Stewart Lee has unleashed a torrent of abuse at the organisers of this year’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards.

In a reply to a press release email from awards publicist Anna Arthur, and to many people in the comedy world, Lee expressed his resentment at the idea of the organisers asking the public to choose their Fosters ‘Comedy God’ from a list of past winners and nominees (all 173) of the Perrier and if.comedy award over the last 30 years.

It began: “You need to pull the plug on this now. It is the most shameful, inane thing I have seen in all the years I have been doing the fringe.

“You will ruin it for everyone. Have a heart, for God’s sake. And at least correct your use of the apostrophe in your own press release.”

He continued: “This will discredit comedy in Edinburgh and play into the hands of your critics, who are all much smarter than you.”

Nica Burns, producer for the awards was quoted in the release saying it’s “Some 30th anniversary interactive fun – comedy punters can crown their favourite act. Upset the professional judges! Right some wrongs!”

Lee however didn’t see the funny side.

"Think about the logic of it for a moment. Who amongst those you are asking to vote has even heard of The Frank Chickens, who for all anyone under 30 knows may be the best act on the list? It is not possible for the outcome of this vote to have any credibility."

“How dare you proceed with this farcical, selfish idea?"

“Get a grip. ‘The Fosters Comedy Awards’ has not discovered talent over 30 years. Everyone knows that.  It was the Perrier. And neither, to be honest, did Perrier. Where now so many of your winners?"

“You should be ashamed. Nica Burns! It’s not too late to try and change the way you will be remembered.”

Here’s our favourite bit…

“Whores. Morons. Illiterates."

“There is so much good stuff you could use your corporate funding for, and instead, year in, year out, you make these crass decisions."

“The whole thing will blow up in your face. Then, perhaps, we will see an end to your nonsense."

“‘Some 30th anniversary interactive fun’ - says Nica Burns. How about a slide show of dying developing world children followed by a raffle.

It finally ended with “Your cynicism is breathtaking. Your EDINBURGH COMEDY GOD idea is banal. There are no comedy gods.”

Whether he meant to ‘Reply all’ to the email is another matter…he probably did. After all, you could argue he has a valid point, that art is not necessarily about popularity contests...

Copyright : Comedy Central UK