The British Comedy Awards, ITV1

by | Dec 14, 2005 | All, Reviews

Did we like it?

The “pound shop Baftas” is normally the best ITV1 show of the year – and this one had its moments but was badly marred by self-indulgent nonsense from most of the award presenters, the neverending waving of the begging bowl (aka the People’s Choice Vote) and inept production throughout. Heads should roll!

What was good about it?

• Jonathan Ross’s gags including:

“British Comedy Awards – the three most chilling words since ‘Davina McCall chatshow’.”

“This is a drug-free zone. There’s less chemistry than Patrick Kielty and Kelly Brook.”

“It’s been a year of disaster. Tsunamis, hurricanes, that Ben Elton sitcom.”

“I spent £20 on a Matt Lucas doll. Got home and found I bought Gail Porter in-stead.”

“I can exclusively reveal the new character in Little Britain: a fat, black lesbian who shits herself.”

“That new show – RIP Evans. Certainly what Sky Minus is for.”

“Dara O’Briain – the best-kept secret from Ireland apart from Louis Walsh’s wife.”

“Jade Goody – men all over the country want to take her home and shag her brains in.”

“That’s some look Jackie Stallone has got going on. I thought she’d been in the Aardman fire.”

“There’s going to be another Catherine Tait series which, like Gary Glitter, will be shot in January.”

“Like Kate Thornton’s stylist, you’re on a hiding to nothing.”

“The Frank Skinner Show moved later. It’s a ratings thing. They discovered his key demographic was larks and milkmen.”

• Ricky Gervais: “I want Thick Of It to win. Or Peep Show – but that’s not nominated. Who runs this debacle? I blame the viewing public. Just because it doesn’t follow EastEnders. Flip a bit.”

• The humiliation of Chico (1) Dara O’Briain: “I make it 20 minutes past Chico Time.”

• The humiliation of Chico (2): he had to sit next to Louis Walsh

• The humiliation of Chico (3): he was bigged up by Robbie Williams

• Ashley Jensen. Deserved the double award win for sweetness alone.

• Kath & Kim: “We bloody lost to a cartoon. It’s humiliating.”

• The audience’s groan of derision and disbelieving laughter when Sacha Baron Cohen’s tribute to producer Harry Thompson, who died last month, was followed by another waving of the begging bowl (aka the People’s Choice Vote)

• The obligatory ovation for the onetel MD

• Jonathan Ross and Jackie Stallone talking about her practice of studying the arse. “I was making small talk about the art of rumpology,” he claimed. “Do you really want to know?” she replied. “No, not really.”

After The Thick Of It beat Extras to Best New Comedy, its creator Armando Ianucci taunted Ricky Gervais from the podium. “Sorry Ricky, it’s over. You peaked with the wheelchair material.”

• Dan Castellaneta (Homer in The Simpsons) on the differences between English and American English. “You say: ‘Do you want a lift in my lorry.’ We say: ‘Do you want an elevator in my truck.’ We have Elvis. You have Cliff Richard. You have The Rolling Stones; we have The Beatles; we have Madonna; now you have Madonna.”

• Victoria Wood fretting about her career after receiving her award. “I hope this isn’t a hoax, and a 25-year-long version of Space Cadets.”

• Armando Ianucci’s mock derision at the ill Chris Langham’s inability to leave his sickbed to pick up the award for Best Comedy Actor. “Well, I’ve got Aids and I still managed to come.”

• Paul O’Grady’s rant about how much he fully deserved his award given the “gobshites I have to interview”.

What was bad about it?

• The let’s-be-cool use of Kaiser Chiefs, Arctic Monkeys and Franz Ferdinand for the musical bursts

• Denise Van Outen’s presentation to Matt Lucas and David Walliams on stage in Brighton fell flat because no-one could hear what was going on.

• The intrusion of talent-free reality TV stars at an event celebrating true genius. Jade Goody, John Lydon, Jackie Stallone, Chico, anyone else involved in The X Factor shouldn’t have been there.

• And The X Factor certainly shouldn’t have won a prize. The judges acting like the royal family was sickening – but at least Kate Thornton didn’t manage to get to the microphone.

• Unfunny, foul-mouthed contributions by Joan Rivers, Elton John and John Lydon

• The sacrificing of the clips due to the overrun caused by the waving of the begging bowl (aka the People’s Choice Vote) and their replacement with, what Jack Dee informed us, were “crash packages.”

• Carol Thatcher’s ringlets

• The Catherine Tate Show’s narrow defeat in the People’s Choice vote (aka the begging bowl)

The almost as immovable as Ayers Rock but as ugly as a rotting whale carcass on beach already nibbled at by unfussy seagulls and destitute tramps Award: Joan Rivers, who has such immobility in her cosmetic surgery stricken face she could provide sanctuary from a catastrophic earthquake, while at the same time she hissed words like a Darth Vader possessed by the Dark Side of vanity.

The do you want me to put “that” out with the rest of the rubbish Award for least recognisably human shape shambling into the auditorium: Jackie Stallone, only the dustmen would be fearful of removing her lest they catch something.

The penny farthing bicycle Award for most irrelevant guest: John Lydon, having gnawed at the last nutrients of his I’m A Celebrity… fame is now lurching about like a famished polar bear plunging into seals’ breathing holes which are spattered about the featureless Arctic tundra, which in turn represents the barren state of the last 25 years of his career since Metal Box.

The Idi Amin flogging refrigerators on QVC Award for most inappropriate guest: Kate Thornton, who is to comedy what urine is to wine.

The Tara Palmer Tompkinson Award for look what the wind’s blown in (and when we get our hands on the wind we’ll put it on trial for crimes against humanity): Chico.

The Margaret Thatcher Award for justifiable grave desecration: Jade Goody, who walks around like her own dumb epitaph.

The Julia Roberts in Notting Hill Award for excruciatingly obsequious sycophancy towards a “Hollywood superstar” to award the ceremony an illusory global significance but simultaneously deceiving the audience into believing that they themselves are important and whomever applauds the loudest will win a three-film contract with some poisonous Hollywood studio: Samuel L Jackson.

The American failed Iraqi propaganda Award for democracy isn’t working: The “readers of The Sun, Zoo and FHM” being asked to decide something more complex than which hand to use to toss off to the latest “sexiest ever” pictures of Abi Titmuss.

The where’s four big crosses, eight nails and a plot of land into which can be sunk said crosses and a bag of large stones as big as Mike Tyson’s fist just to be on the safe side when you need them Award for the people most deserving of summary execution: When the X-Factor gang won best Comedy Show.

The is that a cockroach in my delicious porridge Award for most annoying inter-loper: Denise Van Outen, who since Passport To Paradise seems to have as much value to TV producers as a blind Kamikaze pilot did to the Japanese war effort in 1945, intruding on the Little Britain stage show to present an award.

The Howard Hughes Award for not wishing to be tainted by pollutants in the nearby environment: The woman sitting next to Dara O’Briain who clapped Jade Goody with as little of each hand making contact with the other as if hoping this would spare her being contaminated with Jade’s contagious stupidity.

Luke Knowles

Luke Knowles


Editor of the website and host of the podcast. A general TV obsessive. I've been running the site since 2008 and you can usually find me in front of the TV. My Favourite show of all time is Breaking Bad with Cracker coming a close second. I feel so passionately that television can change the world and I'm doing my little bit by running this site. You're Welcome!


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