Sunday, 16 January 2011

The British Comedy Awards 2011: Nominations

Sunday, 16 January 2011

This year's nominations for the British Comedy Awards were announced yesterday, ahead of the live ceremony on Saturday 22 January, now broadcast on Channel 4 and again hosted by Jonathan Ross. A rundown of the nominees can be read at the excellent British Comedy Guide, but I thought I'd reproduce them below, together with my own thoughts and predictions:

Best Comedy Panel Show

  • Have I Got News For You
  • Shooting Stars
  • Would I Lie To You?
My thoughts: I think HIGNFY is still the most deserving of this award, because it's a show that "matters" more, but Would I Lie To You is undoubtedly the funniest panel show around right now. For that reason, I'd like to see it win. Anything but Shooting Stars, which has become a pile of overrated bilge I'm embarrassed to know is still popular. Also curious to note the absence of QI, which surely deserved a nod!

Best Comedy Entertainment Programme

  • Harry Hill's TV Burp
  • The Graham Norton Show
  • Newswipe
My thoughts: I find TV Burp extremely hit-and-miss, and generally think the gag's run its course. Graham Norton's transfer to Friday nights hasn't done the show any favours, because it often feels underwhelming in terms of star-power, when you compare it to its predecessor Friday Night With Jonathan Ross. I didn't see much of Newswipe last year, so can't vouch for its quality, but it would be nice to see something relatively fresh win. That said, I'm still predicting Burp.

Best Comedy Entertainment Personality

  • Ant & Dec
  • Charlie Brooker
  • Harry Hill
My thoughts: As much as I enjoy Charlie Brooker's grumpy, over-descriptive shtick, the mere sight of him doesn't make you laugh. Isn't that what matters in a category like this? For me, it's a toss-up between Harry Hill and Ant & Dec, but I expect to see Harry walking away with this award under his arm.

Best Male Comic

  • David Mitchell
  • Harry Hill
  • Michael McIntyre
My thoughts: David Mitchell? The recognition is fine and he's a funny guy, but I wouldn't class him as a comic. This is a weak category. I know he splits audiences 50/50, and he was too overexposed in 2010, but McIntyre will probably win.

Best Female Comic

  • Jo Brand
  • Sarah Millican
  • Shappi Khorsandi
My thoughts: Well, Brand's as funny as hemorrhoids, so just keep her away from the podium. I don't begrudge anyone finding Shappi Khorsandi hilarious, but she leaves me cold, so I'll go for the natural charms of Sarah Millican.

Best New British TV Comedy

  • Grandma's House
  • Miranda
  • The Trip
My thoughts: Oh, Miranda's going to win. The show has become a surprise hit for BBC2, and I'm sure they'll want to give Miranda Hart this accolade. It would be kind of fun to see The Trip win, but I can't see it happening. It was too niche and far from laugh-a-minute. Likewise Grandma's House, which split opinion.

Best Male Comedy Breakthrough Artist

  • Jack Whitehall
  • John Bishop
  • Kayvan Novak
My thoughts: The biggest breakthrough came from John Bishop, who somehow wangled his own Saturday evening show off the back of Mock The Week appearances (or so it appeared), so I think he'll win. Jack Whitehall just irritates me, as most young comedians do the older I get. Kayvan Novak might be a dark horse, though -- as Facejacker and a memorable role in Four Lions could appeal to the BCA.

Best Female Comedy Breakthrough Artist

  • Isy Suttie
  • Samantha Spiro
  • Sarah Millican
My thoughts: Samantha Spiro's a blind spot for me, so I can't judge this category with much authority. Isy Suttie's been doing much the same thing for years now, although she did have a funny role in the excellent sitcom Whites that brought her to a wider audience, so maybe she'll take the award. But something tells me Sarah Millican's got this one. She's fresher.

Best Sketch Show

  • Harry & Paul
  • Horrible Histories
  • The Armstrong & Miller Show
My thoughts: I don't watch much of those three, but on the occasions I dip in I find myself more amused by Armstrong & Miller, who bring some wit and intelligence to their sketches. Notably absent: That Mitchell & Webb Look, not that it had a good year.

Best Sitcom

  • Miranda
  • The Inbetweeners
  • The Thick Of It
My thoughts: I'm someone who hasn't really fallen for The Thick Of It, so I can't comment there. For me, The Inbetweeners is the best sitcom on that shortlist, and might win because series 3 was (supposedly) its last. Then again, there's a lot of love for Miranda's cheery old-school style. A hard one to call. Interesting to note the absence of The IT Crowd, which I thought had a tired series last year, and the BCA seem to  agree.

Best Comedy Actor

  • James Buckley (The Inbetweeners)
  • Peter Capaldi (The Thick Of It)
  • Rob Brydon (The Trip)
  • Tom Hollander (Rev)
My thoughts: In terms of pure acting, it's surely between Capaldi and Hollander. It would be nice to see Hollander get it, because his performance in Rev was very engaging and nuanced.

Best Comedy Actress

  • Jo Brand
  • Katherine Parkinson
  • Miranda Hart
My thoughts: Oh, Miranda Hart's definitely got this one in the bag She's been around for so many years as a supporting character actor, so this is her year to get recognition for the past decade's toil. Just don't let Brand near the podium, remember.

Best British Comedy Performance In Film

  • Aaron Johnson (Kick Ass)
  • Kayvan Novak (Four Lions)
  • Nigel Lindsay (Four Lions)
My thoughts: Let's rule Johnson out of this, because his role in Kick Ass wasn't very funny. That's a very odd nomination. So, it boils down to whether you prefer Novak's cartoonish idiot in Four Lions, or Lindsay's turn as a dumb fanatic in the same film. I get the feeling Novak's going to win, as he has other comedy strings to his bow, but either would be fine.

So there you have it. The people to beat this year are Harry Hill and Miranda Hart, who both have four nominations each, so expect them to be leaving the ceremony with heavy lumps of moulded plastic in a carrier bag. Do you agree with my predictions? Care to add your own?