The Edinburgh Comedy Awards has revealed new sponsors for its long-running awards.
Their long-standing Director Nica Burns, who runs the West End’s Nimax Theatres group, has announced three new partners have come on board to sponsor the awards: Sky, DLT Entertainment and The Victoria Wood Foundation. Nica Burns will also sponsor the awards.
Together they will sponsor the Sky Best Comedy Show, DLT Entertainment Best Newcomer and the Panel Prize, which this year will be called the Victoria Wood Award.
Previous sponsors have included Perrier, and more recently UKTV’s Dave TV channel.
The Awards celebrate the best of both up-and-coming comedy and brand-new performers at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe, finding and spotlighting the next generation of talent and awarding comedy excellence across all genres of comedy. Over the years the Awards have been a springboard for outstanding comedy performers who have gone on to become household names at home and abroad.
Nica Burns said in a press statement: “In only five weeks, three companies who are as passionate about comedy as I am have joined me to enable the 41st Edinburgh Comedy Awards to go ahead this August. I cannot thank Sky, DLT Entertainment and the Victoria Wood Foundation enough for responding so swiftly and decisively in the true spirit of the Fringe. It’s an amazing commitment from them and a wonderful endorsement of the Awards’ place in the fabric of Edinburgh. So it’s business as usual for 2023 and plans for the long term future of the Comedy Awards are speeding ahead. To all the comics and those in the comedy industry who have voiced so passionately how much they love the Edinburgh Comedy Awards, our heartfelt thanks”
Shona McCarthy, Chief Executive Edinburgh Festival Fringe Society said: “It is absolutely wonderful news to hear that the Edinburgh Comedy Awards will go ahead as usual this year. The Awards are such a vital part of the Fringe ecology and an important source of motivation, validation and support for the comedy sector. Congratulations to Nica and the ECA team, and I would like to add our sincere thanks to the funders who have had the foresight to step in with essential backing. This gives certainty for this year and time for the team to shape a sustainable future for the awards. Happy Fringe ‘23.”
A Sky spokesman said: “Sky are delighted to sponsor the Edinburgh Comedy Awards this year, ensuring they can continue to be an integral part of the Edinburgh Fringe landscape. The Comedy Awards are massively important to the whole comedy community, with a more than forty-year history of identifying and nurturing the best new comedic talent, as the list of household names amongst past winners is testament to. At Sky, we are relentless in searching for the next generation of performers who’ll entertain, surprise and, most importantly, make us laugh.”
Don Taffner, President of DLT Entertainment said: “Comedy has been part of my life since childhood. I have been coming to the Edinburgh Fringe for years to watch comedy, always seeing one more show than the previous year – 126 shows last year. I love the Fringe. As part of that, I have enjoyed the buzz the Edinburgh Comedy Awards bring to it so when I heard they needed support to make them happen this year, I reached out to Nica immediately. I feel privileged to be part of making the ECAs happen this year.”
The Victoria Wood Foundation said: “Victoria Wood was a wonderful human being and an extraordinary talent. A brilliant performer, writer, musician, song writer and director, she started in small spaces and moved on to create hugely successful television series including Dinnerladies and Acorn Antiques as well as serious work such as Housewife 49. Her sketch show, Victoria Wood as Seen on TV, was one of the most successful comedy series of the time and she broke records with her live stand-up shows, including regular, three-week sold-out seasons at the Royal Albert Hall. Immensely generous in spirit, she had an incredible eye for new talent, often giving young actors with comedic talent their first opportunities in television. We are delighted in the spirit of Victoria Wood to be supporting emerging comedy talent at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe through these fantastic Awards.”
The Awards Judging Panel and scouts operate an open-access, independent, thorough, inclusive and fair judging process comprising senior members of the comedy industry, comedy critics and comedy fans representing the public.
The prize money for Best Comedy Show is £10,000 with £5,000 each for the Best Newcomer and the Panel Prize winner.
The Shortlist will be announced on Wednesday 23 August 2023, and the Nominees’ photo-call will be on 24 August.
The 41st Edinburgh Comedy Awards ceremony will take place on Saturday 26 August 2023.