The Comedy.co.uk Awards 2008

Here are the results of our annual poll to discover the best and worst comedies of the previous year. This year we expanded our nomination list to include radio comedies too, thus there were over 200 shows in the voting...

Best New British TV Sitcom 2008


The Inbetweeners. Image shows from L to R: Simon Cooper (Joe Thomas), Neil Sutherland (Blake Harrison), Jay Cartwright (James Buckley), Will Mackenzie (Simon Bird). Image credit: Bwark Productions.The Inbetweeners

2008 is not going to be remembered as a good year for new British sitcoms. However, there was one new show that stood head and shoulders above all others. The Inbetweeners made a low-key entrance via E4, however it wasn't long before word spread that this was a sitcom worth checking out. It captured the reality of being a teenager growing up in middle-class suburbia perfectly. This new show got eight times more votes than any other comedy in this category!

Worst New British TV Sitcom 2008


Lab Rats. Image shows from L to R: Professor John Mycroft (Geoff McGivern), Cara McIlvenny (Jo Enright), Dr Alex Beenyman (Chris Addison), Dean Mieke Miedema (Selina Cadell). Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.Lab Rats

In the 2008 Comedy.co.uk Awards, a large number of the new sitcoms picked up votes in this 'Worst New Sitcom' category - a depressing indicator of what a poor year it was for new sitcom. Teenage Kicks and Clone were two of the disasters, however the new show with the most votes in this category was Lab Rats. The idea behind the show may have been good (to bring back silly studio-based sitcom to the BBC), but the execution was anything but good. An awful, awful comedy.

Best Returning British TV Sitcom 2008


Outnumbered. Image shows from L to R: Karen (Ramona Marquez), Sue (Claire Skinner), Pete (Hugh Dennis), Ben (Daniel Roche), Jake (Tyger Drew-Honey). Image credit: Hat Trick Productions.Outnumbered

Things were healthier in the returning sitcom category, with established sitcoms like Gavin and Stacey, Lead Balloon and The IT Crowd pleasing viewers. In the end though the voting was between Peep Show and Outnumbered. The result was so close that people's 2nd choices came into play. In the end, it was Outnumbered that came out top... but only just - six votes was all that was in it! This result demonstrates just how quickly Outnumbered has become one of the UK's biggest comedies.

Worst Returning British TV Sitcom 2008


Coming Of Age. Image shows from L to R: Chloe (Anabel Barnston), Matt (Tony Bignell), DK (Joe Tracini), Ollie (Ceri Phillips), Jas (Hannah Job). Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.Coming Of Age

This sitcom, written by a 19-year-old, was piloted on BBC Three in 2007. It was a terrible episode, but the BBC commissioned a full series anyway (presumably to meet some kind of young talent quota). The resultant series was six more painful episodes of 'comedy', complete with lazy, crude nob gags. Pretty much everyone who voted chose this comedy as their least favourite, so it can quite conclusively be said that this is the comedy that should not have been allowed to return.

Best British Radio Sitcom 2008


Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. Image shows from L to R: Janice Pearce (Olivia Colman), Dirk Gently (Harry Enfield), Richard MacDuff (Billy Boyd). Image credit: Above The Title Productions.Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency

This is one of the new radio categories we introduced to the Comedy.co.uk Awards in 2008. It was heartening to see so many radio sitcoms in the running for this award - Ed Reardon's Week, the pilot of Rhod Gilbert's Leaving Llanbobl and Bleak Expectations all picked up lots of votes, however they were just edged out by Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency. It seems Douglas Adams's sleuth (played by Harry Enfield) was a particular audio favourite in 2008.

We did also ask people to name their least favourite radio sitcom, however not enough negative votes in this category were cast to provide a definitive answer. For those interested, 'The Lost Weblog Of Scrooby Trevithick' was technically last.

Best British TV Sketch Show 2008


Harry & Paul. Image shows from L to R: Harry Enfield, Paul Whitehouse. Image credit: Tiger Aspect Productions.Harry & Paul

What a turn around for this show! Last year, Ruddy Hell! It's Harry & Paul was in the running for our Worst Sketch Show award, however the re-titled and much-improved Harry & Paul is named the best sketch comedy this year. The scripts were definitely much improved, and the talent of the late Geoffrey Perkins (who took over the production for series two) was certainly evident. (It should be noted That Mitchell And Webb Look also attracted a significant number of votes in this category).

