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American Wins British Comedy Award

August 24, 2003

EDINBURGH, Scotland (AP) _ American Demetri Martin on Sunday won the 23rd Perrier Comedy award, one of Britain’s most prestigious comedy performance awards.

Martin, 30, who dropped out of law school to pursue comedy, took the prize for the best comedy of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with his routine about his obsessive youth, ``If I.″

The New Yorker beat Australian favorite Adam Hills, fellow American Reginald D. Hunter, New Zealand duo Flight of the Conchords, and lone Briton Howard Read.

Nica Burns, director of the Perrier Comedy Award, described it as ``a breathtaking win″ for Martin, who is on his first trip to Britain.

``Completely unknown here prior to the Festival, Martin beat a shortlist of unparalleled breadth of style and content in a hotly debated vote,″ Burns said.

Martin is the second American to win the award after Rich Hall, who performed as ``Otis Lee Crenshaw″ in 2000.

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