Shortlist revealed for comedy award chosen by Sir Billy Connolly

Comedians Craig Hill, Susie McCabe and Zara Gladman are among those shortlisted for a comedy award chosen by Sir Billy Connolly.

Raymond Mearns, Rosco McClelland and Susan Riddell are also on the shortlist for the Sir Billy Connolly Spirit of Glasgow Award.

It is the only official award at the Glasgow International Comedy Festival (GICF), which started on Wednesday, and the winner will be revealed at the closing comedy gala on Saturday March 30.

An independent panel of judges – including Barbie star Sharon Rooney and 2023 award winner Janey Godley – reviewed applications to draw up the shortlist and Sir Billy, affectionately known as the Big Yin, will choose the winner.

Sir Billy Connolly Spirit of Glasgow Award
Janey Godley won the inaugural Sir Billy Connolly Spirit of Glasgow Award last year (Glasgow International Comedy Festival/PA)

“It’s an honour to be nominated for an award in his name. When it comes to awards, this is the Big Yin.”

Mearns said: “Surprised and delighted to be nominated for this award.

“To make my living as a stand-up is already a dream come true and coming from Glasgow with Billy Connolly as my inspiration, I was able to stand on the shoulders of a giant.”

Riddell said she was “absolutely buzzing” to be nominated, while McClelland joked the spirit of Sir Billy “visited me in a dream” to tell him he had been shortlisted.

Susan Riddell
Susan Riddell is among those shortlisted (Glasgow International Comedy Festival/PA)

“My Glasgow west end mum will be boasting about this for years to come.”

Festival director Krista MacDonald congratulated those shortlisted.

She said: “The calibre of entries was outstanding so it’s a real achievement to be recognised in this way.

“We’re looking forward to celebrating the shortlist and final winner at this year’s comedy gala.

“We’re thrilled to open the metaphorical doors of this year’s GICF as it officially gets under way in more than 50 venues across the city.

“As we celebrate 21 years of the festival, it’s fitting that we do so with the event’s biggest year ever – with over 560 comedy shows set to take place across 19 days.”

Frankie Boyle, Frank Skinner and Elaine C Smith are among those performing at the festival.

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