Dylan Moran.

"At the end, to get 2,000 presented by Steve Coogan was very nice," said Packer, who by day is a council computer programmer.

Packer went through a regional contest also Edinburgh heats at the Gilded Balloon club after entering the competition earlier this year.

Wes Packer
I'm appearing in Leicester then in work on Monday, then off to Kent and back in Tuesday morning
Wes Packer

He said: "I've been compared to Alexei Sayle or Bill Hicks in style - I rant a bit, there's some politics there and a bit of adult material.

"I don't fly the flag for Wales but when I open my mouth, people know where I'm from.

"Probably what swung it for me was one of the judges said I was in control of the room and there were about 400 people there.

"We each had seven minutes and with my material, I like to ramble a bit and build situations up so it was difficult to condense that down."

Packer, who only started on the comedy circuit last August, said the difficulty now was balancing more offers of work and his job.

"I'm appearing in Leicester then in work on Monday, then off to Kent and back in Tuesday morning.

"I did 80 shows in my first year - my boss has been brilliant and there's flexible working but it's eating into my annual leave. I'll have to see how things go."

As part of his Edinburgh prize, he has won an appearance at a comedy festival in Montreal.


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