The British Comedy Awards took place last night, and I feel obligated to write a post about it, even though I had very little personal investment in most of the nominees. Last year I was whining about Getting On being overlooked, and this year it’s Ideal that was blanked in favour of four sitcoms I couldn’t really care less about. Yes, I know those shows are very popular and critically acclaimed, and I’m not trying to be a contrary sod for the sake of it… I just didn’t find them funny. Sorry if I sound like a sourpuss, but here are my random, rambling observations anyway:
– As a supposed fan of Annie Griffin, I should really have made the effort to watch Fresh Meat… but I didn’t realise she had directed two episodes of the series until it was too late for me to catch up! It was nice to see her on-stage though, whooping in the background, as everyone went up to collect their award en masse.
– Paloma Faith looked as glam as ever, presenting the award for “Best Sitcom”… although her co-presenter, Nick Hewer, seemed oddly immune to her charms. Miserable old git. The award went to Twenty Twelve, which is a show I really should have written about ages ago, because it features a lot of actresses I love… but I found it so underwhelming (even as people I respect in this field were raving about it), I figured it was best to keep shtum. It just seems like a pale echo of People Like Us to me… and I can’t watch it without thinking how much I’d rather be watching the original. Still, it’s always good to see Olivia Colman smiling, so I’m glad they won on the night.
– “Best Actress” went to Miranda Hart, for her self-titled sitcom. Last year she went home with a hat-trick of awards, but this year she had to settle for just the one. Then she mucked about with a bumper car that the presenters had driven on to the stage for no apparent reason. These shows always over-run at the best of times, so whoever thought it was good idea to waste time and money on a prop like that deserves a slap.
– Helen Mirren looked ridiculously foxy (for her age or any age!) presenting the “Lifetime Achievement Award” to Have I Got News For You. I wouldn’t be at all surprised to discover that her birth name was actually “Helen Bathory”.
– Darren Boyd won “Best Actor” for a new Sky1 comedy called Spy. I don’t have Sky, so I can’t really comment, but he’s always been hilarious in everything else I’ve seen him in, so I don’t doubt that he deserves it.
– Highlight of the night speech-wise was undoubtedly the killer combo of Steve Coogan presenting, and Armando Iannucci receiving, “The Writer’s Guild of Great Britain Award”.
– Victoria Wood won the “Female TV Comic” award for her Angina Monologues show, and was gracious enough to thank fellow nominee Jo Brand in her acceptance speech. Bless.
– Shame to see The Hunt for Tony Blair lose out on the “Best Comedy Drama” award… or rather not see it lose out, because for some reason Ch4 decided to bump two award presentations over to the “after party” show on E4, which I hadn’t bothered recording. Poop-holes.
– I assume WOMEN! was ineligible for “Best Sketch Show”, on account of it being a foreign import… but I was amused to see Horrible Histories pick up the award (again). It may only be a kid’s show, technically speaking, but since it’s based on actual, factual history it’s a lot darker and stranger than anything a writer could actually make up!
– Shame Charlie Brooker didn’t win anything, but the critics have had some very nice things to say about his current trilogy of “darkly comic” dystopian visions, Black Mirror, and apparently he’s now expecting his first child with wife/co-writer Kanak “Konnie” Huq, so hopefully he isn’t feeling too disappointed.
– This year the people’s choice for King or (in this case) “Queen of Comedy” was Sarah Millican, who beat out last year’s winner, Hart, for the honour. I’ve been meaning to write about Millican for a while now, because she keeps cropping up on panel shows and being very funny and adorable, but I haven’t managed to catch her doing a full stand-up routine as yet. Clearly I’ll have to correct this oversight by picking up her new live DVD, Chatterbox, at some point after Xmas. The Queen decrees it!