It's Burns' night

Brendon scoops if.comedy award

Brendon Burns has won this year’s if.comedy award – 11 years after first coming to the Edinburgh Fringe.

The 36-year-old Australian comic picked up his award from Christian Slater and last year’s winner Phil Nichol for his show So I Suppose THIS Is Offensive Now.

It was the bookies’ favourite and one of the most-talked about shows on the fringe. Its poster fatured Burns in various controversial poses, including being crucified, blacked up and in a wheelchair. Click here to read our review.

Burns will recieve £8,000 plus the chance to headline award showcases in London's West End.

Other nominees for the award, previously called the Perrier, were Andrew Lawrence, Andrew Maxwel, Ivan Brackenbury's Hospital Radio Roadshow and Pappy's Fun Club

The best newcomer award went to Tom Basden for his musical show Won't Say Anything. Awards producer Nica Burns called it ‘a delightful musical comedy hour will enchant many audiences’.Chortle review.

Basden is a member of sketch group Cowards and as an actor has appeared in the sitcoms Jam & Jerusalem and Hyperdrive, among others.

The fellow newcomer nominees were stand-ups Jon Richardson, Micky Flanagan and Zoe Lyons.

The panel award for the show that best captured the comedy spirit of the Fringe went to Arthur Smith’s Arturart at the Institute of Zoo Logic. The exhibition of comedians’ artwork includes contributions from the likes of Stewart Lee, Bridget Christie, Simon Munnery, Shappi Korsandi, Janey Godley, Harry Hill, Ronnie Golden and Martin Soan.

Nica Burns said: ‘Arthur Smith has reinvented himself and all things comedic at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe since his first nomination in 1982.

‘He's been part of a double-act, a solo stand- up, he's written plays for Edinburgh – notably The Live Bed Show for himself and Caroline Quentin – he has sung and his midnight Edinburgh walk is infamous.

‘Everything he does is funny and Arturart is a complete hoot. Arthur Smith is the comedy spirit of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

Basden and Smith will both receive £4,000 and will also appear in the West End.

The panel that chooses the winner is chaired by The Times’ comedy critic Dominic Maxwell, and includes 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 of Nuts TV, Kathleen Hutchison from Paramount Comedy and comedy fans Rosie Morris, Laura Gray, James Parker, who all won competitions to be judges.

The if.comedy Awards: a Comedy Cuts Special will be broadcast on ITV2 at 10pm on Sunday.

Here’s Brendon Burns at work on Irish TV, performing material that’s not in his award-winning show:

Published: 25 Aug 2007

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