The Comedy.co.uk Awards 2010
Another year has passed, and once again we gave you the opportunity to vote for your favourite comedies broadcast throughout 2010. Every new episode of British comedy was included in the nominations (that's over 350 shows!), and voting was fierce. Based entirely on those votes, the results - and the opinions of the Great British public - are as follows:
Best New British TV Sitcom 2010
A low-energy improvised trip around the Lake District, Lancashire, and the Yorkshire Dales with Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon playing versions of themselves. It doesn't sound like the format for a hit sitcom, and split commentators on our message board fairly evenly down the love it/hate it line, but it grabbed the popular vote for best new TV sitcom of the year.
Worst New British TV Sitcom 2010
Trinny & Susannah: From Boom To Bust
Originating online as a series of short mockumentary episodes, Trinny & Susannah: From Boom To Bust evidently didn't transfer well for a TV audience. We thought that the duo displayed surprisingly well-tuned comic timing, but Channel 4's broadcast of the highlights of their web series doesn't appear to have impressed many others.
Best Returning British TV Sitcom 2010
The seventh series of this cult sitcom finished just before voting opened, and clearly delighted many. With a general consensus that any perceived drop in quality around Series 5 has since been rectified, the low-rating Channel 4 show evidently remains massively popular with its fans. Two further series have been commissioned by the channel, but the first is unlikely to enter production until early 2012.
Worst Returning British TV Sitcom 2010
Coming Of Age
Despite the clear dislike for teen sitcom Coming Of Age amongst comedy enthusiasts, the show remains very popular with its target audience; it is clear, however, that not many of them visit The British Comedy Guide, as the show gained most 'worst' votes in the poll. However, the loud, crude and rude humour that characterised Series 1 and 2 has been significantly toned down for the forthcoming third series. But will that be enough to save it from the same 'Worst' accolade for 2011...?
The tenth series of My Family also garnered a notable number of negative votes. Series 11 has already been recorded, and is expected within the next few months.
Best British Radio Sitcom 2010
Another Case Of Milton Jones
2010 was definitely a good year for master gagsmith Milton Jones. Thanks to appearances on shows like Mock The Week and Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow, the one-line pun-merchant has shot into the mainstream, and the public love him. He's been writing and performing Another Case Of Milton Jones on Radio 4 since 2005, but he's shot to the top with Series 4 this year.
Best British TV Sketch Show 2010
That Mitchell And Webb Look
Despite eliciting disappointment amongst our message board regulars in comparison to its previous series, the latest series of That Mitchell And Webb Look snatches the Best TV Sketch Show award for 2010. It was an incredibly close fight against The Armstrong & Miller Show right up until polling ended, but the Peep Show stars sneaked ahead to take the crown.
CBBC sketch show Horrible Histories also bagged an impressive proportion of votes, suggesting it is definitely a format to keep an eye on in 2011 - particularly with an adult adaptation, starring Stephen Fry, now well under way.
Worst British TV Sketch Show 2010
Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights
Whole forests have been destroyed so that publications from The Sun to The Guardian, The Daily Mail and everything inbetween can write angry things about Frankie Boyle's stand-up and sketch show. It certainly was right on the edge of acceptability in many areas, and voters have made it clear that it was, overall, the 2010 TV sketch show that they enjoyed the least.
Best British Radio Sketch Show 2010
Sarah Millican's Support Group
With her comedy star rising, will Sarah Millican regret her imminent move to daytime TV? Despite increasing popularity on the stand-up scene, the comic has signed up to be one of ITV's Loose Women. This radio show, in which sketches were fitted around her agony aunt character, came out top of our sketch show poll. Let's hope she can take time away from the ITV stools to write and record a second series in 2011.
Elsewhere, Radio 7's Newsjack, the topical sketch show anyone can write for, did well. Sadly it was a slightly slow year for radio sketch shows, and not enough votes were cast to safely award a 'Worst' accolade for this category.
Best British TV Panel Show 2010
Brain-box panel show QI has won this award three times previously - and it comes out top of the voting again in 2010. It's true that the show's started to receive a bit of criticism of late, but its position in the vote shows that there are still more than enough fans around, and that the most high-brow of comedy can become a big success.
Worst British TV Panel Show 2010
It'll be back for a fifth series next month, but Celebrity Juice fans and visitors to The British Comedy Guide seem to be two largely separate demographics as, for the second year in a row, Keith Lemon's (Leigh Francis) raucous panel show got the most negative votes in this category.
However, BBC Three's The King Is Dead was a very close 2nd place in the 'worst' stakes - suggesting that hosting (and creating) the show wasn't the best career decision that The Inbetweeners star Simon Bird has made.
