| 17°C Dublin

Ant and Dec battle Harry Hill for comedy title

Presenters Ant and Dec, best known for hosting I'm A Celebrity, Get Me Out Of Here are in the shortlist for the People's Choice Award at the British Comedy Awards tonight.

Viewers will choose their favourites from the nominees who include Michael McIntyre, Harry Hill, Miranda Hart and David Mitchell.

The winner, decided by phone vote, will be announced at the ceremony at the O2 in London.

Hart and Hill lead the pack with four nominations each, while Sarah Millican is up for the Best Female Comic and Best Female Comedy Breakthrough Artist awards.

New categories at the ceremony, hosted by Jonathan Ross, include Best Comic Actor and Actress and Best Comedy Entertainment Personality.

Ross has been the long-standing face of the show, which is transferring from ITV to Channel 4 in a three-year deal.

The event has attracted its fair share of scandal over the years, including gags which have backfired as well as the voting controversy.

Julian Clary hit the headlines in 1993 when he likened the stage set to a gay cruising area and told the audience: "I've just been f****** Norman Lamont."


A year later, Jonathan Ross was flustered by another one- liner when Spike Milligan picked up his lifetime achievement award.

Ross was midway through a glowing tribute from one of the former Goon's biggest fans, Prince Charles, when Milligan interrupted and described the

prince as "the little grovelling bastard".

In 2008 it was Ross's absence that made headlines when he had to pull out because of the controversy over 'Sachsgate', where he and Russell Brand left obscene messages on actor Andrew Sachs's answerphone during a radio show.