Worst British TV Sketch Show 2008


Little Miss Jocelyn. Little Miss Jocelyn

Even though this sketch show was broadcast way back in January 2008, it must have left a strong negative impression in many people's brains because lots of people selected it as the worst sketch comedy they saw last year. The series picked up low ratings so it isn't a surprise to hear it has been cancelled.

Best British Radio Sketch Show 2008


Laura Solon: Talking And Not Talking. Laura Solon. Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.Laura Solon: Talking And Not Talking

It would seem Laura Solon's audio sketch show was a favourite with our readers. It is notable for having lots of one-off sketches. A number of other sketch shows also picked up a decent number of votes in this category: Tilt; The Penny Dreadfuls; Cowards; Footlights At 125; and A Series Of Psychotic Episodes. Kudos must go to Radio 7, as despite their tiny commissioning budget, three of these top six are from the digital station.

Not enough negative votes were cast to definitively name the worst radio sketch series. 'Tilt' technically received the most negative votes, however we suspect many of these might have come from bitter writers rejected by the show (because, as mentioned, it did receive many positive votes too).

Best British TV Panel Show / Satire 2008


Harry Hill's TV Burp. Harry Hill. Image credit: Avalon Television.Harry Hill's TV Burp

We initially thought this was going to be a fiercely contested category, because topical satire and panel show comedy was particularly strong in 2008. HIGNFY, Mock The Week, Never Mind The Buzzcocks and Would I Lie To You? were all popular choices, however in the end none of them came close to TV Burp, which easily gained the most votes.

Worst British TV Panel Show / Satire 2008


The Wall. The Wall

According to our poll, The Sunday Night Project, Celebrity Juice and Tonightly were all disasters in 2008, but not quite such a disaster as The Wall was. It is safe to say that this BBC Three show's mix of celebrity guests, comedy sketches and music was not enjoyed by the majority of those that voted in this category.

Best British Radio Panel Show / Satire 2008


The Now Show. Image shows from L to R: Hugh Dennis, Steve Punt. Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.The Now Show

The voting for this inaugural radio award ended up being between Radio 4's three Friday night series (The Now Show, The News Quiz and Armando Iannucci's Charm Offensive). In the end, Hugh Dennis and Steve Punt's show just edged out in front. It's a popular winner, in our opinion topical satire doesn't come any better than that delivered by The Now Show.

Worst British Radio Panel Show / Satire 2008


Act Your Age. Simon Mayo. Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.Act Your Age

Of those that voted in this category, almost 100% of people selected this as their least favourite 2008 radio panel show. It is perhaps not surprising as it was clear from very early on that Act Your Age was going to struggle - on the first show, one of the panellists delivered the Dr Who knock-knock joke in a desperate attempt to get a laugh!

Worst Comedy Of The Year 2008

See the Comedy Of The Year category below for the nominees

Coming Of Age. Image shows from L to R: Chloe (Anabel Barnston), Matt (Tony Bignell), DK (Joe Tracini), Ollie (Ceri Phillips), Jas (Hannah Job). Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.Coming Of Age

We've already talked about this comedy above - however we're happy to lay into it a second time. We want to say something nice about it, as the actors are all likeable enough, however the show's painfully cliched, predictable, lumbering, juvenile 'jokes' make us too angry to try and be un-biased. Out of over 200 comedy programmes broadcast in 2008, this is the one that those voting most disliked! What is really shocking is that it'll be back in 2009 for another series, yet the sublime award-winning Pulling has been axed. There is no justice in this world!

