Crash Tragedy Comedian Receives Prestigious Festival Award, After Friends Stepped In

Gareth Richards died in a car crash in April of this year. Now he has been honoured at the Edinburgh Comedy Fringe Festival in Scotland, UK, becoming the first ever recipient of the Victoria Wood award.

The BBC reports that Richards, who had been appearing at the Fringe Festival since 2010, was due to perform again this year before he was killed in April. Instead, his friends Dan Ward and Mark Simmons staged  “A Show for Gareth Richards” in his name, recruiting some of the country’s biggest comedy names to perform.

The show raised almost £20,000 ($25,000) which will go to a trust fund for Richards’ two sons.

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Ward told the BBC: “It feels really sensational to have won this award for Gareth.

“Victoria Wood was the queen of musical comedy, and Gareth was our legend.

“Gareth’s name will be forever associated with this award, and that just means everything.”

The Victoria Wood Foundation said: “A Show For Gareth is an extraordinary initiative by his fellow friends and comics Mark Simmons and Danny Ward and embraced by the comedy community and audiences alike.

“Victoria would have been part of it had she been here. We are delighted that this is the first of the Victoria Wood Awards and combines her spirit with that of the Fringe.”

Other recipients at this year’s Fringe Festival – the biggest of its kind in the UK – include Urooj Ashfaq, named best newcomer, and Ahir Shar, winning Sky Best Comedy Show at the third time of trying.

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