The winners of the 32nd Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards were announced today at a ceremony at the Dovecot Studios, Edinburgh.

The Awards were presented by last year’s Best Comedy Show winner Adam Riches and special guest, Suggs.

The Award for Foster’s Best Comedy Show goes to Doctor Brown – Befrdfgth

Doctor Brown is the stage persona of American performer Phil Burgers. Burgers, who cites Rowan Atkinson, Tommy Cooper and Woody Allen as influences, studied clowning with respected French practitioner Philippe Gaulier, whose students have included Sacha Baron Cohen and Theatre de Complicite's Simon McBurney.

Nica Burns, producer of the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards said:

Doctor Brown’s show starts with fun pranks and then takes the audience on a roller coaster from inspired lunacy to pulling your heart strings. He can express emotion with a gesture, a look or an eyebrow. A breathtakingly brilliant clown with enormous charisma in a fantastic show.”

The award for Foster’s Best Newcomer goes to Daniel Simonsen - Champions

Now living in London, Simonsen is originally from Bergen in Norway, and got his big break in the UK when he won So You Think You're Funny.

Nica Burns said “Norwegian Daniel Simonsen relocated to London to pursue his dream of being a stand-up. He wowed the judges with his dry witty take on the day to day battle with life. Sharing a house, cleaning rotas, finding a new family in South America, fitting in.”

This year’s Foster’s Panel Prize goes to The Boy With Tape On His Face - More Tape

The Boy With Tape On His Face, alias New Zealander Sam Wills, has been packing out the 700-seat Pleasance Grand every day since the Edinburgh Fringe started three weeks ago. Wearing a strip of duct tape over his mouth, he delivers a wordless act, a whirlwind of high-energy visual jokes and audience participation.

Nica Burns said “Sam’s work has been developed totally at the Edinburgh Fringe. He came as a street performer in 2007, met his wife who was singing opera on the street as he was trying to put his body through a tennis racquet. He came indoors for his first full show in 2010 winning a Foster’s Best Newcomer nomination and this year he has graduated to selling out one of the largest Fringe venues, the Pleasance Grand. He is an outstanding comedian who proves that punchlines don’t need words. His show is packed full of gags – all visual. Sam shows us that silence can be hilarious. He is a star!”

Of the Awards Nica Burns said: “What an extraordinary year for physical comedy with two out of the three comedy awards being won by shows without words. Both Doctor Brown and The Boy With Tape On His Face bring physical comedy to new levels wowing audiences who enjoy joining in the fun and laughter.”

Press enquiries:
Anna Arthur at Arthur Leone PR
020 7836 7660/07973 264 373
Twitter: @comedyawards

Notes for Editors:
536 different comedy shows were eligible for the three awards and the judging panel and awards team attended over 1, 400 performances over the three weeks of the Festival.

The full list of nominations:

  • Claudia O'Doherty: The Telescope
  • Doctor Brown: Befrdfgth
  • James Acaster: Prompt
  • Josie Long: Romance and Adventure
  • Pappy's: Last Show Ever!
  • Tony Law: Maximum Nonsense
The shortlist for the Best Newcomer was:
  • Daniel Simonsen: Champions
  • David Trent: Spontaneous Comedian
  • Discover Ben Target
  • Joe Lycett: Some Lycett Hot
  • Sam Fletcher: Good on Paper
The 2012 judging panel were:
  • Lindsay Hughes - Panel Chair, Head of Talent & Executive Producer, Baby Cow Productions
  • Ben Boyer - Head of Development, Sky Comedy
  • Oscar Cainer - Public Competition Winner
  • Bruce Dessau - Evening Standard
  • Lyndsay Fenner - Producer, BBC Radio Comedy
  • Paul Macinnes - Editor, Guardian Guide
  • Dominic Maxwell - Chief Comedy critic, The Times
  • Sophie Stubbs - Public Competition Winner
  • Emma Watkins - Public Competition Winner
  • Ben Williams - Comedy Editor, Time Out
The Awards and Prizes 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

The winners and nominees can be seen at the Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards Show on Sunday August 26 at 15.30 at Pleasance Courtyard.

Doctor Brown will be appearing at Soho Theatre from Tuesday 30 October to Sat 10 November at 9.30pm.

The Boy With Tape On His Face will be touring nationally from September. For tour dates go to:

For information on all of the 2012 Award Winners, visit our 2012 Award Winners page which will be updated throughout August.