SUSIE McCabe has been announced as the winner of a comedy award chosen by Sir Billy Connolly.

The Glasgow-based comic was up for the Sir Billy Connolly Spirit of Glasgow Award at the city’s comedy festival, facing stiff competition from the likes of Raymond Mearns, Rosco McClelland and Susan Riddell.

The shortlist was put together by an independent panel of judges which included last year’s winner Janey Godley and Barbie star Sharon Rooney.

McCabe’s win was announced at a gala on Saturday at the King’s Theatre, with a special video message sent by Connolly from his Florida home.

The National: Billy Connolly.

“Congratulations Susie – I’m sorry I can’t be in Glasgow, it’s for a million reasons,” he said.

Addressing McCabe, he added: “I watched you on TV and I was blown sideways. It’s been lovely watching your style, that Glasgow style of comedy – it’s brilliant, I loved it. You’re brilliant, so keep it up.”

Describing Glasgow as “the wind in my sails”, McCabe said: “When you start this career as a dare you don’t think for a minute you’re going to hear your name come out of Billy Connolly’s face.

“Lots of people talk about Edinburgh and its festivals in comedy – it’s never been about Edinburgh for me, Edinburgh is a by-product of this festival for me. This festival has 100% backed me and it’s done that because you, the audiences, have come out and let me play this theatre three times.”

She added: “This means the absolute world to me – this city means the absolute world to me.”

Krista MacDonald, the director of the festival, described McCabe as “one of Scotland’s most exceptional comedy exports”, adding that she was “a truly worthy winner”.

Comedian Elaine C Smith said: “When Billy came on the scene there was nobody like him - he blew the doors wide open for everybody and we owe him a huge debt of gratitude for what he has done.”