Last night Leicester Comedy Festival hosted its annual award ceremony at The Registry, Leicester, honouring the comedians, venues and promoters that make the festival one of the largest and most successful in Europe.

The Legend of Comedy award, which is voted for annually by members of the public, was awarded to Victoria Wood. Victoria’s sister Rosalind Watson, who attended the ceremony to accept the award, said  “I am over the moon and honoured to be able to accept this award on behalf of my sister Victoria Wood. It would have meant a lot to her to have been voted a ‘legend’ especially by a people’s vote.  It’s great that this ceremony is taking place here in Leicester, because we are just around the corner from the old Phoenix Theatre which is where Vic performed very early in her career. It’s now called the Sue Townsend Theatre, but it’s where Vic got a lucky break in 1976 as a relief pianist in ’Gunslinger’, a musical set in the Wild West, starring her husband to be Geoffrey Durham and Alan Rickman.

Festival director, Geoff Rowe said  “I am thrilled that Victoria Wood, one of the most significant British comedians of the past half century, was recognised for her outstanding contribution to comedy tonight. She is a true legend of comedy, whose work will continue to inspire and entertain for years to come. Our annual awards also acknowledge the acts, venues, promoters and other organisations whose hard work has helped make this year the most successful of the festival’s 24 year history.”

Other winners at the ceremony included:

Best show
Rob Kemp: The Elvis Dead

Best New Show
Stuart Goldsmith: All The Time In The World

Best Kids Show
Sooty & Co.

Best Venue (under 200 capacity)
The Black Horse

Best Venue (over 200 capacity)
The Little Theatre

Best Promoter
Captain Coliño’s Comedy Playhouse

Community Award
Focus charity

Best poster
Michael Brunstrom: Parsley

Rob Kemp, who is the first person ever to have won 2 awards as part of the Leicester Comedy Festival awards, said “…two for the show! Thank you so much to The Jokes On Us, who put on the show, The Soundhouse venue and the fantastic tech team, who elevated the show to something I hope it can continue to be. Thank you for being on board with this ridiculously niche idea.”

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Founder and Editor-in-Chief of Great Central, John has been actively involved in Leicester’s creative community for over a decade – promoting shows and releasing records under the name Robot Needs Home. He is a director of Handmade Festival, and ex member of the band Maybeshewill.

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