Fringe Diary: Farewell to Perrier, hello to the eddies

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The Independent Online

This afternoon I'm going to the annual reunion lunch for former judges of the Perrier Award - although it's not called the Perrier Award any more. After 25 years of sponsorship, the fizzy water bottlers have withdrawn from the prize-giving business. Perrier was bought by Nestlé in 1992. Nestlé's marketing of baby milk led some of its critics to call for a boycott of the award in 2001. Comedians including past Perrier winners Emma Thompson and Steve Coogan put their name to the movement.

After the Nestlé kerfuffle, you might have expected the awards' organisers to ensure they had the most right-on sponsor possible. In fact, they've got the Halifax's online banking service, which doesn't exactly vibrate with the spirit of alternative comedy. From now on the Perriers will be known as - wait for it - The Intelligent Finance Comedy Awards.

If that weren't uncatchy enough, the IFCAs come with not one, but two nicknames. The first of these is "the if.comeddies". Yes, it's lower case. Yes, there are two Ds. Nickname number two is "the eddies", which at least evokes both Edinburgh and comedy.