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Pierre Novellie takes Amused Moose prize

By | Published on Monday 12 August 2013

Pierre Novellie

Pierre Novellie has been declared winner of this year’s Amused Moose Laugh Off talent contest, one of the key competitions for new stand-up talent that climaxes during the Fringe.

He competed with fellow finalists Alex Smith, Sean Cannon, Alistair Williams, Angus Dunican and Steve Bugeja at a final event yesterday at theSpace @ Symposium Hall, and was picked as winner by a combined panel of industry experts and audience vote.

22 year old Novellie, originally from Johannesburg and more recently resident of the Isle of Man, said of his win: “I’m amazed and surprised to have beaten so many incredible comedians – the final was very tough and I’m overjoyed!” Novellie wins £1500 plus the shiny moose trophy with which he is here pictured. He’ll also appear alongside runners up Smith and Cannon at upcoming Amused Moose events, and can also be currently seen as part of Just The Tonic’s ‘Lunchtime Special’ and in ‘Standing Up For Something’ in the Free Fringe.

Commenting on the latest edition of the Laugh Off awards, past winners of which include Sarah Millican and Jack Whitehall, Amused Moose boss Hils Jago told ThreeWeeks: “The overall standard improves year on year. It is rare even in the qualifying rounds now that the room goes silent, so these comedians really have done very well to make it through to the final”.

The Fringe remains an important place for new stand-ups to develop their craft and build a profile, of course, with competitions like the Laugh Off Awards an important part of that process. As the organiser of one of the Festival’s new talent showcases, what advice does Jago have for new comedians trying to decide how to navigate the ever-expanding Fringe?

“We suggest, if asked, that those without a strong ten minutes initially come to the Fringe to research rather than perform” she tells ThreeWeeks. “The following year it’s sensible to do a show with other people, and then the year after that do a solo show, if they feel ready. Sometimes people develop faster of course, Jack Whitehall is an example, and sometimes a little slower; though there is the risk that the latter can create the impression with the industry that the performer views comedy as a hobby”.

Amused Moose also stage the Laughter Awards for more established new talent, the finals for which this year take place on Sunday at City Edinburgh.

Photo: Steve Ullathorn