Saturday, 17 December 2011

British Comedy Awards 2011: Winners


The winners of the 22nd British Comedy Awards were announced last night on Channel 4, with two of the awards handed out during the E4 follow-up Lock-In show because the ceremony overran. Below is my updated list of the nominees and my (very wrong) predictions from earlier in the week, now with the winners and my brief reaction to each category's result.

Best Comedy Panel Show

  • Celebrity Juice (ITV2)
  • Have I Got News For You (BBC1)
  • Shooting Stars (BBC2) WINNER
  • Would I Lie To You? (BBC1) PREDICTION
My reaction: A very ironic win, given the fact the BBC axed Shooting Stars for the second time in its history a month ago. I suppose this win proves how well-regarded Vic n' Bob's crazy panel show remains in the industry, and giving it a BCA may have been intended as a way to get the show picked up by another channel. I hear Sky are interested...

Best Comedy Entertainment Programme

  • Harry Hill's TV Burp (ITV1) PREDICTION
  • Alan Carr: Chatty Man (Channel 4)
  • An Idiot Abroad (Sky1)
  • Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle (BBC2) WINNER
My reaction: I was overjoyed to see Stewart Lee get some unexpected recognition at the BCA's, given how poorly rated his Comedy Vehicle was during both its series. Great to see awards go to someone who's doing something that feels fresh and interesting, but I bet a sizable chunk of the show's audience watching were bewildered.

Best Comedy Drama

  • Comic Strip Presents: The Hunt For Tony Blair (Channel 4)
  • Fresh Meat (Channel 4) PREDICTION
  • Misfits (E4)
  • Psychoville (BBC2) WINNER
My reaction: Given Fresh Meat's win elsewhere on the night, I was happy to see Psychoville take this one home. I'm not sure it's really much of a "drama", per se, but it was nice to see it given something. (Shame a big category like Comedy Drama slipped into the after-show E4 transmission, though.)

Best Comedy Entertainment Personality

  • Alan Carr
  • Charlie Brooker
  • Harry Hill
  • Graham Norton PREDICTION WINNER
My reaction: As predicted, a worthy winner. I'm not even a fan of Norton when he's doing stand-up or straight presenting, but as a chat show host I think he handles it very well.

Best Male TV Comic

  • Charlie Brooker
  • Harry Hill
  • Rob Brydon PREDICTION
  • Stewart Lee WINNER
My reaction: Who would have thought it, eh? There was a surprising amount of love for Stewart Lee this year, which was really nice to see. As the man said himself during a VT, this has probably blown his credibility, though.

Best Female TV Comic

  • Jo Brand
  • Sarah Millican PREDICTION
  • Miranda Hart
  • Victoria Wood WINNER
My reaction: I can't fathom it. What has Victoria Wood done this year? Is this 1987?

Best New Comedy Programme

  • Fresh Meat (Channel 4) PREDICTION WINNER
  • Friday Night Dinner (Channel 4)
  • Spy (Sky1)
  • Twenty Twelve (BBC3)
My reaction: I was very pleased to see Fresh Meat win this award, as it was thoroughly deserved.

Best Comedy Breakthrough Artist

  • Dan Skinner WINNER
  • Greg Davies PREDICTION
  • Micky Flanagan
  • Tom Rosenthal
My reaction: Dear oh dear. I just don't understand the affection people have for Shooting Stars character Angelos Epithemou, as played by Dan Skinner. He's a sub-Harry Enfield character from 1992, and consistently fails to be amusing outside of Vic n' Bob's show. (And he's not really very funny there.) We'll see how he gets on next year when his Channel 4 chat show launches...

Best Sketch Show

  • Come Fly With Me (BBC1) PREDICTION
  • Horrible Histories (CBBC) WINNER
  • The One Ronnie (BBC1)
  • This Is Jinsy (Sky Atlantic)
My reaction: For the second year running a children's sketch show wins this award. Great news for kid's TV, but I can't help thinking it's bad news for the sketch show format in general. Where were Mitchell & Webb or Armstrong & Miller in the nominations? This Is Jinsy isn't even a sketch show and The One Ronnie was a Christmas one-off! Very poor category.

Best Sitcom

  • Miranda (BBC1)
  • Friday Night Dinner (Channel 4) PREDICTION
  • Peep Show (Channel 4)
  • Twenty Twelve (BBC3) WINNER
My reaction: Another shock, to me. Twenty Twelve was mildly amusing, but ran out of steam by its third episode. Oh well, conceptually, we only have one more series to go. Friday Night Dinner was robbed.

Best TV Comedy Actor

  • Darren Boyd PREDICTION WINNER
  • Hugh Bonneville
  • Hugh Dennis
  • Jack Whitehall
My reaction: Yes, great choice. It's just a shame Darren Boyd largely got this award because of his work on the execrable Spy, when he's been far better in Whites, Dirk Gently and Holy Flying Circus recently. This also means Sky will now market Spy as "award-winning". Sigh.

Best TV Comedy Actress

  • Claire Skinner
  • Dawn French
  • Miranda Hart WINNER
  • Tamsin Greig PREDICTION
My reaction: Well, there you have it. Tamsin Greig was great in two sitcoms this year (Friday Night Dinner and Episodes), but Miranda Hart's "single middle class giantess falls over all the time" performances still have a curious allure for the BCA judges.

People's Choice Award For The King Or Queen Of Comedy

  • David Mitchell PREDICTION
  • Graham Norton
  • Jack Whitehall
  • Miranda Hart
  • Jo Brand
  • Sarah Millican WINNER
My reaction: Sarah Millican is genuinely everywhere right now, as the go-to "token female" for most panel shows where the producers aren't aware there are many other talented female stand-ups to choose from. I don't blame the British public for voting her to a win, because her face has been burned onto our retina's throughout 2011.

There was also a Lifetime Achievement Award for the panel show Have I Got News For You?, which I fully agree with, and the Writer's Guild Award went to Armando Iannucci, which is impossible to argue against. The man helped bring us The Day Today, Alan Partridge and The Thick Of It, so it's just remarkable it's taken this long to honour him for services to comedy writing.
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