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Hannah Gadsby and John Robins named joint winners of Edinburgh Comedy Awards

Hannah Gadsby and John Robins with Richard Gadd and the League of Gentlemen Hannah Gadsby and John Robins with Richard Gadd and the League of Gentlemen
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Hannah Gadsby and John Robins have jointly been awarded the 2017 Edinburgh Comedy Award for best comedy show.

This is the first time in the award’s 37-year history that there have been two winners.

Gadsby won for her show Nanette, in which she announced her retirement from standup comedy and expressed frustration at comedy’s inability to tackle serious subject matter such as the homophobia she has experienced in her life.

The Darkness of Robins looks at the period following Robins’ break-up with comedian Sara Pascoe.

They beat seven other nominated comedians, including Ahir Shah, Elf Lyons, Spencer Jones, Jordan Brookes, Mat Ewins, Mae Martin and Sophie Willan.

Nica Burns, director of the awards, said: “An outstanding shortlist in a brilliant year for comedy has resulted in an unprecedented decision. It is fitting that in the 70th anniversary year of the Fringe something extraordinary has happened. I am surprised and delighted to announce that for the first time in the history of the awards there are two winners of the 2017 lastminute.com best comedy show.

“Both shows, which could not be more different, were hotly debated and fiercely fought for. Comedy has many possibilities and audiences very different funny bones. These two incredibly talented winners make you laugh and touch your heart.”

Both of the winners will receive the £10,000 prize that comes with the award.

Natalie Palamides scooped the best newcomer award for her Laid, which is about her relationship with her own fertility. She wins £5,000.

The judging panel, chaired by Sunday Times culture editor Helen Hawkins, decided not to award a panel prize this year, which usually goes to a show that captures the spirit of the fringe.

The awards were presented by last year’s winner Richard Gadd, along with comedy group The League of Gentlemen, consisting of Reece Shearsmith, Steve Pemberton and Mark Gatiss, who won the award 20 years ago.

This week the BBC announced that the group would reunite for a new television series.