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Poet, Tim Key named comedy king at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards

3rd September 2009

The 2009 Edinburgh Fringe comedy award has been won by poet and comedian, Tim Key for his show The Slutcracker.

The 32-year-old, from Cambridge, performs a "confused procession of idiosyncratic poetry and prose".

Formerly known as the Perriers and the If.comedies, the awards have been the launch pad for a string of new comedy stars since 1981. The judges scrutinised over 400 other acts at the festival, before chosing Tim as the winner.

The best newcomer award was won by Jonny Sweet and the panel prize went to Peter Buckley Hill's Free Fringe, which was judged to embody the spirit of the Fringe.

The shortlist included Tom Wrigglesworth, Russell Kane and Idiots of Ants, John Bishop and Jon Richardson, chosen by a panel of seven judges and three comedy punters. 

Stars on the comedy scene, who have already had TV series or can perform in a 500-seat venue under their own name, were not eligible to compete for the award.

Tim said of his victory: "It means quite a lot, it's like a nice big panel of people that think my show is good and I guess it reflects that my show was all right this year." He received an £8,000 prize, as well as invitations to appear at international comedy festivals in Montreal, Toronto and Chicago.

Nica Burns, the producer of the Edinburgh Comedy Awards said: "Tim Key is a one-off, an adorably diffident performance poet and stand-up. His charming show is full of surprises.

Jonny Sweet's show Mostly about Arthur, was described by award producer Nica Burns as a "delicious hour of character comedy". The 24-year-old from London, is due to play the young David Cameron in a More 4 docudrama, won £4,000 for being best newcomer.

Peter Buckley Hill was awarded the Panel Prize in recognition of the work he has done over the past 14 years with the Free Fringe.

The comedy award was first made in 1981 to a Cambridge Footlights cast which included Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Tony Slattery and Emma Thompson - all future comedy stars. Its golden age came in the early 90s when it was won by Frank Skinner, Steve Coogan and Lee Evans.

Frank returned to Edinburgh to present the awards ceremony He said: "The standard is high every year. I don't subscribe to the idea that this award isn't as good as it used to be and all that.

"I think anyone who wins this is top-notch comic. You've got to be brilliant to win it, and to be nominated I think."


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