Introducing Dave's Edinburgh Comedy Awards

comedy award

Thursday 11 July 2019

UKTV's leading comedy channel Dave today announces its new title partnership of The Edinburgh Comedy Awards, directed by Nica Burns.

The Edinburgh Comedy Awards, which were established in 1981 and are entering their 39th year for 2019, celebrate the talent of both established and up-and-coming comedians performing at The Edinburgh Festival Fringe each year. From 2019, the awards will be sponsored by comedy channel Dave, to further celebrate and support comics, from those breaking into the industry to much-loved names.

Dave's Edinburgh Comedy Awards are judged by an independent panel, who see all eligible shows performed live at the Fringe, with previous winners including Rose Matafeo, Al Murray, Bridget Christie, Jenny Éclair, The League of Gentleman, Frank Skinner, Steve Coogan, Lee Evans and Russell Kane.

Dave has a well-established passion for supporting fresh comedy, and with a growing slate of UKTV Originals, the channel is committed to seeking out new acts. With an audience of over 19 million people each month, original commissioned series include fan favourites such as Taskmaster, Hypothetical, Judge Romesh, Sliced and Jon Richardson: Ultimate Worrier. The channel prides itself on supporting new talent, with the majority of their original comedies bringing in young audiences, significantly above industry average.

Across 2019, Dave has nine UKTV Original comedy series on the channel, working with over 100 comedians across the year.

Luke Hales, channel director for Dave, said:

We spend a lot of time talking to our audience about what they want from both comedy and Dave, and one of the most common responses is asking to be introduced to new comics - so partnering with The Edinburgh Comedy Awards feels like the perfect way to help us discover even more new talent. We want to make sure Dave is immersed in fresh comedy in the real world, as well as on television. We love the Edinburgh Fringe Festival here at Dave, and this year, wanted to build on our involvement alongside Dave's Joke of the Fringe - we're extremely excited to help support the Edinburgh Comedy Awards, who share our passion and commitment for supporting both new and established comedy stars.

Nica Burns, Director of the Edinburgh Comedy Awards, said:

We are delighted to announce that our new title partner is UKTV comedy channel Dave. There is an incredible synergy between us; we both love comedy and are always looking for up and coming talent - the stars of tomorrow - to sit alongside the stars of today. Many of our nominees, from James Acaster, to Nish Kumar, Sara Pascoe, Romesh Ranganthan and Lucy Beaumont are stars or panelists on Dave's original comedy strands. We are looking forward to a great partnership and announcing our first Dave's Edinburgh Comedy Award nominees and winners.

The new award, pictured, has been designed by UKTV's in-house creative team UKTV Creative. Alongside a brand-new partnership with Dave, 2019 is set to be a record-breaking year for the Awards already, with over 750 different comedy shows eligible for the shortlist, all of which will be seen by the judging team.

The nominations for Dave's Edinburgh Comedy Awards will be announced on Wednesday 21st August, with the winners to be revealed on Saturday 24th August.

The Awards categories are:

  • Best Comedy Show - with a cash prize of £10,000

  • Best Newcomer - with a cash prize of £5,000

  • Panel Prize - with a cash prize of £5,000

A full history of the winners and nominees, eligibility rules and all other details about the Awards can be found at



Notes for Editors

For further information please contact: Anna Arthur PR Anna Arthur - 07973 264373

For UKTV and Dave - please contact: Taylor Herring PR Georgina Vincent - 0208 206 5151

About Dave

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Ever since it was knee high to a TV remote, Dave had an idea. It wanted to be the first place viewers would come for brand-new, award-winning entertainment from the biggest and brightest stars and production companies in the UK. And in the years since, it has launched some of the most exciting and best-loved titles on TV.

There are names like BAFTA and Emmy-nominated Taskmaster - now in its ninth series -, Judge Romesh, Hypothetical, Jon Richardson: Ultimate Worrier and Comedians Giving Lectures. And of course there's Dave Gorman, whose inquisitive mind is returning to the channel for Terms and Conditions Apply. It's not just in front of the camera where the comic genius lies either, with a wealth of scripted treasure such as Sliced, Porters and the globally popular Red Dwarf.

Dave's not content just to make you laugh and share gags with your mates though. Expedition with Steve Backshall and Hurricane Man are showing you regions and aspects of the earth never before seen on TV. Red Bull Soapbox continues to delight with its boundless capacity for invention. And stepping away from the TV entirely, Dave's partnered with CALM to launch the "Be The Mate You'd Want" campaign and the "Conversations Against Living Miserably" podcast.

Reaching 20million viewers a month, Dave's come a long way, but it's only just getting warmed up. / @davechannel

About the Comedy Awards

Established in 1981 the Awards the contest for the comedy crowns of Best Comedy Show and Best Newcomer has made headline news at the Edinburgh Fringe festival for four decades.

The inaugural winners were Cambridge Footlights in 1981, whose line-up included Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, and Emma Thompson. Other winners whose careers have soared since carrying off the awards run from the late Sean Hughes, still the youngest ever winner at age 24, to Rose Matafeo, Hannah Gadsby, Bridget Christie, Sam Simmons, Frank Skinner, Steve Coogan, Jenny Éclair, Dylan Moran, The League of Gentlemen, and Al Murray.

Among past nominees are some equally stellar acts including Nish Kumar, James Acaster, Ahir Shah, Kieron Hodgson, Romesh Ranganathan, Jimmy Carr, Omid

Longstanding Awards Director, Nica Burns OBE is the multi-award winning producer of over 100 productions. She was Artistic Director at the Donmar Warehouse from 1983 to 1989 and Production Director of Stoll Moss and Really Useful Theatres from 1993 to 2005. She founded Nimax Theatres in 2005 and is Chief Executive and co-owner of the Palace, Lyric, Apollo, Garrick, Vaudeville and Duchess theatres in London's West End. Working with her development partners Derwent London Ltd and Crossrail, she is building a new theatre on Charing Cross Road.