Jordan Brookes and Catherine Cohen picked up prizes for best show and best newcomer at this year’s Dave’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards.
They were chosen from 759 shows at the Edinburgh Fringe and were presented with their prizes by past winner Stephen Fry (1981) and Rose Matafeo (2018).
The winner of the Panel Prize was Edinburgh resident Jessica Brough for her team’s initiative Fringe of Colour which is dedicated to making the festival more accessible to comedians and audiences of colour.
Fry, who was presented with a birthday cake on stage, told assembled guests at the ceremony held at the Dovecot Studios that winning the award had changed his life as well as others who had won it.
He remarked that in the year of his victory, alongside Hugh Laurie and Emma Thompson, there were just 34 nominee, an indication of how it continues to grow and appeal to audiences.
“The Fringe means everything to me. I wouldn’t be here without it,” he said, adding that it provided a means of expression to many people.
Nica Burns, director of the awards, said it had been an extraordinary and record-breaking year with an almost 45/50% gender balance with two of those on the shortlist being the first black British women nominees.
Brookes, who won £10,000, had been selected winner of best show after a ‘nail-biting debate’ as someone who is “uttlerly unique”.
Cohen, picking up £5,000, has a regular set at Alan Cumming’s cult cabaret night club in New York.
Jessica Brough, who also secured a £5,000 prize, will use the money to help connect more performers and audiences and inspire young people.