Top comedy acts from this year’s Edinburgh Fringe are heading to the West End’s Apollo Theatre next month for a series of Sunday showcases of winners and finalists in the third annual if.comedy Awards (See News, 26 Aug 2008).

Previously the Perriers (See News, 14 Jun 2006), the if.comedy Awards, now sponsored by Scotland-based mortgage company Intelligent Finance, are bestowed to stand-ups each August at the Edinburgh Fringe, the world\'s largest arts festival.

This year’s top winners – gold medallist David O’Doherty (pictured) and Best Newcomer Sarah Millican – headline the season. Nominees for the top prize, Russell Kane and Rhod Gilbert, along with one of last year’s newcomer nominees, Andrew Maxwell, and sketch comedy troupe The Penny Dreadfuls. American nominees Kristen Schall and Kurt Braunohler are unable to appear due to filming commitments.

The West End season kicks off on Sunday 5 October 2008 with Russell Kane and the Penny Dreadfuls, followed by this year’s two winners O’Doherty and Millican on 12 October, and concluding with Rhod Gilbert and Andrew Maxwell on 19 October.

- by Terri Paddock