League of Gentlemen return to their roots at Edinburgh Fringe

League of Gentlemen - Perrier Award winners in 1997
League of Gentlemen - Perrier Award winners in 1997
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THE lastminute.com Edinburgh Comedy Awards could never be described as local awards for local people, but this year, there will be an element of that when they are presented by Royston Vasey favourites The League of Gentlemen.

The quartet - Steve Pemberton, Mark Gatiss, Reece Shearsmith and Jeremy Dyson - won the Best Comedy Show Award at the Fringe in 1997, and return to the awards 20 years on.

Nica Burns, Director of the Awards, revealed that the League of Gentlemen are flying specially to Edinburgh to join 2016 lastminute.com Best Comedy Show winner Richard Gadd to present this year’s gongs.

She says, “The League of Gentlemen won in 1997 over an outstanding shortlist: Al Murray, Graham Norton, Johnny Vegas and Milton Jones.

“Who at the time, would have thought that all the shortlisted acts would become household names?

“The League have gone on to be incredibly successful writers as well as performers.

“We are delighted to welcome them back to the Fringe where their work was first created and recognised.”

The League’s Award-winning show brought them to the attention of the BBC, and the first episode of Welcome to Royston Vasey was aired in January 1999. The show will return in 2019 with a special to celebrate its 20th TV anniversary.

The four have also carved out impressive solo careers; Pemberton starring in Whitechapel and Benidorm, Gatiss in Sherlock, Shearsmith in West End productions including The Producers, while Dyson has written several books.

Winners of the 2017 lastminute.com Edinburgh Comedy Awards will be announced on Saturday at a ceremony at the Dovecote Studios.