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20 August 2018, 06:32
A joke about the irony of being fired from a Jobcentre has been named the funniest of the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.
Adam Rowe won the 11th annual award for Dave's Funniest Joke Of The Fringe with the line: "Working at the Jobcentre has to be a tense job - knowing that if you get fired, you still have to come in the next day."
The joke from Rowe's show Undeniable won with 41% of a public vote on a shortlist of gags picked by comedy critics.
Former bartender Rowe began doing stand-up in 2010 and has previously been crowned Liverpool Comedian of the Year.
On winning the award, Rowe told the Press Association: "I thought my agent was lying. He rang me and told me I couldn't tell anyone for a week which has been almost impossible.
"I'm massively taken aback by it, I've never seen myself as being in the running for things like this.
"It's a massive honour and a genuinely huge surprise."
Explaining how he came up with the punchline, Rowe said: "I actually wrote it when I was on stage when I was hosting a gig in Liverpool.
"It was a bit of crowd work that stayed with me. I was doing the usual compering thing, asking people what they do for a living.
"A guy said he worked in the Jobcentre and I said the joke that has now won the award.
"Because it got such a nice reaction on the night I thought I had to do something with it as a line.
"I didn't expect to be winning an award for what was essentially a brain fart!"
Previous winners of the award include Tim Vine, Stewart Francis and Zoe Lyons.
Maths student Ken Cheng won last year's prize with the line: "I'm not a fan of the new pound coin, but then again, I hate all change."
The award, which was voted on by 2,000 people, lists jokes anonymously to avoid any bias towards well-known comedians.
Dave channel director Luke Hales said: "This year, the news agenda and every day British idiosyncrasies have provided some wonderful opportunities for comedians to use their creative and comic genius in giving us all a giggle.
"As ever, we have enjoyed some quite brilliant one-liners and are delighted to crown Adam Rowe as the recipient of this year's Dave's Funniest Joke of the Fringe Award."