Friday 15 December 2017

Comic Jack Whitehall scoops Best TV Comedy at British Comedy Awards

Jack Whitehall arriving for the world premiere of The Class of 92 earlier this month Chris Radburn/PA Wire
Jack Whitehall arriving for the world premiere of The Class of 92 earlier this month Chris Radburn/PA Wire

Stand-up comic Jack Whitehall landed the Best TV Comedy Actor prize at the British Comedy Awards tonight.

Whitehall picked up the award for for his role in Channel 4's Fresh Meat and thanked the rest of the cast, saying that just to be working with them was "amazing".

Host Jonathan Ross kicked off the live show from Wembley, London, with a barrage of quips including a risky reference to the Savile scandal.

He told the audience, which featured the cream of British comedy talent: "They have demolished television centre. The studios we have all known and loved. It is now a building site and ironically it is now a far less dangerous place for children to play than ever before."

In his wide-ranging controversial warm-up Ross made light of apartheid and Prime Minister David Cameron leaning in in for a "selfie" photograph at the Nelson Mandela memorial service along with US president Barack Obama and Danish PM Helle Thorning-Schmidt.

He also poked fun at DJ Paul Gambaccini, TV cook Nigella Lawson and Whitehall's father Michael - who is a talent agent and who has a show with his son.

Paul Whitehouse collected the first award of the night as he and long-time collaborator Harry Enfield picked up the prize for Best Sketch Show for Harry & Paul. It is an award they last won in 2009.

Whitehouse said it was "a real surprise - a genuine surprise, thank you very much" before collapsing in laughter as one of his colleagues made random hand gestures and pretended to be doing sign language for the deaf, in a reference to the fake signer at the Mandela memorial.

A shocked Nina Conti picked up the Best Female TV Comic award and said "that is totally ridiculous".

She said she had not made a speech because every one else in her category was so good but thanked her family before leaving the stage.

She won for her show Nina Conti Live At The Apollo.

Miranda Hart reclaimed the title of Best TV Comedy Actress title, an award which she last won in 2011.

In her pre-recorded acceptance speech she jokingly plugged her upcoming tour and said "thank you to my cast and crew although this is basically about me this one - it is a real boost just before my tour".

Lee Mack was a double winner as Would I Lie To You in which is is a regular along with Rob Brydon and David Mitchell was named as Best Comedy Panel Show.

He also won Best Male TV Comic. He used his acceptance speech to work host Jonathan Ross like a ventriloquist dummy and force him to apologise to former Fawlty Towers star Andrew Sachs for the prank phone calls he made along with Russell Brand.

Mack made Ross say: "I would like to offer my resignation and give Lee Mack the opportunity to host his own chat show on ITV."

Australian comedian Adam Hills won Best Comedy Breakthrough Artist prize at the British Comedy Awards.

Hills who won for hosting Channel 4's late night satirical show - The Last Leg - was in Australia where he and his wife have just had their second baby.

Press Association

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