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Katherine Ryan wins NIVEA Funny Women Awards 2008

Following the Final of the NIVEA Funny Women Awards at the Comedy Store in London, Funny Women are proud to announce that the winner of this year’s awards is Katherine Ryan.

Canadian Katherine Ryan is a recent arrival to the UK only having properly lived here since January 2008.  Crossing the pond with her comedian fiancé because “comedy in the UK is the best in the world”, Katherine is a former children’s TV presenter as well as a stand up.

“I’m delighted to have won” Katherine said, “I didn’t think I would as all the girls were so funny and talented and it was great just to be included in such a brilliant line up.  I didn’t quite believe it when they called my name, but I’m really thrilled – especially about the year’s supply of NIVEA products. I tried the bathrobe on as soon as I got offstage!”

“Katherine is a brilliant comic and gave a stand out performance at the Final“ Funny Women producer Lynne Parker adds, “she was confident and witty with some inspired material – a real funny woman.”

Katherine wins £1000, a luxury holiday at the Londa hotel in Cyprus, a year’s supply of NIVEA products and a paid gig at the Comedy Store.

The 2008 Runners Up are Essex-born Sara Pascoe and Rachel Stubbings from Ely in Cambridgeshire, both of whom are now based in London.  They each won £500.  The judges also gave a special mention to Manchester comic Rachel Fairburn.

The NIVEA Funny Women Awards received a record number of entries this year, and the producers increased the number places in the semi-finals by 25% to ensure that this level of enthusiasm and talent for live comedy was properly represented.

“The standard was so high this year,” Lynne Parker comments, “and we had so many entrants – it really has been wonderful seeing all these talented women get up on stage but nothing has been more impressive than the women who’ve taken our Two Hour Challenge.”

The Two Hour Challenge came about when Funny Women offered woman who had signed up for the pre-showcase comedy course a chance to take part in the NIVEA Funny Women Awards.  This meant they were getting up on stage within two hours of writing their first ever joke.

Over a dozen women across the UK and Ireland took the Two Hour Challenge, one of whom, Sarah Morgan, was so good that she made it through to the Semi-Finals, making her the clear winner of the Two Hour Challenge.  At the Final of the Awards at the Comedy Store Sarah was presented with a NIVEA Pamper pack as her prize.

The 2008 NIVEA Funny Women Awards Final was at the Comedy Store on Monday 23rd of June.  Box office proceeds and monies raised by the raffle are going to Ovarian Cancer Action.

The 2008 judges for the NIVEA Funny Women Awards Final were Maureen Vincent and Hannah Begbie of United Agents, Sarah Mahoney of Comedy Central International (chair), Shane Allen of Channel 4, Jackie Hatton, editor of Woman magazine, director John Walford, and comedian and radio personality Greg Burns.

Funny Women was started in 2002 by Lynne Parker as a platform to find and celebrate female comedy talent.  The NIVEA Funny Women Awards raise funds and awareness for a variety of causes that aim to help and heal women. This year was again in support of Ovarian cancer action in the memory of the late Linda Smith, a very funny woman who died of the disease in 2006. For more information about Funny Women please visit: www.funnywomen.com or email info@funnywomen.com