BBC New Comedy Award
Robin Ince, Toby Foster, Rhod Gilbert, Dara O'Briain (2005)
Patrick Kielty (2011-)
BBC1 or BBC2, August 1995 to September 2003 (annual specials)
BBC Radio 7, 2004 to 6 January 2006 (2 series)
BBC Radio 2, 4 June 2011 to present
Part of the Edinburgh festival for almost a decade, the BBC New Comedian award was an attempt to find great new stand-up comedy talent; thanks to the broadcaster's patronage and reputation, it became one of the most prestigious awards handed out at the August bash. The winner was traditionally named in the last week of the festival, and clips of the winner and finalists featured in a magazine programme screened late at night.
Such was the BBC's commitment to new talent that they closed the competition after ten years, muttering something about developing other fields of entertainment and not associating themselves too closely with one event. The contest did take place in 2005, entirely divorced from the Edinburgh festival. A comedy panel selected performers for regional heats, and thence to a final. After six years in abeyance, the New Comedy Award was revived in 2011 - from heats, the funniest progressed to national semi-finals and final on Radio 2, with the winner decided by a public televote.
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1995 Julian Barratt
1996 Marcus Brigstocke and Jenny Ross (joint winners)
1997 Paul Foot
1998 Dan Antopolski
1999 Josie Long
2000 Jason John Whitehead
2001 Alan Carr
2002 Nina Conti
2003 Rhod Gilbert
2004 Andrew Lawrence
2005 Tom Allen
2006-10 contest not held
2011 Angela Barnes
2012 Lucy Beaumont