The disgraceful booing that greeted Ro Campbell's announcement as 2010 Scottish Comedian of the Year capped an odd night characterised by sporadic outbursts of ill will.
The Australian, who qualifies for the title as a long-time resident, was a deserving winner. Nevertheless, a significant number of Scottish comedians have opted not enter the event and the final was an unprecedentedly tetchy affair, with no fewer than four of the 11 competitors having a dig at compere Tam Cowan.
As with Liverpudlian Rick Molland – who took second with an audacious ten minutes that began as an uninspired, left-wing attack on Jim Davidson, yet built into an impressively sustained call for vigilante justice for a BNP rape apologist – the assured, affable Campbell seemed to enflame sections of the crowd with his edgier material. Excessive partisan support for other competitors shouldn't be discounted though.
Advocating retributive rape, on a night unfortunately coloured by excessive, throwaway mentions of sexual assault, Molland demonstrated no subject ought to be off-limits if handled intelligently and originally.
Campbell was more ingratiating, playing up to Glasgow's violent reputation and Shetland's choppy ferry crossing with wry humour and ebullient verve. So it was a routine about Taleban amputees that doubtless lost him some of the crowd, while perhaps swinging him the verdict of the judges. Gallus Father Christmas-lookalike Graham Mackie was good value for third place.