He's Inder big time

Manocha beats Lenny Henry to an Emma

Asian stand-up Inder Manocha has beaten off competition from the likes of Lenny Henry and Meera Syal to win the leading award for multicultural comedy.

The Oxford graduate, who only started performing comedy three years ago, last night won the Emma (ethnic multicultural media award) ahead of a shortlist that also included TV’s 3 Non Blondes and Asian comic Russell Peters.

He triumphed following a public phone-in vote on the list of nominees – which makes his success remarkable, given the higher profile of his rivals.

Manocha said: "It's just great to have been nominated and finally to have met Art Malik. I feel all those open spots in Clapham have finally paid off!

When his nomination was announced, his spokesman said: “Inder is the only pure stand up in the category and this nomination recognises his outstanding achievements during the last year.”

This year’s awards have attracted controversy because not all the award-winners were from ethnic minorities. Winners included David Beckham, former BBC director general Greg Dyke, Tom Cruise and Mel Gibson’s film The Passion Of The Christ, which was largely condemned for being anti-semitic.

Last year a TV documentary, Black like Beckham, said the Beckham was a black icon because of his designer clothes, his taste in music and his jewellery.

Highlights from the ceremony will be shown on BBC2 on Sunday.

Published: 17 May 2004

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