APPLICATIONS have opened for an award inspired by one of Scotland’s best-loved comedians – with hopefuls told they are expected to be “gallus”.

Any individual, show, group or collective performing at the Glasgow International Comedy Festival next year is eligible to submit a nomination for the Sir Billy Connolly Spirit of Glasgow Award before January 15.

Janey Godley was the first recipient of the award at this year’s festival.

Judges will examine strict criteria which both the city of Glasgow and Connolly represent, with the winner required to be warm but tough, accessible for all, unapologetic, funny and “gallus”.

The trophy has one of Connolly’s drawings engraved on it, and the winner will be announced at the festival in March. Connolly will decide the winner, with the judging panel making recommendations to him. He said: “Glasgow deserves to have an international comedy festival – it’s the funniest town in the world, bar none. The standard is colossal.

“I’m very proud to be part of the international festival and I’m very proud that my drawing has been part of the trophy. It’s lovely – let’s get on with it.”

Festival director Krista MacDonald said: “Comedy is a significant part of Glasgow’s rich cultural identity. From everyday conversations to the comedy superstars the city produces and embraces, comedy lets us celebrate, connect, and find joy even at the bleakest of times.

“In many ways the characteristics of the best comedy are also the characteristics of the spirit of the city.

“Being funny, of course, but also to be self-starting, mould-breaking, bold and brave, curious and challenging, warm but tough, proud but unpretentious, and open to all.

“Sir Billy Connolly – the best of comedy and the best of Glasgow – has all of these in spades. With the presentation of the Sir Billy Connolly Spirit of Glasgow Award, GICF celebrates those participating in the festival who most display these characteristics.

“This could be a performer, promoter or venue staff; a life-long Glaswegian or a flying visitor; a festival first-timer or an old hand involved for the last two decades.”

The festival takes place between March 13 and 31 and will feature more than 360 shows and comedians including Susie McCabe, Stewart Lee and Reginald D Hunter.