News: Leicester Comedy Festival Awards For Jo Brand, Vikki Stone, Bec Hill & More

Jo Brand
bec hill
Vikki Stone

Leicester Comedy Festival has hosted its annual award ceremony at St Martins House (Leicester) honouring the comedians, venues and promoters that make the festival the largest and most successful comedy festival in Europe. The ceremony was hosted by Mrs Barbara Nice and Jo Brand won the annual Legend of Comedy Award.  Previous legends have included Victoria Wood, Barry Cryer, Rik Mayall, Nicholas Parsons, Ken Dodd and Sir Norman Wisdom.  Other winners at the ceremony included Vikki Stone, Bec Hill, FoxDog Studios, Michael Odewale and Darren Walsh. 

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 Kids Show, Best Impro/Musical Show, Best Community Project and Lifetime Contribution to Leicester Comedy Festival. 

Festival director, Geoff Rowe said “we were delighted to acknowledge Jo Brand with the Legend of Comedy Award at the ceremony.  Her contribution to UK comedy over the years has been incredible and we were thrilled to recognise this.  The ceremony also allowed us to celebrate the acts, venues, promoters and other organisations whose hard work has helped make this year the most successful in Leicester Comedy Festival’s history.”

Winners at the ceremony were:

Best Show                                                   FoxDog Studios: Robot Chef

Best New Show                                    
Michael Odewale: #blackbearsmatter

Best Improv/Musical Show                      
Vikki Stone: Song Bird


Best Kids Show                                          Bec Hill: Treats you like a child


Best Venue (under 200 capacity)           Black Horse Laughter Loft


Best Venue (over 200 capacity)             Just The Tonic at Hansom Hall


Best New Venue                                         Just The Tonic at The Shed


Liberty Award/Spirit of the Festival        The BIG Weekend Market Harborough

Best Promoter                                             Jokes On Us

Greening the Laughs                                Firebug

Community Award                                     The Big Chilli

Leicestershire Favourite Joke                Darren Walsh

Contribution to 
Leicester Comedy Festival 2019

Lifetime Contribution                               The Awards Panel

Legend of Comedy                                    Jo Brand


Leicester Comedy Festival 2019 included over 870 individual events in 72 venues across the city, over the festival’s 19 days. Ticket sales increased by a staggering 30% via the festival box office and an estimated 135,000 people attended events. 

The festival produces a series of unique events each February, 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 11th February, generating over 78 million impressions on Twitter.

The unique events that sold out this year include: a Q&A with Tom Allen, the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year Competition, Silver Stand Up Competition, The UK Pun Championships, Comedy in the Dark for Kids and Hotel De Comedie.  The Festival also hosted a special 25thanniversary show for the Leicester Mercury Comedian of the Year Competition, headlined by Romesh Ranganathan and Josh Widdicombe, and featuring many winners and contestants from the competition.

New for 2019 was the launch of the UK Kids’ Comedy Festival which featured shows and events for children under 12 and their families.  The programme included performances by comedians including James Campbell, Bec Hill, Jarred Christmas, Carly Smallman, Funz and Gamez and Joanna Neary. 

Leicester Comedy Festival 2020 will take place from the 5-23 February.  For more information visit

Bec Hill picture by Steve Ullathorne


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