Brendon Burns is the bookies’ favourite to win the if.comedy awards this weekend.
William Hill have posted odds of 2/1 for the Austrialian comic to scoop the Edinburgh Fringe’s most prestigious award for his show I Suppose THIS Is Offensive Now.
Andrew Maxwell is second favourite at 5/2, followed by Pappy’s Fun Club at 10/3 and Andrew Lawrence at 9/2.
The outsider is Ivan Brackenbury’s Hospital Radio Roadshow at 7/1.
Jon Richardson and Zoe Lyons are less likely to win, in William Hill’s estimation, both with odds of 7/1.
Spokesman Rupert Adams says the company normally loses money on the award.
‘This has been a losing market for the last two years and as a result we have taken advice from our biggest winner, who works at the Underbelly, and hopefully we might finally make some money this time.
Nominees were announced yesterday, and Hollywood star Christian Slater will announce the winners at around midnight on Saturday.
Awards producer Nica Burns said: ‘What a fantastic year! This exciting shortlist was chosen after an extremely lively debate amongst the judging panel.
‘Three completely different stand-ups - Edinburgh regulars Andrew Maxwell and Brendon Burns and last year's newcomer, Andrew Lawrence; a terrific sketch show in Pappy's Fun Club and perfect Edinburgh character comedy from Ivan Brackenbury.
‘The newcomers’ shortlist was even more hotly contested with a number of promising first-time solo shows.’
The panel that chooses the winner, chaired by The Times’ comedy critic Dominic Maxwell, will now see all the shortlisted shows again before making their final decision.
The judges are BBC radio producer Colin Anderson, comedy critics Tim Arthur (Time Out) Julian Hall (The Independent) and Veronica Lee (Sunday Telegraph), Joe Talbot, the director of programming for new digital channel Nuts TV, Kathleen Hutchison from Paramount Comedy and comedy fans Rosie Morris, Laura Gray, James Parker, who all won competitions to be judges.