Home / Observatory / News / Ken Cheng Wins Edinburgh Fringe Joke Award With New Pound Coin Joke


Ken Cheng's joke about the new pound coin got him the Edinburgh Fringe Joke Award at the Edinburgh Festival. Cheng won the 10th annual Dave's Funniest Joke of The Fringe with: "I'm not a fan of the new pound coin, but then again, I hate all change."

The joke was said on his show Ken Cheng: Chinese Comedian and won 33% of the public vote on a shortlist of gags picked by comedy critics. 

Previous winners of the award include Tim Vine, Stewart Francis and Zoe Lyons!

Cheng told BBC Radio 4's Today that he was surprised the joke got him the award because "audiences tend to groan at it a lot."

He added, "I'm generally going after laughs, but I'll take the groan."

Cheng came up with the joke when the government announced plans for the new 12-sided £1 coin in 2014.

In a surprising twist, Cheng actually studied maths at Cambridge for a year before dropping out to play online professional poker instead – and now he is an award winning comedian! 

His break in comedic showbiz happened when he reached the final of the 2015 BBC Radio New Comedy Award. 

Cheng says he is very proud to have won the Dave prize and jokes that "As a tribute, I will name my firstborn son after this award and call him 'Joke of the Fringe'."

The award is judged based on lists of anonymously posted jokes to avoid bias towards well-known comedians.

Steve North, the general manager of Dave, said: "From Trump and veganism to the new pound coin, this year's agenda has certainly also provided some great inspiration for comedians to get grips with."

"It is fantastic to see that, after ten years of Joke of the Fringe award, there is no shortage of brilliant one-liners delivered at the Festival to get us all laughing", he adds.

Congratulations to Ken Cheng for his award, recognition and now-famous sense of humour!

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