Funding appeal

Comedy awards seek sponsor as Dave pulls out

Stephen Fry at the awards in 2019 (pic: Terry Murden)

Edinburgh’s Comedy Awards have been thrown into doubt after television channel Dave withdrew its sponsorship .

Organisers of the 40-year-old Fringe event have appealed for a new backers for what was previously known as the Perrier Comedy Awards.

They have conceded a need to restructure their funding model away from reliance on one large title sponsor are are setting up a charitable trust to pull together syndicates of funders.

Previous winners include as Stephen Fry, Steve Coogan, Lee Evans and Harry Hill.

Director Nica Burns, who has run the awards since 1984, said: “I am a passionate advocate of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe and the vital role it plays in acting as a springboard for many careers, including my own.

“I remain committed to the awards which I have fought for and grown over the last four decades and I am proud of their role in spotlighting outstanding comedy talent.”

She said she has personally sponsored the awards twice over the years and “will be the first to put money on the table for 2023”.

She is appealing for others to help ensure the awards go ahead this year.

Shona McCarthy, chief executive of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society, said the Edinburgh Comedy Awards have been a really important part of the Fringe landscape for the last 40 years.

“Comedy is critically underfunded, but a huge part of the Fringe, and we know that artists, venues and the wider comedy community will want us to work collaboratively to support the ECA in any way we can, in redeveloping and securing a sustainable future for the awards.”

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