Comedy Of The Year 2008

All New British Comedy 2008: 15 Minute Musical; 4 At The Fringe; 4 Stands Up; 8 Out Of 10 Cats; A Series Of Psychotic Episodes; A Week With Adam Buxton; Act Your Age; Admin; After You've Gone; Al Murray's Happy Hour; Alan Carr's Comedy Outings; All Bar Luke; Another Case Of Milton Jones; Ape; Argumental; Armando Iannucci's Charm Offensive; Balls of Steel; Banter; Barely Legal; Beautiful People; Beehive; Benidorm; Big Fat Quiz Of The Year; Bike Squad; Bleak Expectations; Britain's Got The Pop Factor...; Buy Me Up TV; Cabin Pressure; Celebrity Juice; Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe; Clare In The Community; Clash Of The Santas; Clone; Comedy Cuts; Coming Of Age; Commercial Breakdown; Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show!; Cowards; Dani's House; Danny Robins Music Therapy; Dear Green Place; Delta Forever; Dirk Gently's Holistic Detective Agency; Dolly And Laura; Double Science; Down The Line; Ed Reardon's Week; Edge Falls; Empty; Fabulous; Fags, Mags And Bags; Fighting Talk; Fonejacker; Footlights At 125; Four Sad Faces; Freezing; Friday Night With Jonathan Ross; Fur TV; Gavin and Stacey; Genius; Glendogie Bogey; Gus Murdoch's Sacred Cows; Harry And Paul; Harry Hill's TV Burp; Have I Got News For You; Headcases; Headwreckers; How Not To Live Your Life; Hut 33; I've Never Seen Star Wars; Ideal; Idiots Of Ants; Inspector Steine; It's David O'Doherty Time; Jesusboy And Goatherd; John Finnemore, Apparently; Just A Minute; Katy Brand's Big Ass Show; Keith Lemon's Very Brilliant World Tour; Kicking The Habit; Lab Rats; Last Of The Summer Wine; Laura Solon: Talking And Not Talking; Laura, Ben And Him; Lead Balloon; Lenny Henry.tv; Listen Against; Little Britain USA; Little Miss Jocelyn; Live At The Apollo; Look Away Now; Love Soup; Mark Watson Makes The World Substantially Better; Mark Wootton Exposed; Massive; MeeBOX; Miranda Hart's Joke Shop; Mock The Week; Modern Toss; Mouth To Mouth; Mouth Trap; Moving Wallpaper; Mr and Mrs Fandango; Mutual Friends; My Family; Nebulous; Never Better; Never Mind The Buzzcocks; New World Order; No Heroics; Olivia Lee's Naughty Bits; One; Out To Lunch; Outnumbered; Pappy's Fun Club; Pappy's Fun Club; Parents Of The Band; Peep Show; Pick Ups; Placebo; Play And Record; Political Animal; Potting On; Pulling; QI; Rab C Nesbitt; Rhod Gilbert's Leaving Llanbobl; Rudy's Rare Records; Russell Brand's Ponderland; Sarah Millican: Keep Your Chins Up; Says On The Tin; Scallywagga; School Of Comedy; Sean Lock And Friends At The Fringe; Secret Policeman's Ball 2008; Self-Storage; Shameless; Shooting Stars; Silly Money; Slaterwood; Sorry, I've Got No Head; Space Hacks; Spats; Spending My Inheritance; Spike's Lookalikes; Stanley Baxter: Now And Then; Star Stories; Strangers On Trains; Sunshine; Teenage Kicks; Thank God You're Here; That Mitchell And Webb Look; The Andi Osho Show; The Big Night In...; The Blagger's Guide; The Cornwell Estate; The Cup; The Don't Watch With Mother Sketchbook; The Genuine Particle; The Graham Norton Show; The IT Crowd; The Inbetweeners; The Incredible Will and Greg; The Invisibles; The Jason Byrne Show; The Kevin Bishop Show; The Ladies; The Late Edition; The Lost Weblog Of Scrooby Trevithick; The Maltby Collection; The Museum Of Curiosity; The News Quiz; The Now Show; The Odd Half Hour; The Party Line; The Penny Dreadfuls Present; The Peter Serafinowicz Show; The Royle Family; The Secret World; The Sick Animation Show; The Spaceship; The Sunday Night Project; The Unbelievable Truth; The Viewing; The Wall; The What In The World? Quiz; The Wrong Door; Think Tank; Tilt; Tina C Goes Down Under: The Aborogynal Monologues; Tomorrow, Today!; Tonightly; Torn Up Tales; Touch Me, I'm Karen Taylor; Trexx And Flipside; Two Pints Of Lager; Undone; Wallace and Gromit: A Matter Of Loaf And Death; We Are Most Amused; What The Dickens?; Who Is Tom Allen?; Wil Hodgson: Straight Outta Chippenham; Will Smith's Mid-life Crisis Management; Work Experience; Would I Lie To You?.

