He might be 32, but he's down with the youth, and a show about text messages, Jay-Z, and the impossibility of finding true love won David O'Doherty the if.comedy award last night.
The Dublin comic amused critics and audiences alike with his whimsical set featuring a relationship in text messages, tunes played on a 3ft keyboard, and a badger attack. He was presented with the award by last year's winner, Brendon Burns, and the Australian author and television presenter Clive James, at a starry event in Edinburgh's Jam House.
O'Doherty has been nominated for top awards before and took the accolade in his stride. "It really is very nice when people like your show," he said. "The interesting thing with comedy is that it isn't necessarily about expertise, in that everyone finds different things funny, so you don't take it as gospel."
Nica Burns, producer of the awards, said that this had been the hardest decision ever. "In one of the longest, most animated debates,the panel finally chose from the strong shortlist a comedian whose work can only be summed up as utterly delightful. An hour with David O'Doherty fills the world with laughter and charm."
O'Doherty said: "It is very nice that people have put so much effort into coming to see shows. I don't come to Edinburgh to make money – I come to be inspired for the rest of the year, although sometimes you wonder why you didn't stay working in the video shop."
Best newcomer was won by Sarah Millican, for her show, Sarah Millican's Not Nice. Millican, from South Shields, was described by one critic as having "a heart darker than Newcastle Brown Ale".