Aussie comedian Sam Campbell wins top prize at Dave’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards

Sam Campbell

Australian comedian Sam Campbell won top prize for his show at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

After a “truly exceptional” year, the judges of Dave’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards have announced Campbell as their top comedy winner.

The honour, now in its 40th year and previously known as the Perrier Award, will see the Australian collect £10,000 in prize money.

Campbell received his award from Jordan Brookes, who last won the awards in 2019, and four-time nominee Russell Kane, who won the 30th Anniversary Award for Best Comedy Show in 2010.

Sam Campbell received his award from Russell Kane and Jordan Brookes (Jane Barlow/PA)

Lara Ricote, a hard of hearing performer from Mexico who grew up in the US, has received a £5,000 prize after being named best newcomer.

The awards, sponsored by the Dave TV channel, also awarded a £5,000 prize to Best in Class, a crowd-funded benefit-sharing initiative that has helped working-class comedians across the UK to perform at this year’s Fringe.

Nica Burns, director of Dave’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards, said it had been a “truly outstanding international year”.

Speaking of Campbell, the sixth Australian to win the award, she said her show was “quirky, sometimes surreal” and full of “often unexpected” jokes.

She added, “He shifts gears throughout and takes his audience on a laughing journey.”

Lara Ricote won the Best Newcomer category at Dave’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards. (Jane Barlow/PA)

Burns said Ricote’s debut at the festival had been “an absolute delight”, describing her as “completely distinct and very funny”.

The director said, “She’s a standout performer who happens to be hard of hearing.”

Speaking of the awards package, she said: “We had the widest representation from across the country, from Scotland to Sussex and everywhere in between.

“The Jury Prize for Best in Class championing and supporting those who cannot afford the cost of performing in Edinburgh captured the spirit of this year’s Fringe.”

Cherie Cunningham, Channel Manager at Dave, said: “We at Dave are thrilled to support and celebrate these amazing comics.

“The standard was incredibly high this year and we are delighted to crown such deserving winners. We look forward to seeing Lara and Sam on Dave soon.

Daniel K. Denny