Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Tim Vine wins funniest Edinburgh Fringe joke award

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Media captionFunniest joke man Tim Vine on the perfect one-liner

A joke by comedian Tim Vine about a vacuum cleaner has been voted the funniest at this year's Edinburgh Fringe Festival.

He won with the one-liner: "I decided to sell my Hoover... well it was just collecting dust."

Vine, 47, saw his joke scoop almost a fifth of the votes in the competition run by comedy television channel, Dave.

It is the first time the award has been presented to a previous winner.

Vine also won in 2010 with the joke: "I've just been on a once-in-a-lifetime holiday. I'll tell you what, never again."

Image copyright Lesley Martin
Image caption Tim Vine with his award for the funniest joke of the Fringe

He was runner up in 2011, 2012 and 2013.

On being crowned this year's winner, Vine said: "I'm a little bit surprised but very delighted. This is the second time I've won this award but I guess nobody loves a repeat more than Dave."

In an interview on BBC Radio 4's Today programme, the comedian talked about the process of writing one-liners.

He said: "When I think of what I think is a good joke I do often laugh, because of course it's the first time I've heard it. So I will chuckle.

"But I've been wrong many times and I'll go in front of an audience thinking this is an absolute work of genius and they stare back at me going 'Sorry you want us to laugh at this point, do you?' and I realise that doesn't work at all.

"But it also works the other way and that's the exciting thing about writing comedy - you never quite know until you try it with an audience. Never test it on family and friends."

When asked if he ever stretched his jokes to a paragraph he said: "Only on this show would I be asked that question. It's a beautiful question 'do you ever do paragraphs?'

"I do occasionally, but what happens is I think that bit can go, and I don't really need that bit, and then eventually it's back to a line and a half again."

Some of the finalists for funniest joke of the Fringe Festival 2014

  1. "I've decided to sell my Hoover... well, it was just collecting dust" - Tim Vine.
  2. "I've written a joke about a fat badger, but I couldn't fit it into my set" - Masai Graham.
  3. "Always leave them wanting more, my uncle used to say to me. Which is why he lost his job in disaster relief" - Mark Watson.
  4. "I was given some Sudoku toilet paper. It didn't work. You could only fill it in with number ones and number twos" - Bec Hill.
  5. "I wanted to do a show about feminism. But my husband wouldn't let me" - Ria Lina.
  6. "Money can't buy you happiness? Well, check this out, I bought myself a Happy Meal" - Paul F Taylor.
  7. "Scotland had oil, but it's running out thanks to all that deep frying" - Scott Capurro.
  8. "I've been married for 10 years, I haven't made a decision for seven" - Jason Cook.
  9. "This show is about perception and perspective. But it depends how you look at it" - Felicity Ward.

Steve North, general manager of Dave, said: "It's great to see a range of established and new comedians in this year's top 10.

"The award celebrates the fantastic range of comedy on offer at the Fringe, and Tim has once again proved he is king of the one-liners."

To find the favourite joke, the judges scoured the festival's venues for a week before nominating their three favourite jokes.

They were then put to the public vote, with 2,000 people choosing those they found funniest.

Three female comedians, Bec Hill, Ria Lina and Felicity Ward, featured in this year's top 10, reflecting the 62% rise of women performing at this year's Fringe on last year.

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