Unknown wins Perrier

Wil Hodgson best newcomer

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.

He receives £7,500 in prize money and will appear in a Perrier showcase at the West End, as will fellow nominees  Chris Addison, Reginald D Hunter, Epitaph and Sarah Kendall.

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.

It is the creation of 30-year-old actor Will Adamsdale, who performs in the guise of American life coach Chris John Jackson.  (Review)

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.”

Best newcomer went to anarcho-punk former wrestler Wil Hodgson, left, for his show The Passion Of The Hodgson in the Holyrood Tavern.

Also nominated were stand-up Alun Cochrane, character act Joanna Neary and New Mexico comedy duo  Sabotage.

Published: 29 Aug 2004

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