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British Comedy Awards

British Comedy Awards
British Comedy Awards 2006 Logo
Awarded for Most popular in Comedy
Location London Palladium (1990)
The London Studios (1991-2009)
indigO2 (2010)
Fountain Studios (2011-)
Country United Kingdom
Presented by Michael Parkinson (1990)
Jonathan Ross (1991–2007, 2009–)
Angus Deayton (2008)
First awarded 1990
Official website

The British Comedy Awards are an annual awards ceremony in the United Kingdom celebrating notable comedians and entertainment performances of the previous year.


  • History 1
  • Controversies 2
    • Investigation of alleged irregularities and deception 2.1
    • Phone-in scandal 2.2
  • Winners 3
    • 1990 3.1
    • 1991 3.2
    • 1992 3.3
    • 1993 3.4
    • 1994 3.5
    • 1995 3.6
    • 1996 3.7
    • 1997 3.8
    • 1998 3.9
    • 1999 3.10
    • 2000 3.11
    • 2001 3.12
    • 2002 3.13
    • 2003 3.14
    • 2004 3.15
    • 2005 3.16
    • 2006 3.17
    • 2007 3.18
    • 2008 3.19
    • 2009 3.20
    • 2010 3.21
    • 2011 3.22
    • 2012 3.23
    • 2013 3.24
    • 2014 3.25
  • See also 4
  • Notes 5
  • External links 6


The awards were shown live on ITV in December from 1990 to 2006, after which the broadcast of the British Comedy Awards 2007 was suspended by ITV due to allegations of irregularities and deception in the awarding of the 2005 People's Choice Award and then ongoing related investigations about the 2007 British television phone-in scandal resulting in Ofcom's subsequently fining ITV a record £5.675 million for its misuse of premium-rate telephone lines.[1][2][3]

After Michael Parkinson presented the inaugural ceremony at the London Palladium in December 1990, subsequent shows have been presented by Jonathan Ross, staged at London Studios, and produced by Michael Hurll Television (MHTV), whose parent company is Unique Communications Group.[1][4][5][6] Jonathan Ross announced that he would not be presenting the 2008 awards, in light of The Russell Brand Show prank telephone calls row[7] and was replaced by Angus Deayton.

The 2007 show occurred on 6 December 2007, but was not televised due to the 2005 controversy and subsequent investigations.[8] The following years ceremony was shown live on 6 December 2008.[4] Compliance for the show was the responsibility of the ITV Compliance Unit of ITV Network Limited (consisting of members from ITV plc, STV Group, UTV Media, and Channel Television Ltd).[9][10][11]

In June 2010, it was announced that awards were to be broadcast on Channel 4 for three years, which was later extended for one more year. In June 2015 Channel 4 announced they would be dropping the ceremony.[12]


Investigation of alleged irregularities and deception

At the 2005 British Comedy Awards show, the wrong show received the People's Choice Award.[13] The award was "mistakenly given" to Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway even though The Catherine Tate Show received the most tabulated votes and should have been declared the winner, and Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly (Ant & Dec) were asked to return their 2005 award.[14]

Charged by the awards show with investigating the allegations of irregularities, the independent law firm Olswang summarized its findings as follows: "Robbie Williams was invited to present an award. It was understood that he would be happy [to do so] if the recipients were Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly. In order to ensure his attendance, this assurance was given. But it could not be definitively established that Williams' involvement led to the wrong winner being announced" [italics added].[14]

Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway did however receive the People's Choice Award at the British Comedy Awards 2006.[15]

Phone-in scandal

Beginning on 26 July 2007, British tabloid newspapers reported the alleged involvement of the British Comedy Awards in the 2007 British television phone-in scandal.[2][8] According to a report in The Sun, viewers telephoned a premium-rate number to vote for the People's Choice Award at the 2005 Awards during what was claimed to be a live broadcast; yet, at 22:30, the show went to a news broadcast, so that when the show returned, and viewers thought it was still live and thus still phoned the number, the last half-hour was in fact a recording as the vote had already finished, rendering the call-in votes given during the recording pointless and a misuse of the callers' money.[2]

ITV announced that they postponed the British Comedy Awards 2007 due to the voting irregularities. In a statement, the company said: "Pending conclusion of the investigation, broadcast of the British Comedy Awards 2007 will be postponed. ... ITV will not make any further comment regarding this matter until the conclusion of the investigation."[16][17]

It was announced on 21 September 2007 that the British Comedy Awards 2007 would not be screened by ITV1; however, it was not confirmed then that the Awards would still take place in December, and it was not ruled out that they could be screened by another channel.[17] The 2007 awards did take place on 5 December 2007, but that show was not televised.[8] In early May 2008 Ofcom announced its fining and sanctioning ITV plc in a press release.[3]

On 15 August 2008, it was announced that a similar scandal could have been committed in the award ceremony at the 2004 Awards.[18]

Following The Russell Brand Show prank telephone calls row and his 12-week unpaid suspension from all of his BBC shows, Jonathan Ross resigned from presenting the 2008 awards, in agreement with ITV, as he did not want to "take away from the awards themselves or the many talented winners of the awards." Angus Deayton replaced Jonathan Ross as the host of the British Comedy Awards.[7] Ross returned to presenting the awards in 2009.


























The 2013 awards were presented at a two-hour ceremony hosted by Jonathan Ross on 12 December and shown live on Channel 4.[23][24][25]


See also


  1. ^ a b
  2. ^ a b c
  3. ^ a b c
  4. ^ a b
  5. ^
  6. ^
  7. ^ a b
  8. ^ a b c d
  9. ^
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^ C4 drops British Comedy Awards
  13. ^
  14. ^ a b c d
  15. ^ a b
  16. ^
  17. ^ a b
  18. ^
  19. ^
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^
  24. ^
  25. ^

External links

  • British Comedy Awards – Official website hosted by Unique Communications Group, the parent company of British Comedy Awards producer Michael Hurll Television (MHTV); site provides annual lists of winners.
  • British Comedy Awards at the British Comedy Guide
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