Youngster Isla Nelson scoops gong at Scottish Comedy Awards

The ceremony may have been past her bedtime but that didn't stop three-year-old Isla Nelson scooping the best actress prize at the Scottish Comedy Awards in Edinburgh.

Comedian Mark Nelson's daughter Isla won best actress for her role in the BBC's Short Stuff comedy series. Picture: BBC
Comedian Mark Nelson's daughter Isla won best actress for her role in the BBC's Short Stuff comedy series. Picture: BBC

The Glaswegian youngster and her father Mark, a former Scottish Comedian of the Year, have racked up almost 100 million views with their videos on BBC Scotland’s website.

Nelson’s News at 3 series was also awarded the best online comedy prize at the fourth annual ceremony, which has been moved in the calendar to coincide with the start of the festival season in Edinburgh.

Meanwhile, Frankie Boyle, Des Clarke, Richard Gadd, Fred MacAulay and Bruce Morton were also among the big winners at the ceremony last night.

The revival of Still Game after a nine-year hiatus saw it edge out Two Doors Down and Scot Squad in the best TV category.

Breaking the News, BBC Scotland’s topical panel show, which is fronted by Clarke, was named best radio show, while he was named best radio comic.

Boyle, who returned to the nation’s screens after a lengthy hiatus with BBC series New World Order, was named best TV comic.


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But it was Isla who stole the show, being named best actress ahead of Still Game favourite Jane McCarry and two other BBC Scotland stars – Doon MacKichan of Two Doors Down and Scot Squad’s Karen Bartke.

In one episode, Isla lampooned Theresa May’s famous campaign slogan, saying: “Strong and stable, strong and stable, that’s all she says. It’s a government dad, not Ikea furniture.”

Asked about the election campaign by her father, Isla said: “I’m sick of elections. They’re closing my nursery. It was my turn in the sandpit on Thursday.”

Anthony Browne, executive producer of social media at BBC Scotland, has described Isla as the “breakout star” of the Short Stuff comedy series.

Meanwhile, Rising star Richard Gadd was given an outstanding a achievement award for being the first Scottish winner of the main comedy award at the Fringe for 29 years, while the Monkey Barrel in Edinburgh was named Scotland’s best large comedy club less than a year after opening its doors.

MacAulay and Morton were honoured along with fellow “Funny Farm” members Parrot, Libby MacArthur, Stu Who and David Cosgrove as the collective which emerged from the Glasgow comedy scene in the 1980s received a lifetime achievement award.


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Awards founder Alan Anderson said: “The last year was a stand out one for Scottish comedy.

“Richard Gadd being the first Scot in 29 years to win the Edinburgh Comedy Award was without doubt the highlight.

“There is a great pool of talent on the stand-up circuit.

“However it’s on the small screen that Scotland is experiencing a vintage period thanks to the brilliant UK-wide response to shows such as Two Doors Down, Scot Squad and Still Game.”