Best British Radio Panel Show 2010
I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue
Despite the change of host, Radio 4's self-styled antidote to panel games continues to please audiences. It's now well into its 54th series and with such popularity shows no sign of slowing.
Best British TV Entertainment Show 2010
Newswipe With Charlie Brooker / Screenwipe
This is a new category for 2010, in which the increasing number of stand-up and general entertainment shows were put forward to the public vote. Charlie Brooker's Screenwipe special, rounding-up 2010 on TV, and a second series of the popular variant Newswipe, in which he mercilessly dissects television news coverage, grabbed a win for the acerbic commentator.
Worst British TV Entertainment Show 2010
James Corden's World Cup Live
After every main World Cup football match in the summer, James Corden came on telly to broadcast live to the nation. A bold format idea, but it turned out to be a bit of a shouty shambles and clearly failed to win over voters in this category.
Best British Radio Entertainment Show 2010
French & Saunders
Dawn French and Jennfier Saunders reunited to present a series of entertainment shows for Radio 2 over the Christmas period. Their mix of light-hearted banter, comedy guests and records certainly seems to have been a winning combination based on the votes.
Best British TV Comedy Drama 2010
Comedy drama is tricky to get right: most programmes in this genre normally just fail to be funny enough. However, Misfits, written by Howard Overman, has been getting great ratings for E4 thanks to its mix of comedy and zippy storylines - and it takes away the award for Comedy Drama this year.
Overman picks up a double here, with his BBC Four adaptation of Douglas Adams's Dirk Gently doing very well in this category, particularly so considering it was a single pilot - definitely a sign that the channel should sign up Stephen Mangan & co. for more.
Worst British TV Comedy Drama 2010
After 7 series, it seems viewers are bored of Channel 4's Shameless. Has the channel become overly-reliant on the Manchester-based comedy drama? The voting in our poll certainly suggests so, and with a stupendously long 22-episode Series 8 now on air, could it pick up the same 'award' in 2011 as well?
We were also somewhat surprised by the number of negative votes cast for Rock & Chips, the Only Fools And Horses prequel, suggesting people haven't got to grasps with the fact that unlike its parent, it's not a sitcom.
Worst Comedy Of The Year 2010
Frankie Boyle's Tramadol Nights
There really was quite a bit of hate for Frankie Boyle this year. Controversial jokes such as those involving Katie Price's disabled son, along with his use of "the 'n' word" and similarly contentious language, certainly had the potential to alienate him.
On a less sensitive level, some of his sketches were criticised for being long, drawn-out and boring; we actually felt that the show did have some redeeming features and that there were plenty of stronger contenders for the worst comedy of 2010, but in the voters' minds Tramadol Nights was the worst of the worst, and picked up this ultimate of anti-accolades.
Comedy Of The Year 2010
At the end of the voting process, we asked voters to select what was the overall best comedy of the year. Many people opted for Peep Show or The Inbetweeners, but more selected Miranda than anything else.
Miranda Hart's sitcom is certainly a big success story - its family-friendly storylines, joyful atmosphere and use of techniques such as addressing the camera directly have all worked to establish a big fan-base, and as word-of-mouth spread, ratings rocketed, comfortably passing the 4 million viewers mark for the Christmas-themed episode 6 - absolutely massive ratings for a BBC Two sitcom. With a third series having just been confirmed and interest from BBC One, the future looks very bright indeed for Miranda. Congratulations to all involved.
British Comedy Guide Editors' Award 2010
Each year, we keep one award back for something or someone that we at the British Comedy Guide believe deserves some special recognition.
This year, that Editors' Award goes to sitcom writing supremo Roy Clarke, who retired his long-running hit Last Of The Summer Wine - the world's longest-running sitcom - in August after an incredible 37 years. Amassing 31 series and almost 300 episodes, as well as its own spin-off (First Of The Summer Wine), the comedy bowed out with sinking viewing figures but a dedicated core audience and fan-base.
Meanwhile, Keeping Up Appearances, another Clarke-penned sitcom, continues to entertain with regular repeats on the BBC and channels like GOLD, not to mention huge popularity in countries like the USA and Australia.
Roy Clarke also worked with comedy giant Ronnie Barker on a number of occasions, penning the single series The Magnificent Evans, and more notably the long-lasting success story Open All Hours, which also highlighted the shining star of David Jason. Other Clarke sitcoms do not enjoy such repeats nowadays and are accordingly largely forgotten, despite having been popular at the time of their production. Such shows include Arthur Lowe's final sitcom, Potter, as well as The Growing Pains Of PC Penrose, and the 3 series of its successor, Rosie.
Thanks to everyone who cast their vote, and congratulations to all of the winners!
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