Hannah Gadsby and John Robins share Fringe's main comedy honour

The main comedy award at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe has been shared between two acts for the first time in its 37-year-history.

Hannah Gadsby and John Robins were named joint winners of the main Edinburgh Comedy Awards prize today.

John Robins and Hannah Gadsby took to the stage together at the Dovecot Studios today after The League of Gentlemen announced that there would be two winners of the main Edinburgh Comedy Awards prize for the first time.

Nica Burns, director of the awards, said both acts would be awarded the £10,000 prize money.

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Gadsby, one of the leading Australian performers at the Fringe, won with a show in which she announces she is walking away from stand-up comedy.

English comic Robins bases his show around his break-up from fellow stand-up Sara Pascoe, who is also appearing at the festival.

The 10-strong judging panel could not be split after deliberations which got underway at 8am and a decision was taken to award two winners.

Ms Burns said the two winning shows "could not be more different, were hotly debated and fiercely fought for."

"An outstanding shortlist in a brilliant year for comedy has resulted in an unprecedented decision.

"It is fitting that in the 70th anniversary year for the Fringe something extraordinary has happened."

American actress Natalie Palamides, who is making her debut at the Fringe this month, won the best newcomer prize.