Dave’s Joke Of The Fringe 2023


22nd August 2023

  • Comedian Lorna Rose Treen wins 'Dave's Funniest Joke of The Fringe' Award with zookeeper joke
  • A shortlist of jokes were chosen by a panel of UK comedy critics from shows at this year's Fringe and anonymously voted for by the British public
  • Other jokes in the Top 10 include one-liners from the likes of Liz Guterbock, Amos Gill and Masai Graham
  • Themes such as overly apologetic Brits and inflation also feature in the winning list
  • 2023 marks the fourteenth year of Dave's Funniest Joke of the Fringe Award

Dave, the BAFTA-winning UKTV entertainment channel, has announced the winner of its fourteenth Dave's Funniest Joke of the Fringe award.

Comedian, Lorna Rose Treen, was voted the winner with her witty pun: "I started dating a zookeeper, but it turned out he was a cheetah." The joke, taken from her show Skin Pigeon at Pleasance Courtyard, topped the list of funniest of the Fringe with 44% of Brits surveyed voting it the most hilarious rib-tickler.

To seek out the best one-liners and wisecracks for the greatly anticipated Joke of the Fringe award, Dave recruited an expert panel of acclaimed judges made up of some of the leading comedy critics in the UK.

These panellists attended hundreds of shows across the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, listening out for those jokes which tickled them the most, then submitted their ten favourites. This shortlist was then submitted anonymously - without the name of the comic involved - to a public vote of 2,000 Brits, after which the funniest was revealed.

When asked to select a top three, Dave's Top 10 Funniest Jokes of the Fringe Festival 2023 revealed:

  1. I started dating a zookeeper, but it turned out he was a cheetah. Lorna Rose Treen - 44%
  2. The most British thing I've ever heard? A lady who said 'Well I'm sorry, but I don't apologise.' Liz Guterbock - 41%
  3. Last year I had a great joke about inflation. But it's hardly worth it now. Amos Gill - 40%
  4. When women gossip we get called bitchy; but when men do it's called a podcast. Sikisa - 34%
  5. I thought I'd start off with a joke about The Titanic - just to break the ice. Masai Graham - 33%
  6. How do coeliac Germans greet each other? Gluten tag. Frank Lavender - 32%
  7. My friend got locked in a coffee place overnight. Now he only ever goes into Starbucks, not the rivals. He's Costa-phobic. Roger Swift - 29%
  8. I entered the 'How not to surrender' competition and I won hands down. Bennett Arron -29%
  9. Nationwide must have looked pretty silly when they opened their first branch. William Stone - 28%
  10. My grandma describes herself as being in her 'twilight years' which I love because they're great films. Daniel Foxx - 26%

Lorna Rose Treen, a London based comedian, writer, and actor, originally from Redditch, has won numerous awards for her creative one liners. Lorna became the first ever double award winner at the Funny Women Awards in 2022, then went on to win Chortle's coveted Best Newcomer Award in early 2023.

At the Edinburgh Fringe 2023, Lorna is debuting at The Pleasance Courtyard with her nonsensical escapist character show - SKIN PIGEON - throughout the month, until 27th August.

Speaking about her joke claiming the top spot, Lorna said:

I am blooming chuffed to have won Dave's best joke of the fringe! Are you kidding! I can't wait to tell my mum! It is already such a wonderful joy to be debuting at the Edinburgh Fringe this year, and this is a lovely thing on top. A huge thank you for awarding my stupid joke with this title!

Now in its fourteenth year, previous winners of the coveted Joke of the Fringe Award include Masai Graham, Ken Cheng, Olaf Falafel, Tim Vine, Rob Auton, Stewart Francis, Zoe Lyons and Nick Helm.

Recognising comics both established and up-and-coming, the Joke of the Fringe award celebrates the art of joke writing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and acknowledges the talent it requires to create knee-slapping one-liners. To ensure that there is no bias towards well-known or 'household name' comedians during the public vote, the jokes are listed with no reference to the comedian that wrote and performed them - meaning it is purely judged on the humour of the jokes themselves.

