In a resounding victory that left audiences in splits, British Asian stand-up sensation Ahir Shah clinched the coveted Best Show Award at this year’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards for his outstanding performance in “Ends.”
Shah, no stranger to the prestigious Edinburgh Fringe Festival, having been nominated for the top comedy prize in both 2017 and 2018, graciously dedicated his latest accolade to his fiancée and the memory of his late director, Adam Brace, who tragically passed away at the age of 43 in May earlier this year. Shah couldn’t resist injecting some humor into his acceptance speech, jesting, “Turns out he was really holding me back.”
The jubilant comedian proclaimed this victory as the “second-best day” of his year, following closely behind his impending wedding set to take place this autumn. It was a poignant moment, marking not only his personal achievements but also the resilience and camaraderie of the comedy community.
In a nod to the broader significance of his triumph for South Asian representation in the entertainment industry, Shah couldn’t help but comment, “F*** me, we got No 10, now best newcomer and best show.” His meteoric rise to prominence extends beyond the Edinburgh Comedy Awards, as Shah’s talents have shone on the small screen, with notable contributions to BBC Two’s “The Mash Report” and regular appearances on popular UK panel shows such as “Have I Got News For You” and “Mock The Week.”
Meanwhile, across the globe in Mumbai, rising comedic talent Urooj Ashfaq took home the Best Newcomer Award for her debut show, “Oh No!” Ashfaq’s win was a testament to her unique comedic style, blending personal experiences with a dash of random humor. Having previously performed her show earlier this year at London’s Soho Theatre, Ashfaq’s comedy has transcended borders and found resonance with diverse audiences.
Reflecting on her craft, Ashfaq once shared, “Around 80 percent of my show is based on personal experience and then there are 20 percent random jokes that I really like.” Her ability to connect with her audience on a personal level undoubtedly played a significant role in her well-deserved recognition at the Edinburgh Comedy Awards.
The 2023 Edinburgh Comedy Awards showcased not only the immense talent within the comedy world but also the rich diversity and inclusivity that continue to define the industry. With winners like Ahir Shah and Urooj Ashfaq leading the way, the future of comedy looks bright and filled with laughter.