Peep Show. Image shows from L to R: Sophie Chapman (Olivia Colman), Jeremy Osborne (Robert Webb), Mark Corrigan (David Mitchell). Image credit: Objective Productions.Peep Show

Outnumbered, Gavin & Stacey and The Inbetweeners all had a shot at the top prize this year, however Peep Show just edged ahead in the voting. It was a very close thing so thanks to everyone who cast a vote - they all counted.

Five series in, Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain's show is well on the way to comedy greatness now - few sitcoms can sustain the laughs for 30 episodes without a drop in quality, however we think Peep Show is a definite exception to this rule. If anything, it just keeps getting funnier... this is backed up by the fact that, of the 1000+ hours of new comedy broadcast in 2008, it was the three hours of Peep Show that attracted the most positive votes in the 2008 Comedy.co.uk Awards.

British Comedy Guide Editors' Award 2008


Bleak Expectations. Image shows from L to R: Hardthrasher (Geoffrey Whitehead), Aunt Lily (Celia Imrie), Young Pip (Tom Allen), Mr Gently Benevolent (Anthony Head), Sir Philip Bin (Richard Johnson), Harry Biscuit (James Bachman). Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.Bleak Expectations

This is the additional award we keep behind each year to hand out to the show, person, channel, or indeed whatever else we think deserves some extra recognition.

For 2008, we've opted to give our award to a radio show, a genre we are now covering in some depth on the website. There were some great sitcoms on the radio in 2008 but, of them all, Bleak Expectations is the one that made the editors of this website laugh the most. Bleak Expectations is hard to describe as it is so unique - think Victorian England on acid. Writer Mark Evans' scripts are like nothing we've heard before and they're performed with gusto by a top cast. Definitely seek it out!

See the results from other years

 
Seann Walsh interview

Seann Walsh interview

A quick chat with Seann Walsh about his stand-up tour, and his role as a team captain on Virtually Famous. Read

The Interviews - new series

The Interviews - new series

Kenneth Williams and The Two Ronnies are amongst the comedians profiled in new Gold series The Interviews. Read

Radio 4's Cardboard Heart

Radio 4's Cardboard Heart

The cast has been announced for Richard Marsh: Cardboard Heart, a Radio 4 sitcom about a man who writes poetry. Read

Musical Comedy Awards final

Musical Comedy Awards final

Profiles of the six comedians who will take part in the 2015 Musical Comedy Awards 2015 final in London in April. Read

No Pressure To Be Funny

No Pressure To Be Funny

The latest episode of the political panel show podcast. It includes a discussion about what satire is. Listen

No more Up The Women

No more Up The Women

Jessica Hynes's suffragette sitcom Up The Women will not return for a third series. BBC2 has given it the axe. Read

'This Made Me Laugh' films

'This Made Me Laugh' films

The Barbican has invited eight stars from the world of comedy to select their favourite classic comedy films. Read

ITV's Play To The Whistle

ITV's Play To The Whistle

Holly Willoughby has signed up to present Play To The Whistle, a sports-based comedy panel show for ITV. Read

Ray Peacock: taboo comedy

Ray Peacock: taboo comedy

Ray Peacock explains why he has decided to open up about his suicide attempt in his latest stand-up show. Read

Dad's Army only just made

Dad's Army only just made

A speech by TV executive Huw Wheldon revealed that the BBC nearly didn't make the Dad's Army series. Read

Lemon is Back To The Future

Lemon is Back To The Future

Keith Lemon is to star in a one-off special on ITV2 celebrating the 30th anniversary of the Back To The Future film. Read

Charlie Brooker special

Charlie Brooker special

Charlie Brooker will return to BBC Two in the run-up to the Election with a new hour-long Wipe special. Read

Graham Fellows interview

Graham Fellows interview

Graham Fellows will celebrate his 30th year as John Shuttleworth with a big gig - but could it be his last hurrah? Read

Russell Howard's new show

Russell Howard's new show

Russell Howard's Stand Up Central, which launches in April, will feature guests including Joe Wilkinson. Read

Frankie Boyle's new show

Frankie Boyle's new show

Frankie Boyle will follow his 2014 Scottish independence referendum special with a new iPlayer election show. Read

