Irish comedian wins top British comedy award

Mon Aug 25, 2008 2:48pm EDT
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By Ian MacKenzie

EDINBURGH (Reuters) - Irish comedian David O'Doherty was presented with the top British comedy award at the Edinburgh Fringe festival.

O'Doherty, 32, from Dublin received the 2008 Intelligent Finance Comedy Award and a check for 8,000 pounds ($1,481), nine years after he won the best-newcomer comedy award at the Fringe.

His first stage appearance was at Dublin's Comedy Cellar in 1998, and he has made five appearances on the Fringe, which in parallel with the Edinburgh International Festival and the Edinburgh Book Festival make up the largest annual arts gathering in the world.

Asked about trends in political satire, O'Doherty saw a new generation with different targets arising.

"I think there is a new kind of satire that's coming out. It isn't necessarily targeted at individuals, but rather at the system which people seem rather tired of," he told Reuters.

O'Doherty added that things are now more confused with the arrival of New Labour and spin doctoring.

"It's almost like the politicians are second guessing the jokes that the comedians are going to do. Political comedy changes all the time, from Swift onwards, but there is a new generation now who are really tired of the system that is in place, the cynical advertising and marketing that is so much politics these days.

"I think we're going to see a lot of that (satire on the Fringe) next year," he said.

O'Doherty, who has toured extensively in Australia, New Zealand and America -- "anywhere they speak reasonable English" -- has also written widely in newspapers and magazines, written a play and a children's book and is currently writing another book on pandas.