Cherie Hall, Dave channel director, said:

It's that time of year again - Dave's Joke of the Fringe - and this year we are thrilled to award Lorna Rose Treen's joke with the win. We've got an amazing mix of jokes and comedians in our Top 10 list this year, the quality of submissions will keep us laughing until next year! This is the 14th year of our sponsorship of the Joke of the Fringe, and Dave remains as committed as ever to showcasing the best in new comedy on the channel. We are really excited for the return of Outsiders and Big Zuu's Big Eats in the next few months.

The Edinburgh Fringe Festival is the biggest arts festival in the world and takes place every August for three weeks in Scotland's capital city.

2023 marks the fourteenth year of Dave's Funniest Joke of the Fringe. New content coming to the channel in the next few months include the return of Outsiders and Big Zuu's Big Eats. Find the best of Dave's programming on UKTV Play.


For more information contact: Abi Beaton 07707 810658 or abi.beaton@taylorherring.com at Taylor Herring PR

Notes to editors

The 76th Edinburgh Fringe Festival takes place 4th - 28th August 2023.

The Dave Joke of the Fringe Panel:

  • Steve Bennett (Editor, Chortle.co.uk)
  • Mark Boosey (Editor, British Comedy Guide)
  • Bruce Dessau (Comedy Critic, Evening Standard)
  • Polly Glynn (Comedy Editor, The Skinny)
  • Mark Monahan (Arts Editor, Daily Telegraph)
  • Dominic Maxwell (Comedy Critic, The Times)
  • James Walker (Journalist, The National)
  • Brian Logan (Comedy Critic, The Guardian)
  • Kate Stone (Editor, FunnyWomen.co.uk)
  • Andrzej Lukowski (Editor & Critic, TimeOut)

The Dave panel each submitted their ten 'best jokes' nominations. These were then put anonymously to a vote of 2,000 Brits who chose their funniest one-liners.

About Dave

Sky 111/811, Virgin 127/194, Freesat 157, Freeview 19, Freesat 157

Dave is the award-winning entertainment channel home to a veritable feast of UKTV Original comedy hits from some of the biggest stars in the UK. Comedy entertainment shows like BAFTA-winning Big Zuu's Big Eats, Outsiders, Mel Giedroyc: Unforgivable, World's Most Dangerous Roads and Alan Davies: As Yet Untitled, sit alongside scripted comedies such as Meet The Richardsons and Sneakerhead.

But Dave isn't just restricted to television screens. There's exclusive online content, with YouTube's Outsiders: Gone Wild with David Mitchell and Get Off My Phone! featuring Grace Campbell, Thanyia Moore, Ania Magliano, Travis Jay and more, as well as Facebook series The Comedy Guide To Life, Bad Advice with Olga Koch and BackChat. Dave's partnership with CALM has led to exclusive commissions and innovative online and marketing campaigns such as #BeTheMateYoudWant. Dave also crowns its winner of Dave's Joke of the Fringe at Edinburgh each year.

About UKTV

UKTV has been at the forefront of branded television for over 30 years, entertaining the nation with programmes they love. Its leading brands - Dave, Gold, W, Drama, Alibi, Eden and Yesterday - span comedy, entertainment, natural history, factual and scripted drama, and are delivered to audiences through UKTV Play, Freeview, Sky, Virgin Media, BT, TalkTalk, YouView, Freesat and Amazon Fire. The broadcaster is a significant investor in British creativity and is committed to working with new and established writers, directors and programme-makers.

UKTV is part of BBC Studios, the UK's most-awarded production company, a world-class distributor with international branded services, and a commercial subsidiary of the world's leading public service broadcaster, the BBC.

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With the easy-to-use UKTV Play app you can browse and stream hundreds of shows for free via your computer, tablet or smart phone. You can also watch on the telly thanks to Amazon, Apple TV, Fire TV and Fire TV Stick, Freeview, NOW TV, Roku and YouView.

If you're a Sky, Virgin Media, BT TV or TalkTalk TV customer, shows from other great UKTV channels - Gold, Alibi and Eden - are also on the menu.

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