Feminist stand-up show wins top British comedy award

LONDON Sat Aug 24, 2013 1:17pm EDT

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LONDON (Reuters) - Women's rights campaigner Bridget Christie won one of Britain's most prestigious comedy awards on Saturday for a polemical stand-up show against men's lifestyle magazines.

The Foster's Comedy Award for best act at the annual Edinburgh Festival Fringe brings with it 10,000 pounds ($15,600)and has been the launch pad for many stars.

Christie, 41, said she almost gave up comedy to look after her two children before the show, "A Bic for Her", drew sell-out crowds and critical acclaim.

"It's bloody typical isn't it! Just when I wanted to take it easy everyone starts coming and the show's full," she told Reuters by telephone on Thursday after becoming the only woman to make the shortlist for the prize.

Christie's show mainly targets "Lad's Mags", British magazines full of scantily-clad women and sports articles that can sit on the lower shelves of newsagents' stores because they are not classified as pornography.

In her show, Christie recounted how she would enter a shop, grab the magazines off the shelf and throw them in the bin.

"That's not theft... That's just ethical filing," she said.

Christie plans to write a book later this year and is working on a second radio series.

Actor Hugh Laurie, star of U.S. TV medical drama "House", won the prize back in 1981 when it was called the Perrier Comedy Award. Steve Coogan and the sketch group behind the dark British TV comedy "League of Gentlemen" have also won the award.

Nica Burns, who runs the Foster's Comedy Award, said Christie's humor and earnestness were a winning combination.

"Whilst high on the laughter count, Bridget Christie's show about feminism also gives us something to think about," she said.

($1 = 0.6413 British pounds)

(Reporting by Stephen Eisenhammer; editing by Tom Pfeiffer)

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