Launched in 1981, the award is presented to the comedy show judged to have been the best at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and is recognised as the most prestigious comedy prize in the UK.
The award is designed to promote acts that have yet to become household names, so comedians judged to have ‘star status’ are not eligible - for instance if they have a show on a major television channel or can regularly fill a 500-set venue.
A Best Newcomer Award was added in 1992, followerd by a Panel Prize in 2006 for those who have made a particularly special contribution to the Fringe Festival.
Here are 11 acts who went on to enjoy massive success after winning the award.
1. The Mighty Boosh
As The Mighty Boosh, Noel Fielding and Julian Barratt won the Best Newcomer Award in 1998. They went on to create a massively popular television programme of the same name, before solo projects saw them feature in everything from cult British film A Field in England to The Great British Bakeoff. Photo: Jason Kempin
2. Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie
Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie won thefirst award in 1981 as part of the Cambridge Footlights - who also included Oscar-winning actress and screenwriter Emma Thompson and comedian Tony Slattery. They became one of the UK's most popular television double acts, before going on to find individual global fame with star roles in numerous television programmes and Hollywood films. Photo: Mike Marsland
3. Hannah Gadsby
Hannah Gadsby won the Edinburgh Comedy Award for her hard-hitting show Nanette in 2017. The show then appeared on Netflix, becoming one of the most-watched, and discussed, comedy specials of all time. She now tours the world playing to packed auditoriums. Photo: Lisa Maree Williams
4. Steve Coogan
Steve Coogan won the award in 1992 after teaming up with The Fast Show's John Thomson. Since then his character Alan Patridge has become one of the world's most popular comic creations, while he has starred in, produced and written numerous films and television programmes enjoyed by millions. Photo: Jamie McCarthy