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BBC's Outnumbered scoops three British Comedy Awards


Story by Jack Foley

OUTNUMBERED, a family-based BBC1 comedy, emerged as the big winner at the British Comedy Awards, picking up three trophies.

In a typically lively ceremony on Saturday night (December 12, 2009), Sir Terry Wogan was also honoured with a lifetime achievement prize.

But the night belonged to Outnumbered, which was named best sitcom and best comedy, while one of its stars Ramona Marquez, won the female newcomer award.

Further awards were presented to Harry Hill’s TV Burp, which was named best comedy entertainment programme for the second year running, and Michael McIntyre, who won best live stand-up comedian. He had entered the evening with three nominations to his name.

Have I Got News For You was named best comedy quiz show, The Inbetweeners‘ Simon Bird took best television comedy actor, Katharine Parkinson scooped the best comedy actress award, and a one-off special of cancelled BBC Three show Pulling was named best comedy drama.

Psychoville, the dark comedy follow-up from The League of Gentleman, was given the best new television comedy and In The Loop, the movie spin-off of BBC political comedy The Thick of It, deservedly took the best comedy film prize.

Newspaper columnist Charlie Brooker was honoured with a best male newcomer award for his show You Have Been Watching and comedy veteran Harry Enfield picked up the award for best sketch show.

Of the night’s special presentations, Father Ted and The IT Crowd writer Graham Linehan was presented with the Ronnie Barker Writer’s Guild of Great Britain Award, and Peter Kay was recognised with the outstanding contribution to comedy award – an accolade that was presented by Harry Potter author JK Rowling.

Accepting the award, Kay said: “I don’t know what to say… lovely. Thanks to anybody who’s ever met me… anybody who’s bought a ticket for my new show, and thanks to everybody who’s selling them on eBay.”

Another popular recipient was Terry Wogan, who was given a standing ovation and joked: “If you can stay upright and reasonably sober, they’ll give you something in the end.”

The evening wasn’t without the odd outspoken moment or controversy, however. Host Jonathan Ross opened the show with a reference to the Sachsgate scandal, by declaring: “It’s been a remarkable year… for a start I’ve been allowed to work.”

And Scottish comedian Frankie Boyle drew a shocked response from Ross with a joke about sex abuse, which prompted the host to say: “Well Happy Christmas everybody.”