Dave's Edinburgh Comedy Awards add to Festival Fringe's lustre while cheering us all up in grim times – Scotsman comment

The announcement of the shortlist for Dave's Edinburgh Comedy Awards – formerly known as the Perrier – puts the ten contenders on the brink of stardom.

From Frank Skinner to Jenny Eclair and Rich Hall, many previous winners have gone on to receive national and international acclaim. Even some of the runners-up, like Eddie Izzard, Lily Savage and Jo Brand, have achieved the status of comedy greatness, showing just how fierce the competition can be.

While the dominance of comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe has provoked criticism in the past from some who bemoan the overshadowing of theatre, the high profile of the awards does add to its lustre.

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And, in grim times, anyone who can make us crack a smile is more than welcome. Laughter may not actually be the best medicine, but it can certainly feel like it at times.

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We hope the winner is funnier than this year’s “funniest joke of the Fringe” (Masai Graham’s pun “I tried to steal spaghetti from the shop, but the female guard saw me and I couldn’t get pasta”) and more like his excellent winning line from 2016: “My dad suggested I register for a donor card – he's a man after my own heart.”

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Edinburgh Festival Fringe: Transgender comic in running for biggest comedy award...
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But these things often have as much to do with the context, the presentation and so on than anything else. It’s the way you tell ’em, as someone may have once said.

There is no competition, however, for the least funny joke of the Festival – Edinburgh’s rubbish-strewn streets. So, as the bin strike continues, congratulations, best wishes and, most of all, thank you to all ten contenders.

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Jordan Gray is the first solo transgender comic to be nominated for the main Edinburgh Comedy Award prize (Picture: Dylan Woodley)

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