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Wrigglemania runs wild at Last Laugh!

13th May 2008

The NZ International Comedy Festival

Wrigglemania runs wild at Last Laugh!

Wellington comedians Steve Wrigley scooped the NZ International Comedy Festival's big prize, The Billy T Award, at the "Last Laugh" event on Sunday night in front of a sold out audience at SKYCITY Theatre.

The closing ceremony topped off what has been considered one of the most successful years in the Festival's 12 year history - over 50% of the shows sold out with the majority of those being Kiwi comedians.

Wrigley, whose show "The First Time" won rave reviews with critics and audiences alike, was overcome with emotion upon his name being announced in the SKYCITY Theatre, running out on stage and into the crowd to celebrate with close friends.

Upon accepting the yellow towel from last year's winners, mrs.peacock, Wrigley paid tribute to fellow comedians Ben Hurley, Cori Gonzalez-Macuer and especially to his good friend and inspiration for the show, Cyan Corwine.

Wrigley beat out a high calibre of contestants involved in this year's Billy T Awards, including Simon McKinney, Grant Lobban, Jim Brown and The Lonesome Buckwhips. The winner of the Billy T Award picks up not only the yellow towel synonymous with Billy T James but, also a $5000 cheque.

It was a big win for Wellington all round, as Ben Hurley becomes only the third comedian to win the newly created FRED Award, besting the likes of The Outwits and Justine Smith.

Garnering a standing ovation from fellow comedians Hurley, whose show "Boom!" sold out across the entire Festival, joins past winners Dai Henwood and Brendhan Lovegrove and received The Fred Award Boot and a $3000 travel grant.

Other winners included Michele A'Court, picking up the "Spirit of the Festival" award for her Wellington season, the Electric Kokozoids scooped "Best Newcomer" and the UK's Jason Cook picked up "Best International Act" to a rapturous applause.

The full list of NZ International Comedy Festival 2008 award winners are:

Billy T Award - Steve Wrigley (The First Time)

THE FRED Award - Ben Hurley (Boom!)

Best International - Jason Cook (My Confessions)

Best Local Show Auckland - Dai Henwood (Dai-Namic Scenarios)

Best Local Show Wellington - The Wellington Ukulele Orchestra

Best Newcomer - Electric Koko Zoids (South Pacific Games)

Spirit Of The Festival Auckland - Heidi O'Loughlin

Spirit Of The Festival Wellington - Michele A'Court

Best Marketing - Notorious Entertainment


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