Doc Martin Series 7 filming

Doc Martin Series 7 filming

Martin Clunes and the rest of the Doc Martin cast are now in Cornwall to film Series 7 of the hit ITV show. Read

Laura Aikman interview

Laura Aikman interview

Laura Aikman talks about joining the cast of Bluestone 42, and how she was 'liquid sweat' filming the show. Read

ITV2 orders Plebs Series 3

ITV2 orders Plebs Series 3

ITV2 has ordered more Plebs, the Ancient Rome sitcom starring Tom Rosenthal, Joel Fry and Ryan Sampson. Read

Nathan Caton interview

Nathan Caton interview

Stand-up comedian Nathan Caton talks to us about various topics, including his ideal comedians football squad. Read

Jack Dee's Help Desk on TV

Jack Dee's Help Desk on TV

BBC Two has ordered Jack Dee's Help Desk, a series starring Jack Dee and a panel of comedians. Read

Michael McIntyre new shows

Michael McIntyre new shows

Michael McIntyre is working on two new series for BBC One, however his chat show format won't return to TV. Read

Images from '50 Comics'

Images from '50 Comics'

Check out some striking pictures from photographer Matt Crockett's book of comedian portraits, 50 Comics. View

Milton Jones interview

Milton Jones interview

Milton Jones talks about big hair, bad shirts, Mock The Week, his mammoth 2015 tour and other topics too: Read

Harry & Paul win RTS Awards

Harry & Paul win RTS Awards

Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse have won two gongs at the Royal Television Society Awards. Read

Rik Mayall - legend award

Rik Mayall - legend award

Rik Mayall has been named as the recipient of the Leicester Comedy Festival 'Legend Of Comedy' award. Read

Harry & Paul to tour

Harry & Paul to tour

Harry Enfield and Paul Whitehouse are planning their first ever live tour together - Harry & Paul: Legends. Read

Prof Branestawm to return

Prof Branestawm to return

Harry Hill will return as eccentric inventor Professor Branestawm for another one-off BBC special this Christmas. Read

Chortle Award winners

Chortle Award winners

Bridget Christie and James Acaster are amongst the winners at the 2015 Chortle Awards. Full results here: Read

Ben Miller's science show

Ben Miller's science show

Ben Miller, Romesh Ranganathan and Rachel Riley will front the pilot of ITV science show Out Of This World. Read

The Week That Wasn't pilot

The Week That Wasn't pilot

Jolyon Rubinstein and Heydon Prowse will host the pilot episode of The Week That Wasn't, a new topical format. Read

Raised By Wolves interview

Raised By Wolves interview

Sisters Caitlin Moran and Caroline Moran talk about creating Raised By Wolves, their Channel 4 sitcom. Interview

Learn improv in London

Learn improv in London

A group of established comedians have set up a new theatre company and school - one devoted entirely to improv. Read

Stewart Lee discusses axe

Stewart Lee discusses axe

Stewart Lee has talked about the axing of his Comedy Central show, The Alternative Comedy Experience. Read

Birds Of A Feather S12

Birds Of A Feather S12

Hit sitcom Birds Of A Feather will return for a 12th series, its third since a highly successful revival by ITV. Read

Carry On Forever

Carry On Forever

ITV3 will broadcast a new Carry On documentary series, including unseen behind-the-scenes clips. Read

Comic Relief's No Direction

Comic Relief's No Direction

Boy band One Direction have revealed the comics who will be impersonating them as spoof group No Direction. Read

Russell Brand back on XFM

Russell Brand back on XFM

Russell Brand will be back on the XFM radio station after a two year hiatus, with a podcast highlights show. Read

Keith Lemon - more sketches

Keith Lemon - more sketches

ITV2 has ordered a second series of The Keith Lemon Sketch Show, the latest TV comedy vehicle for Leigh Francis. Read

The Kennedys filming now

The Kennedys filming now

Katherine Parkinson and Dan Skinner will star in The Kennedys, the new BBC One comedy series. Read

Dapper Laughs films sitcom

Dapper Laughs films sitcom

Daniel O'Reilly - aka controversial comedy character Dapper Laughs - has posted a new sitcom pilot online. Read