By Alexander Lawrie
A TOP comedienne has won the very first award for the funniest joke at this year’s Edinburgh Fringe Festival – after taking a pop at Amy Winehouse.
Zoe Lyons, 33, beat off nine other finalists to lift the inaugural Dave Award for the Funniest Joke yesterday. (Thurs)
The Brighton-based comic walked away with a handcrafted trophy and a cash prize of £1000 for her witty one-liner: “I can’t believe Amy Winehouse self-harms. She’s so irritating she must be able to find someone to do it for her.”
The innovative new prize celebrates the top joke of the Fringe as voted by the British public.
Open to both established and up-and-coming comedians, the award is the first of its kind to focus on individual jokes and not just the comic’s whole performance.
The TV channel recruited a panel made up of ten of the country’s leading comedy critics who have scoured venues at the world-famous festival over the past two weeks.
Ms Lyons scooped the award after leaving the judges in stitches with her scathing quip about controversial pop star Amy Winehouse.
She said: “I know self-harming is not funny but it’s just a joke, so I’m not going to beat myself up about it.
“I’m incredibly proud to have won this award. I’ll be flaunting it about all over the place and I think I will be wearing it as a hat just to let everybody know I’ve won.
“I’m doubly pleased to win this award as it’s very rare for me to write one-liners. And when you write a good joke you instantly know because something twitches in your tummy and you just know it’s going to work.
“It’s been a great festival this year and I always love coming up to Scotland to perform, especially if I keep picking up awards like this one.
The judges sat through over 60 comedy performances which meant the winner was chosen from around 7,200 different jokes.
They then picked their top three jokes for the shortlist, from which over 2,000 members of the public voted for the funniest.
Steve North, the head of Dave channel, said: “This year’s festival features 31,320 performances of 2,088 shows in 247 venues, with comedy making up 32 per cent of the Fringe’s programme.
“With the Dave Award for the Funniest Joke of the Fringe we’ve boiled it down to the very best 30 jokes on offer and then let the public crown Zoe Lyons as our winner.”