Newcomer Will Adamsdale has won this year’s Perrier award for his show Jackson’s Way.
The 30-year-old actor collected his award from Hollywood star Christian Slater and 2003 winner Demetri Martin in Edinburgh last night.
London-based Australian Kendal was the first woman to have been shortlisted in the nine years since Jenny Eclair won the coveted award in 1995.
Jackson’s Way has been the sleeper hit of the festival, extending its original one-week booking to a full run, based on word-of mouth acclaim.
In character, he said "It was a big surprise to me. I'm not really a comedian or anything like that, so I have to apologise to the comedians because this is strictly life work.
"I hope it takes the work to a bigger audience, and we can go on from here, but it is just a step, you know. Just a step towards stadiums, to bigger work."
Perrier award director Nica Burns said: “This extraordinary win has to be the ultimate Edinburgh fringe fairy story.
“Only three weeks ago he was an unknown playing to tiny audiences. He had to extend his scheduled run, is sold out and is now being hailed as a major discovery. What a festival he has had.”