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Comedians and venues who took part in Leicester Comedy Festival 2017 have been announced as nominees in the annual awards organised to celebrate the event.  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.

This year more shows sold out than ever before, including: Adam Buxton, Johnny Vegas, Jimmy Carr, Sue Perkins, Stewart Lee, Ken Dodd, Stuart Goldsmith, Sooty, Mark Watson, Dane Baptiste, Tony Law, Tom Allen, Joe Lycett, Ed Gamble, Jamali Maddix, Robin Ince, Paul Foot, Joel Dommett, Lloyd Griffith, Andrew Ryan, James Acaster, Paul Sinha, Abandoman, Norman Lovett, Paul Currie, John Shuttleworth.

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