Nice Toby noticed...

Unknown comic beats Vegas, Kay and Coogan

A little-unknown comic has beaten the likes of Peter Kay and Steve Coogan to receive a new comedy award in memory of Les Dawson.

Organisers of the Manchester Comedy Festival launched the Les award this year to honour the best contribution to comedy.

Visitors to the festival website could vote from a shortlist that also included Johnny Vegas, Ken Dodd, Caroline Aherne, Daniel Kitson and Dave Spikey.

But the winner was Toby Hadoke, founder, promoter and compere of the city's XS Malarkey club night.

He was presented with his award at the Comedy Store, Manchester, last night by Les Dawson's widow, Tracy, and sometime double-act partner Roy Barraclough.

Collecting the specially-commissioned statue, Hadoke said: "It's a privilege that Tracey ad Roy haven't taken a look at who's won and said, 'Right, we're out of here'

Apologies to the 500 people in the room going, 'Where's Peter Kay?'

"Not in Manchester during the comedy festival, that's for sure.

"I've never won so much as a raffle, so to win an achievement award I'll take as a 'fuck off', and I'll never grace the circuit again."

Event host Justin Moorhouse said: "Toby has run the club on a non-profit basis every week for six years, and for a couple of quid to get in. He gets all the big names, and it's a pleasure to play it."

Hadoke's award was announced at the end of the 13th City Life comedian of the year final.

The competition was won by Geordie comic Seymour Mace, with character act Mundo Jazz second and Danny Degan third.

Mace joked: "Everybody else who's taken part is a c***. You bastards have been trying to take me down for years."

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Published: 3 Nov 2003

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