The Melbourne International Comedy Festival has today announced big changes for their annual award nominations. Once known as the Barry, the prestigious award will now be known as the Most Outstanding Show award. 

The rename comes after comic Barry Humphries, who the award was named after, made remarks in an interview with Spectator last year that transgender issues are "a fashion".

In comments given to The Music today, Melbourne International Comedy Festival director Susan Provan has said that "Removing gender from the award name is appropriate now – not least to acknowledge that one third of all past recipients are women."

"As one of Victoria’s major events and one of the world’s greatest comedy festivals, it is time for award for most outstanding show to be in our name."

"The award is not tied to any one person to best celebrate and focus on the outstanding artists who make up Melbourne International Comedy Festival," she said. "The award name celebrates Melbourne as the city that inspired the growth of our Festival."

In addition to the Most Outstanding Show award are the Best Newcomer and The Golden Gibbo awards, see the nominees list here.