BBC News

Kane wins Edinburgh comedy award

By Steven Brocklehurst
BBC Scotland news website


Comedian Russell Kane said he was "utterly humbled" to have won the Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards.

He beat off four other acts nominated for the Fringe's top comedy prize, which is now in its 30th year.

The shortlist included 30-year-old Kane, Sarah Millican, Josie Long, Bo Burnham and Greg Davies.

Essex-born Kane's winning show was called Smokescreens and Castles and was about the council house in which he grew up.

The prize for the best newcomer went to Roisin Conarty and 20-year-old American Burnham was handed the "Spirit of the Fringe" award.

It was the third consecutive year that Kane had been a nominee for the coveted prize of £10,000.

Smokescreens and Castles was the simplest entry he had done at the Fringe and was not one of his "grand ideas".

Kane said: "It is about the council house I grew up in - The Castle. I go room by room and explore my childhood home."

The comedian phoned his mother after his win and told her to run around the estate and tell everyone.

He told BBC Scotland: "The previous shows were about big ideas. This year's show was really personal. I thought it was really simple but sometimes when you boil it all down gems start to appear. I really enjoyed doing it."

Kane said his celebrations would have to wait until after a gig at Reading Festival on Sunday.

The awards ceremony was at the Famous Spiegeltent in George Square Gardens and were presented by 1999 winner Al Murray and last year's winner Tim Key.

Nica Burns, producer of the awards, said: "Russell Kane takes the audience by storm with his boundless energy and enthusiasm. An extremely funny show from a very talented comic."

image captionJosie Long, Greg Davies, Sarah Millican, Russell Kane and Bo Burnham were nominated for the Best Comedy Show award

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

They have launched the career of some major comedy stars of the past three decades, including Lee Evans, Frank Skinner and Steve Coogan.

"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 416 different shows over the three weeks of the Fringe.

The panel prize awarded by the judges to the act which best embodies the spirit of the Fringe was given US comedian Burnham.

Stephen Armstrong, chair of the judging panel, said the internet was providing new ways for comedians to be funny and the "graft, imagination and emotion" required to perform an hour-long Edinburgh show may not appeal to future generations.

Burnham, who made his name posting comedy songs on Youtube, was given the award for "providing proof that online sensations with millions of fans will still flock to the cramped streets of Edinburgh".

More on this story

  • Comedy awards shortlist announced