THE first Great Yorkshire Fringe has been hailed a storming success - with visitor numbers reaching 120,000.

The ten-day festival - which looks set to return next year - centred on three venues on a temporary village green in Parliament Street. It ended with sold out shows and extra performances added due to public demand, and the awarding of several prizes.

Star comedians included Paul Merton (and His Impro Chums), Reginald D. Hunter, Paul Foot, Henning Wehn and Al Murray’s Pub Landlord, along with music, cabaret, magic and theatre.

Martin Witts, the festival founder, said: “It has been an absolute pleasure and never a chore to lay the Great Yorkshire Fringe Cap in York this year.

"None of this year’s successes would have been possible without the great team of festival crew and local talent... We will be making an announcement about the 2016 Great Yorkshire Fringe in the coming months - we have exciting plans moving the event forward.”

York Press:

Workmen dismantle the White Rose Rotunda after the York Fringe Festival finished over the weekend. Picture: Frank Dwyer.

There were a total of 250 events held throughout the festival with 20 extra shows added due to demand.

The final day saw Tom Taylor, 23, from Harrogate, win the first Great Yorkshire Fringe new comedian of the year competition.

Tom beat 74 other aspiring comedians, who took part over eight daily heats, to win a cash prize of £500 plus his own London showcase in the Museum of Comedy.

He was presented with his prize by comedian Rob Beckett. Organiser David Hardcastle said: “The standard was terrific. We only had room for nine finalists but each heat had at least two or three acts who were good enough for the final.”

The Great Yorkshire Fringe Flat Cap Award for “Best in Show” was awarded to Slightly Fat Features for their daily show Variety Soup in the Turn Pot and Free Fringe shows in The Tea Pot.

The group were each awarded a flat cap by York’s favourite actor, Mark Addy, star of The Full Monty and Atlantis TV series, who himself appeared at the Fringe on Saturday to record a Yorkshire Day Podcast interview looking back on his career.

The Great Yorkshire Fringe also raised over £20,000 for several local charities, The Heart and Diabetes Clinic at York Hospital, The Arts Barge Project and Greyhound Rescue.