Edinburgh Comedy Awards: Dave unveil The Daves
TV channel Dave has been announced as sponsor of the Edinburgh Comedy Awards, which marks its 39th year this summer.
The awards, which will be called The Daves, will be contested by 750 eligible acts taking part in this year's fringe festival, the categories being Best Comedy Show, Best Newcomer, and the Panel Prize.
The deal is a 'long-term' one and Luke Hales, Channel Director of Dave, said he wants Dave 'to be as synonymous with comedy as the Perriers', the carbonated water brand which sponsored the event between 1981 and 2005.
As part of the deal Dave will air short-form content from comedians at the festival for two weeks during prime-time, these short pieces potentially anything from sketches to the comedian's own take on their festival experience.
During a conversation about Dave's ambitions for comedy and how the deal with the awards would complement the channel, Hales said: 'We need to make the channel more contemporary and relevant to a modern British audience... We need to reflect what Britain looks like.'
Nica Burns, the producer of the awards, also commented on the gender split of performers at this year's fringe, pointing out that this year 30% of the shows are by women and that she believes parity is near: 'I think there will come a time when it's 50/50, in five to ten years.' Burns also commented: 'Comedy is a much more encouraging place' for women today.
2020 will mark the 40th anniversary of the awards.