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Rhys Darby wins top NZ award

Published: 9:51AM Monday May 21, 2012

The New Zealand International Comedy Festival has drawn to a close, with a clutch of awards being handed out at a starry do in Auckland.

During the Last Laughs ceremony hosted by Te Radar, the Billy T Award winner and Fred winners were unveiled.

Nominees for the Fred Award this year were Rhys Darby, Brendhan Lovegrove and The Boy With Tape on his Face .

Darby was given the Fred Award, an accolade which is named after Fred Dagg and symbolised by a gumboot and prize money. Darby said he was shocked to have won and thanked his wife on stage, before joking that he would "probably retire now". His show This Way To Spaceship played to packed audiences throughout the festival - and the book of the same name has been number one on the best seller list for 3 weeks in a row.

It's the first major New Zealand comedy award Rhys Darby's won, having previously lost out on the Billy T James award in 2002 when it was given to Dai Henwood.

The winner of the 2012 Billy T Award was also revealed - the nominees this year had been U Live's Rose Matafeo, Guy Williams , TJ MacDonald, Tom Furniss and Tevita Manukia.

The coveted yellow towel and prize money went to Guy Williams. In an ironic twist, he'd been competing against his girlfriend Rose Matafeo for the award.