The shortlist for this year’s Foster’s Edinburgh Comedy Awards has been released. Seven nominees have been picked out in total for Best Comedy Show, widely considered to be the most prestigious category.

Alex Horne
Alex Horne is among the nominees

James Acaster, Alex Horne and Sara Pascoe are among the nominees for the main prize. Stand up comic Acaster has been nominated for the third year in a row. Alex Horne’s ‘Monsieur Butterfly’ set was one of the most ambitious sets in terms of props, as he spent his entire hour of allotted time building a huge contraption with help via audience participation. Pascoe is the only female on the shortlist, and her set entitled Sara Pascoe vs History looked at relationships between historical characters as well as her own.

More: Tim Vine wins funniest joke at Edinburgh festival for a second time

Sets from John Kearns, Liam Williams, Romesh Ranganathan and Sam Simmons complete the Best Comedy Show category. The best newcomer category was also announced, which included Alex Edelman, Dane Baptiste, Gein’s Family, Lazy Susan, Lucy Beaumont and Steen Raskopoulos.

Alex HorneAlex Horne is the favorite to scoop the award for best comedy show

The awards’ producer Nica Burns said with the announcement: “For the second year running, reflecting the huge amount of diverse comedy talent at the fringe, the shortlist for the Foster’s Best Comedy Show is seven strong. Between them, these outstanding performers reach every funny bone.”

The winners for the various nominations will be announced on Saturday 23rd August at a ceremony at the city’s Dovecote Studios.

Earlier in the week, comedian Tim Vine received the award for funniest joke of the festival for the second year out of the last five, with the one-liner: "I decided to sell my Hoover... well it was just collecting dust." That competition is run by the UK broadcasting channel Dave.