Edinburgh Comedy Awards to be announced

Clockwise from top left;: Adam Riches, Andrew Maxwell, Chris Ramsey, Sam Simmons, Nick Helm and Josie Long Clockwise from top left;: Adam Riches, Andrew Maxwell, Chris Ramsey, Sam Simmons, Nick Helm and Josie Long

The winner of the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards will be announced later.

Six acts are in the running for the coveted best comedy show prize, including Nick Helm, who won the award for the funniest joke of the Fringe.

Josie Long, who was also nominated last year, is up for the award again for her show which attacks the Conservatives in government.

Chris Ramsey, Adam Riches and Sam Simmons are also nominated for the award, now in its 31st year.

Last year's winner was Russell Kane. Previous winners include Lee Evans, Steve Coogan and Al Murray.

The awards, which have been running since 1981, were formerly known as the Perriers and the If.Comeddies.

"Star" names, who have already had a TV series or can perform in a 500-seat venue under their own name, are not eligible for the award.

However, the judging panel did see 505 different shows over the three weeks of the Fringe.

The prize for the Best Comedy Show is £10,000 and there is also a £5,000 for best newcomer.

Nica Burns, producer of the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards, said 2011 was an "exceptional year for newcomers" and the panel was "spoilt for choice".

The eight nominations for best newcomer are: Cariad Lloyd; The Chris and Paul Show; Hannibal Buress; Holly Walsh; Humphrey Ker; Josh Widdicombe; Thom Tuck and Totally Tom.

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