Billy T Award
The Billy T Award is a New Zealand’s comedy award recognizing up-and-coming New Zealand comedians with outstanding potential. It has been presented annually since its inception in 1997 when Cal Wilson and Ewen Gilmour shared the award. The Billy T was shared between two comedians up until 2001 when it became a solo award.
Billy T James
The winner is selected from five nominees performing during the New Zealand International Comedy Festival. Five judges select a winner based on their proven comedic ability, talent, dedication and potential.
Billy T Award: Winners and Nominees
1997 – Cal Wilson/Ewen Gilmour
1998 – Brendhan Lovegrove/Radar (Andrew Lumsden)/Sugar and Spice (Jonathan Brugh and Jason Hoyte)
- Sugar and Spice, Radar, Phillip Patston, Brendhan Lovegrove, Jaq Tweedie
- Philip Patston, Paul Ego, Irene Pink, Jon Stubbs, The Humourbeasts
2000 – Mike Loder/ Paul Ego
- Jan Maree, Mike Loder, Irene Pink, Paul Ego, Benjamin Crellin
2001 – Jan Maree
- Jan Maree, Jeremy Elwood, Rhys Darby, Jon Stubbs, Benjamin Crellin
2002 – Dai Henwood
- Rhys Darby, Tarun Mohanbhai, Benjamin Crellin, Dai Henwood, GARY (Brett O'Gorman, Jamie Bowen and Mick Andrews)
2003 – Justine Smith
- Penny Ashton, Justine Smith, Sully O'Sullivan, Benjamin Crellin, GARY (Brett O'Gorman, Jamie Bowen and Mick Andrews)
2004 – Ben Hurley
- Cohen Holloway, Ezequiel Balmori, Jamie Bowen, Penny Ashton, Ben Hurley
2005 – Sam Wills
- Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, Darren Jardine, James Nokise, Jo Randerson, Sam Wills
2006 – Cori Gonzalez-Macuer
- Cori Gonzalez-Macuer, James Nokise, Jerome Chandrahasen, Cameron Blair, Gish (Justin Hansen)
2007 – Mrs Peacock (Jarrod Baker and Dave Smith)
- Alex Hawley, Jamie Bowen, Grant Lobban, Mrs Peacock
2008 – Steve Wrigley
- Steve Wrigley, Simon McKinney, Grant Lobban, The Lonesome Buckwhips, Jim Brown
2009 - Chris Brain
- Chris Brain, Jim Brown, James Keating, Vaughan King, Dave Wiggins
2010 - Rhys Mathewson
- Rhys Mathewson, Jarred Fell, Clayton Carrick-Leslie, Vaughan King, TJ McDonald
2011 - Nick Gibb
- Nick Gibb, Joseph Harper, Urzila Carlson, Nick Rado, Cameron Murray
2012 - Guy Williams
- Tom Furniss, Guy Williams, Rose Matafeo, Tevita Manukia, TJ McDonald
2013 - Rose Matafeo
- Tom Furniss, Eli Matthewson, Rose Matafeo, Pax Assadi, Joseph Moore
2014 - Current nominees are:
- Brendon Green, Guy Montgomery, Jamaine Ross, Stephen Witt, Tim Batt
The 2014 Billy T Award Winner will be announced at the Last Laughs awards show at the 2014 NZ International Comedy Festival on Sunday 18 May 2014.
2003 – Mike Loader was blacklisted from the 2004 festival after sending fake congratulatory letters to nominees Sully O’Sullivan and Penny Ashton.
- Rhys Mathewson is the youngest recipient of the award at age 19.
- Every nominated duo has gone on to win the award.
- Benjamin Crellin (2000 - 2003) and Jamie Bowen (2002 - 2004, 2007) share the record for most nominations (four).
- NZ On Air, Press Release: ‘New Zealand Laughs On Air’ 23/4/02.
- NZ International Comedy festival, Press Release: ‘2007 Billy T Nominees’ 16/1/2007
- Richardson, Amie, ‘Prank-pulling comedian finds the joke’s on him,’ (Sunday Star Times: 1/6/03)
- Scoop.co.nz, press release: ‘Eradicate me: gay and disabled comedian,’ 30/10/05.