The shortlists for the prestigious Foster's Edinburgh Comedy Awards have been announced.

Often dubbed the 'Oscars of comedy' and previously known informally as the Perriers, after their long-standing original sponsor, the Awards currently comprise three categories: Best Comedy Show (including £10,000 prize money), Best Newcomer and the Panel Prize (both of which come with a £5,000 cheque).

This year's shortlist for the main prize includes Josie Long, who has been nominated for the third year in succession.

The nominations for Foster’s Best Comedy Show are:

Claudia O’Doherty – The Telescope (Underbelly, Cowgate)
Doctor Brown –Befrdfgth (Underbelly, Cowgate)
James Acaster – Prompt (Pleasance Courtyard)
Josie Long: Romance and Adventure (Pleasance Courtyard)
Pappy’s: Last Show Ever! (Pleasance Dome)
Tony Law Maximum Noise (The Stand Comedy Club)

The nominations for Foster’s Best Newcomer are:  

Daniel Simonsen – Champions (Pleasance Courtyard)
David Trent – Spontaneous Comedian (Pleasance Courtyard)
Discover Ben Target (Underbelly, Cowgate)
Joe Lycett: Some Lycett Hot (Pleasance Courtyard)
Sam Fletcher – Good on Paper (Bannermans)

The winners will be announced on 25 August 2012 at a lunchtime ceremony at Dovecot Studios, Infirmary Street.

Nica Burns, producer of the awards, said: “The nominees sum up an extraordinarily inventive year for comedy at this year’s Fringe. The shows demonstrate all the comedic art forms - standup, mime, sketch and multi-media experimentation. The performers are all immensely charismatic and often thought-provoking whilst being extremely funny.”