News: Leicester Comedy Festival Award Nominees Announced

The nominations have been announced for Leicester Comedy Festival 2017's awards. Nominees include comedians Stuart Goldsmith, Sooty, Jarred Christmas, Lucy Thompson, Russell Hicks, Sean Morley, Paul Currie and Rob Kemp. For the second year members of the public have been voting for their favourite venues and nominations include Brewdog, The Black Horse, The Cookie, The Exchange, Curve, De Montfort Hall, The Little Theatre and The Y.  Winners of the 2017 Awards will be announced at a private event taking place on Monday 3rd April.

The awards, set up in 2006, recognise the contribution people make to the February festival and include awards for Best Show, Best New Show, Best Venue, Best Promoter, Best Poster, Best Community Project and Contribution to Leicester Comedy Festival 2017.  The Legend of Comedy Award will also be presented at the event, an award also voted for by members of the public.  Last year’s Legend of Comedy was presented to comedian Barry Cryer who attended the 2016 ceremony to accept the award.  Nominees this year are Victoria Wood, Ade Edmondson, Billy Connolly, Dawn French & Jack Dee.

This year the majority of the awards have been decided by a group of members of the public who applied to become members of the Awards Panel. 17 comedy fans, many of whom came from across the UK, were selected to see over 320 performance to decide the winners. The judges will help present the awards at the event, along with special guests and VIPs.

Leicester Comedy Festival Director, Geoff Rowe, said: “The 2017 festival was incredible, with a significant increase in attendance and greater number of shows and national media coverage.  The festival is only possible because of the support we receive from acts, venues, promoters and other organisations who work so hard to make the thing happen every February.  The Festival awards are a great way for us to acknowledge all these people and the event has grown in importance in recent years.  We’re looking forward to opening the gold envelopes and announcing the winners on the night.” 

Leicester Comedy Festival 2017 included over 800 individual events in 62 venues across the city, over the festival’s 19 days. 80,000 tickets were sold via the main box office and a further 35,000 people attended free events. Audience research shows that around a third of all attendees travel to the festival from across the UK helping to generate the festival’s economic benefit to Leicestershire at over £3million.

The festival also produces unique events, many of which have gone on to become cult hits, and in the case of The UK Pun Championships, even developing its own national day, #UKPunday, which trended throughout Monday 13th February, generating 30,000,000 impressions on Twitter.

The unique events that sold out this year include: a Q&A with Romesh Ranganathan, the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year Competition, Silver Stand Up Competition, The UK Pun Championships, Comedy in the Dark for Kids, Hotel D’Comedie , the @deadmonarchs exhibition and the BIG Weekends, which see the festival expanding into Leicestershire towns Loughborough & Melton, including Seann Walsh & Jon Richardson.

The full list of nominees are:

Best show

Lucy Thompson: Shake It Off

Olaf Falafel and the Cheese of Truth 

Sean Morley: Earned Helplessness

The Elvis Dead

Best New Show

Maddy Anholt: work in progress

Paul Currie: Catzinmymouth

Paul F Taylor: Look A Distraction

Sarah Johnson: Reminisce

Stuart Goldsmith: All The Time In The World

Best Musical/Improv Show

Russell Hicks: From the Heart

Scriptless in Seattle

The Elvis Dead

The Harry & Chris Show 

Best Kids Show

Jarred Christmas and The Hobbit

Mini Fridge - Kid’s Court

Sooty & Co.

Best Venue (under 200 capacity)



The Black Horse 

The Cookie

The Exchange 

Best Venue (over 200 capacity)


De Montfort Hall

The Cookie @02 Academy 

The Little Theatre

The Y


Liberty Award

Make ‘Em Laugh Exhibition/George Williams

Naked Comedy

Roar With Laughter Fringe

The Thermos Museum  

@deadmonarchs exhibition

Best Promoter

Captain Coliño’s Comedy Playhouse

Daniel Nicholas & Attenborough Arts


Jokes on Us

The Cookie

Contribution to Leicester Comedy Festival 2017

Crosscut Media 

Demon FM

LCB Depot

Takeover Radio

Community Award

Centre for Integrated Living

Elaine Pantling

Square Mile Smiles

The Real Junk Food Project

King Richard In Da Hood

Best poster

Alasdair Beckett-King 

Katherine Ferns

Kyle D Evans

Make ‘em Laugh

Michael Brunstrom

Rob Kemp

Legend of Comedy

Victoria Wood

Ade Edmondson

Billy Connolly

Dawn French

Jack Dee


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