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Fred Awards - 2009 nominees revealed!


The NZ International Comedy Festival's drawing to a close in Auckland after 3 weeks of mirth and merriment.

(Don't forget you can read all our reviews from the festival here )

But as well as the festival ending this weekend, there's some serious business to get down to.

At Sunday's Last Laugh in Auckland, the winner of the 2009 Billy T Award is being handed out.

The recipient is handed the yellow towel and $5000 after being crowned the best emerging talent.

The Billy T Award is in its thirteenth year, the NZ International Comedy Festival are delighted to announce that this year the nominees are:  Chris Brain, Dave Wiggins, James Keating, Jim Brown and Vaughan King.

Meanwhile, the nominees have been announced for the 2009 FRED award - that gives those with an outstanding reputation in New Zealand a chance to take their talents abroad thanks to a $3000 travel grant.

It is of course named after black-singletted, gumboot-wearing- legend that was Fred Dagg. 

Introduced in 2006's Festival season; it recognises the achievements of professional New Zealand comedians.  Brendhan Lovegrove, Dai Henwood and Ben Hurley have all be recipients of the revered Gum Boot - who will try the boot on for size this year? 

Well the 2009 nominees are Te Radar, Steve Wrigley and Paul Ego - you can see what we thought of their shows here!

Speaking to tvnz.co.nz, Paul Ego said he was "absolutely wrapped to have been nominated", adding that "it's been a long time since I'd been given the Billy T Award" (Ego won back in 2000)

Paul believes the Fred nomination is quite an achievement; "Having been a pro comic since 1945...no, not really - I've been doing comedy since starting in 1994 and I'm pretty proud of my (Paul Ego Comeback Special) show - it's a nice little cherry at the end of it all. Plus it's great company to be among - Steve Wrigley and Te Radar...I'm very honoured."

It's a sentiment echoed by fellow nominee Steve Wrigley.

He says: "I'm pretty surprised to be honest, I only just won the Billy last year. I knew I was eligible but thought I was a few years away from a nomination for this award! More then anything, I'm stoked to get to perform on the final night of the festival with two comics who I've looked up to and been inspired by. I love my show this year, and I'm stoked it got a nomination."

Good luck to all the acts nominated!

And don't forget, once the festival closes in Auckland, the rest of Aotearoa is treated to some comedy as the Comedy Convoy sets out around New Zealand!

One more thing - details of the winner of the RAW Comedy final are out.

Congratulations to Wellington comedienne Sarah Harpur who won the final.

The judges made the final decision based on Stage Performance, Originality, Audience reaction and most importantly - laughter. 

Sarah will receive $1000, the glory and the fast track to becoming a professional comedienne!

Highly commended in this year's RAW competition were Mika Austin, Heidi O'Loughlin and Joseph Harper.


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