Masai Graham leads nominations for 2016 Comedy Awards
Black Country punsmith Masai Graham again leads the nominations at this year’s Midlands Comedy Awards, with nods in the Best Act, Breakthrough Act, Live Show and Online Comedy categories. Graham, who is the reigning UK Pun Champion and won the “Best Joke of the Fringe” prize in Edinburgh this summer, received nominations in exactly the same categories last year, but only walked away with the Online Comedy prize for 2015. He’ll be hoping to improve on that this time around.
Overall, acts and clubs from the Birmingham and Black Country region secured half of the seventy places on this year’s shortlists. The next best showing being for Leicester performers and clubs, with 16 nominations. While Nottinghamshire also picked up a dozen nods.
For BEST ACT Graham is joined by Nottingham comedians Scott Bennett and Patrick Draper, who are perennial favourites in this category, as well as Dan Nightingale and Duncan Oakley, who are making their first appearance. Stapleford’s Barry Dodds, one of the country’s most popular and experienced comedy comperes, is nominated again for the BEST MC prize he won last time around. But his competition this year is much stiffer, as he’ll be fighting eight other acts for the 2016 trophy, including previous winner Andy Robinson.
Of the five BEST NEW ACT nominees two, Moses Ali Khan and Harvey Hawkins, are already award-winners for newcomer competitions elsewhere. While previous Best New Act finalists, Josh Pugh, Tom Christian and Stu Woodings, have now graduated to the BREAKTHROUGH ACT shortlist for this year. In the BEST COMEDY CLUB category, established names like The Glee Club, Funhouse Comedy and Voodoo Stands Up – who were the shock winners last year – are joined by newer clubs like Laff Attack, Mortified and Fitz of Laughter. The fight for BEST SMALL CLUB is the most competitive of them all, with a record twelve candidates battling for the prize this year.
This year’s winners will be announced at an awards ceremony that takes place at the Canal House in Nottingham on Sunday 27th November 2016. This year will be the first time the awards ceremony is being held in the East Midlands.
Finalists for the Midlands Comedy Awards are decided by Midlands-based comedy clubs and media professionals, and this year more than thirty people were involved in putting together the shortlists. The winners will be decided by an online public vote, which runs until 20th November 2016. Last year more than 4000 votes were cast to decide the award winners.