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US clown wins festival comedy award

US clown Doctor Brown has won the best show prize at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards.

The clown is the stage persona of Phil Burgers, who cites Rowan Atkinson, Tommy Cooper and Woody Allen as his influences.

His performance in his show Befrdfgth has been described as "breathtakingly brilliant" and he was given the £10,000 Fosters award by musician Suggs and last year's award winner Adam Riches at the Dovecot Studios in Edinburgh.

The best newcomer award was won by Norwegian Daniel Simonsen for his show, Champions, and the panel prize went to The Boy With Tape On His Face, created by New Zealander Sam Wills. Both men win £5,000 each.

Awards producer Nica Burns said: "Doctor Brown's show starts with fun pranks and then takes the audience on a roller coaster from inspired lunacy to pulling your heart strings.

"He can express emotion with a gesture, a look or an eyebrow. A breathtakingly brilliant clown with enormous charisma in a fantastic show."

Previous winners of the Foster's award, formerly known as the Perrier, include Steve Coogan, Frank Skinner and Harry Hill.

Established comedians, who have had a TV series or can perform in a 500-seat venue under their own name, are not eligible for the award.

The judging panel saw 536 shows over the three weeks of the festival to draw up their shortlist and pick a winner.

Stand-up Josie Long had been nominated for best show for the third year in a row. All winners and nominees will play at an awards show on Sunday afternoon at Pleasance Courtyard.

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