Karen Koren: Jason’s back to help pick our winner

Jason Manford. Pic: Comp

Jason Manford. Pic: Comp

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WE are into the home stretch - the last week of the Festival. It has been very strange with wind and rain and autumn feels as if its arrived. Could it please just wait one more week?

I have never seen so many people in Edinburgh as we did on Saturday. The streets were overflowing with people and most of our shows sold out. It makes for a very exciting atmosphere around the venue. The general public were all amazingly patient while shows ended and others started and there were long queues with no major issues. The performers all are happy having sold- out shows.

This week we have the final of our Fosters So You Think You’re Funny? competition, now into its 27th year. It is on Thursday and we have a very distinguished judging panel of the directors from the Melbourne Comedy Festival and Just for Laughs, Montreal; the cultural editor of The Times and our celebrity judge this year is Jason Manford, who was a finalist in 2001 - though he didn’t win. An Australian named Drew Rokos won, where is he now? Probably Australia, I reckon. It just shows you don’t have to win to have a successful career in comedy. That same year a little- known Russell Brand took part in the final and also didn’t win. Where is he now? Think he did not bad.

The competition is certainly a good support and step up and the winner receives a £5000 prize and also a trip to perform at Just for Laughs in Montreal, which is certainly a prize worth winning.

This last week is also when the decision is made of who will win the prestigious Fosters Edinburgh Comedy Award. The nominations are announced on Wednesday and the winner at Saturday lunchtime.

The winner receives £10,000 and a huge step up in their career. Many of the winners of So You Think You’re Funny? have gone on to win the bigger award later in their careers.Dylan Moran, Tommy Tiernan and David O’Docherty were among those. Let’s hope we manage to pick another star of the future!