Alex Horne
Alex Horne

The shortlists have been announced for the 2014 Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards, the most prestigious comedy prize at the Fringe.

The shortlist for this year's main prize includes James Acaster, receiving his third nomination in as many years.

Also on the list is John Kearns, who won Best Newcomer last year, and Romesh Ranganathan, Sam Simmons (a prior nominee), Sara Pascoe, Alex Horne and Liam Williams.

The Best Newcomer nominees are: Steen Raskopoulos, Dane Baptiste, Alex Adelman, Lucy Beaumont, double act Lazy Susan and sketch group Gein's Family Gift Shop.

The awards, which are now in their 34th year, have previously seen winners including Frank Skinner, The League of Gentlemen, Lee Evans, Daniel Kitson and, more recently, Tim Key, Adam Riches and Bridget Christie.

Awards producer Nica Burns said: "For the second year running, reflecting the huge amount of diverse comedy talent at the fringe, the shortlist for the Foster's Best Comedy Show is seven strong.

"Between them, these outstanding performers reach every funny bone. Unprecedentedly three 2013 Best Newcomers - John Kearns, Liam Williams and Romesh Ranganathan have graduated to the Best Comedy Show shortlist in only a year. The Edinburgh Fringe continues to launch the comedy stars of tomorrow."

The winners will be announced on 23 August. The main award comes with a prize of £10,000, while Best Newcomer and the winner of the discretionary Panel Prize will scoop £5,000 each.

FOR MORE ON EDINBURGH 2014 VISIT WHATSONSTAGE.COM/EDINBURGH-FESTIVAL