AUSTRALIAN comic Sam Campbell has won the top prize for his show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
After a “truly outstanding” year, judges at Dave’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards announced Campbell as their best comedy show winner.
The honour, which is now in its 40th year and was formerly known as the Perrier Award, will see the Australian collect £10,000 in prize money.
Campbell was presented with his award by Jordan Brookes, who won the last time the awards were presented in 2019, and four-time nominee Russell Kane, who won the 30th anniversary award for best comedy show in 2010.
Lara Ricote, a hard-of-hearing Mexican-born performer who was brought up in the US, was awarded a £5000 prize after being named best newcomer.
The awards, sponsored by the TV channel Dave, also awarded a panel prize of £5,000 to Best in Class, a crowd-funded, profit-sharing initiative that helped working-class comedians from across the UK to perform at this year’s Fringe.
Nica Burns, director of Dave’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards, said it had been a “truly outstanding international year”.
Speaking about Campbell, the sixth Australian to win the award, she said his show was “original, sometimes surreal” and was full of jokes which were “often unexpected”.
She added: “He changes gear throughout and takes his audience on a journey of laughter.”
Burns said Ricote’s debut at the festival had been “an absolute delight”, describing her as being “completely distinct and very funny”.
The director said: “She is a standout performer who happens to be hard of hearing.”
Speaking about the awards overall, she said: “We’ve had the widest representation from across the whole country, from Scotland to Sussex and everywhere in between.
“The panel prize for Best in Class championing and supporting those who cannot afford the cost of performing in Edinburgh has caught the spirit of this year’s Fringe.”
Cherie Cunningham, channel director at Dave, said: “We’re over the moon at Dave to be supporting and celebrating these amazing comics.
“The standard was incredibly high this year and we’re so pleased to crown such deserving winners. We look forward to seeing Lara and Sam on Dave soon.”