Doctor Brown takes Edinburgh award

Daniel Simonsen best newcomer

Doctor Brown has won this year’s Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Award.

It been a good year for Dr Brown – the creation of American clown Phil Burgers – as he scooped the top prize, The Barry, at the Melbourne Comedy Festival for his silent show.

He said: 'Thank you for appreciating this work. Cool man, thank you so much, thank you for all my lovers and friends and supporters for playing and being silly and not giving a fuck about anything. That spirit is hopefully going to go everywhere. Chill out guys!'

He also praised all the other comedians taking part in the Fringe, saying: 'Keep going. Keep being totally mad and silly.'

Awards producer Nica Burns said: ‘Doctor Brown’s show starts with fun pranks and then takes the audience on a roller coaster from inspired lunacy to pulling your heart strings.

‘He can express emotion with a gesture, a look or an eyebrow. A breathtakingly brilliant clown with enormous charisma in a fantastic show.'

The other nominees were: Claudia O'Doherty: The Telescope, Doctor Brown: Befrdfgth, James Acaster: Prompt, Josie Long: Romance and Adventure, Pappy's: Last Show Ever!, Tony Law: Maximum Nonsense.

Best newcomer went to Daniel Simonsen: Champions. He said: ‘This is really weird. I didn’t really like my show this year. I would give it three stars.’

Burns said: “Daniel Simonsen relocated to London to pursue his dream of being a stand-up. He wowed the judges with his dry witty take on the day to day battle with life. Sharing a house, cleaning rotas, finding a new family in South America, fitting in.’

Also shortlisted for best newcomer were David Trent: Spontaneous Comedian, Discover Ben Target, Joe Lycett: Some Lycett Hot, Sam Fletcher: Good on Paper.

And the panel prize for the spirit of the Fringe went to the Boy With Tape On His Face, Sam Wills, who said: People like it better when I don’t speak, so I’ll keep this short: this is really cool.’

He added that he got through 56,000 balloons this Fringe

Burns concluded: ‘What an extraordinary year for physical comedy with two out of the three comedy awards being won by shows without words. Both Doctor Brown and The Boy With Tape On His Face bring physical comedy to new levels wowing audiences who enjoy joining in the fun and laughter.’

The prize money for best comedy show is £10,000 with £5,000 each for the Best Newcomer and the Panel Prize winner who best encapsulates the spirit of the Fringe.

The judging panel is chaired by Lindsay Hughes of TV production company Baby Cow and comprises Ben Boyer from Sky, BBC radio producer Lyndsay Fenner, critics Briuce Dessau, Ben Williams, Dominic Maxwell and Paul Macinnes, and three public competiton winners: Oscar Cainer, Sophie Stubbs and Emma Watkins.

All shows eligible are automatically seen by the panel or scouts – and this year at least 536 shows were covered.

Published: 25 Aug 2012

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