Edinburgh Comedy Awards doyenne Nica Burns made a CBE | West End impresario has her honour upgraded

Edinburgh Comedy Awards doyenne Nica Burns made a CBE

West End impresario has her honour upgraded

Nica Burns, the West End theatre owner who runs the Edinburgh Comedy Awards has been made a CBE in the King’s Birthday Honours.

The co-owner of Nimax Theatres – which owns seven London venues – was already an OBE, awarded in 2013. In autumn 2022, the company opened @sohoplace, the first newly-built West End theatre to open in 50 years.

Burns started in theatre at the 1982 Edinburgh Festival, writing, producing and starring in an adaptation of H.E. Bates’ The Dulcimer. She invested her entire savings, £600 (£2,000 in today’s money but had a hit.

She then became artistic director at the Donmar Warehouse from 1983 to 1989 and production director of Stoll Moss and Really Useful Theatres from 1993 to 2005 before setting up Nimax.

Burns, 69, has twice sponsored the Edinburgh Comedy Awards herself – in 2009 and 2018 – when no commercial backers could be found. 

Getting a CBE for 'services to the theatre,' she joins Armando Iannucci in having her OBE upgraded. News of The Thick Of It creator’s award was leaked in The Times earlier this week.

Meanwhile, Susie Dent from 8 Out Of 10 Cats Do Countdown, as well as the regular edition of the words and numbers game, is made an MBE.

Imelda Staunton – who played the late Queen in The Crown –  was made a dame, and said: ‘I feel that this honour also recognises the importance of the arts in this country. Theatre, film and television are essential to our wellbeing, stand at the heart of our culture and are admired throughout the world.’

Strictly dancer Amy Dowden and winner Rose Ayling-Ellis, became MBEs as do musicians Simon Le Bon. Rebecca Ferguson, Heather Small and Liz Mitchell, from Boney M.

Iannucci was also awarded an honorary degree by St Andrews University in Fife on Thursday in recognition of the impact his work has had on stage and screen, and in public discourse, across four decades.

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Published: 14 Jun 2024

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