Whitehall named ‘king of comedy’

Jack WhitehallJack Whitehall stars in Fresh Meat and Bad Education, as well as now hosting his own chat show

Jack Whitehall has been named the 2013 king of comedy at the British Comedy Awards.

It is the second consecutive year he has won the prize – voted for by the public – beating rivals Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Lee Mack and Sarah Millican.

The 25-year-old also picked up the best comedy actor award for his Channel 4 show Fresh Meat.

Miranda Hart won best TV comedy actress for her self-titled BBC show.

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.”

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.

The comic said it was “a genuine surprise” to win the prize.

Despite missing out on the King of Comedy prize, Mack was named best male TV comic for his role on BBC show Would I Lie To You, while the programme itself won best comedy panel show.

Paul WhitehousePaul Whitehouse collected two awards at the ceremony

Australian star Adam Hills won the best comedy breakthrough award for his Channel 4 show The Last Leg.

The comic, who is currently in Australia, accepted his award in a pre-recorded video which was presented by Crocodile Dundee star Paul Hogan.

The Graham Norton Show won best comedy entertainment programme, while Jo Brand’s BBC hospital comedy Getting On won best sitcom and ITV2’s Plebs picked up best new comedy programme.

“Brilliant to see female comedy talent scoop the big sitcom prize and also delighted for Harry Paul with their richly deserved sketch show award,” Shane Allen, controller of BBC comedy commissioning said.

“BBC Comedy and Entertainment is in very rude health, especially when Lee Mack is at the microphone.”

Other winners included Alan Carr, who was named best comedy entertainment personality, and Nina Conti who won best female TV comic.

Will Ferrell also picked up the international achievement award, while Steve Coogan won outstanding achievement.

Whitehouse later picked up the Writer’s Guild of Great Britain Award, where he was dubbed the master of sketch comedy.

He thanked writing partners Enfield and Charlie Higson and dedicated the award to fellow actor Felix Dexter, who featured in comedies alongside Whitehouse and died in October.

Graham Norton and Alan CarrThe Graham Norton Show won best entertainment programme, while Alan Carr was named best entertainment personality

As Whitehall collected his king of comedy prize at the end of the night, he said: “It is an honour to win this on the same night as Paul Whitehouse, Steve Coogan and Will Ferrell.

“If the Chuckle Brothers were thrown in as well it would be a clean sweep of all of my heroes.”

Johnny Vegas caused controversy at the London ceremony as he presented Whitehouse with his Writer’s Guild award, by making a dig at some of the winners and TV broadcasters for not commissioning fresh comedy shows.

“Tonight is not about slagging off the sponsors or giving an international award away to someone just because he was here,” he said.

“It is not about the state of TV and the fact you won’t commission anything fresh. I would like to say there are people in this room that we don’t admire. There are people in the room we don’t think should have won.

“There is stuff which has been pushed through because of finance and Channel 4 feeling like the little brother compared to the BBC, but tonight is about Paul Whitehouse.”

The show, hosted by Jonathan Ross from Wembley, was broadcast live on Channel 4.

Ofcom confirmed it had received “less than 20” complaints about bad language used during the ceremony which it was “currently assessing”, although no decision had been made as whether to investigate.

A Channel 4 spokesman said: “The British Comedy Awards is an established live event and is well known for its raucous nature and edgy humour. The programme was preceded with a warning that the humour was of an adult nature and contained very strong language.”


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