Sir Billy Connolly will pick the winner of the only award for acts at the Glasgow International Comedy Festival (GICF). 

And that’s probably fitting – because it’s named in his honour.  

The Big Yin will head a judging panel awarding the Sir Billy Connolly Spirit of Glasgow Award to the “individual, show, group or collective” who best meets its criteria.  

Winners must resilient, open, unapologetic, gallus – and above all, funny. Applications for the award opened today.  

Last year’s winner Janey Godley was chosen by Sir Billy, and announced at last year’s Gala prizegiving.  

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This year’s award will see an independent panel of judges choose a shortlist from all applications, based on who most personifies the Spirit of Glasgow.  

The judging panel will make a recommendation to Sir Billy, who will ultimately decide the winner, who will receive a physical trophy with one of his famous drawings engraved on it. 

The Herald: Last year's winner Janey Godley 

GICF Festival Director Krista MacDonald said: “Comedy is a significant part of Glasgow’s rich cultural identity. From everyday conversations to the comedy superstars the city produces and embraces, comedy lets us celebrate, connect, and find joy even at the bleakest of times.  

“In many ways the characteristics of the best comedy are also the characteristics of the spirit of the city. Being funny, of course, but also to be self-starting, mould-breaking, bold and brave, curious and challenging, warm but tough, proud but unpretentious and open to all.” 

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He added: “Sir Billy Connolly - the best of comedy and the best of Glasgow - has all of these in spades. With the presentation of the Spirit of Glasgow Award, GICF celebrates those participating in the Festival who most display these characteristics.  

“This could be a performer, promoter or venue staff; a life-long Glaswegian or a flying visitor; a festival first-timer or an old hand involved for the last two decades.”  

Karen Koren, of GICF corporate director GB Festivals Ltd said: “We are honoured to be working with Sir Billy again to celebrate that which makes both comedy and Glasgow so special and can’t wait to present the winner as part of GICF’s Comedy Gala at the King’s Theatre in March.” 

The Glasgow International Comedy Festival takes place from 13th - 31st March 2024, featuring hundreds of shows across 19 days this spring.  

More than 360 shows already confirmed, the festival will welcome top comedians for its 21st year across stand-up, musical comedy, live podcasts, theatre and more including: Susie McCabe, Ed Gamble, Elaine C Smith, Frankie Boyle, Fascinating Aïda, All Killa No Filla Live and Stewart Lee.