The Comedy.co.uk Awards 2011

Here are the results of The Comedy.co.uk Awards 2011 - the TV and radio comedy awards decided entirely via a public vote, with every new programme that broadcast during the year (over 340 different shows in 2011, for the record!) nominated.

This year's results largely highlight how fragmented comedy has become: long gone are those shows that either everyone loved or everyone hated; instead now we find series that are highly targeted towards particular demographics and audience sectors, splitting the voters with some predictable - and surprising - results...

Best New British TV Sitcom 2011


Spy. Image shows from L to R: Tim (Darren Boyd), The Examiner (Robert Lindsay). Image credit: Hat Trick Productions.Spy

We loved Sky's new family-friendly sitcom, and are delighted that our visitors do too. After years of playing solid but nevertheless second-fiddle roles in programmes from Saxondale to Green Wing and Whites to Kiss Me Kate, actor Darren Boyd was flung front and centre as the mild-mannered accidental MI5 recruit and single father Tim, and he delivered with aplomb. Channel 4's Friday Night Dinner and BBC One's Mrs. Brown's Boys also scored very highly in this category, but it was the lively, genuinely laugh-out-loud funny scripts from Simeon Goulden and a top-notch cast supporting Boyd that cemented Spy's position as the Best New TV Sitcom of 2011.

Worst New British TV Sitcom 2011

See category above

Mrs. Brown's Boys. Image shows from L to R: Grandad Brown (Dermot O'Neill), Mark Brown (Pat 'Pepsi' Shields), Cathy Brown (Jennifer Gibney), Betty Brown (Amanda Woods), Agnes Brown (Brendan O'Carroll), Dermot Brown (Paddy Houlihan), Maria Nicholson / Brown (Fiona O'Carroll), Rory Brown (Rory Cowan), Buster Brady (Danny O'Carroll), Winnie McGoogan (Eilish O'Carroll). Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.Mrs. Brown's Boys

Despite only narrowly missing out on the 'Best' title, popular hit of the year Mrs. Brown's Boys also polled a significant number of negative votes, earning it the unwanted label of Worst New TV Sitcom for 2011.

Somewhat unsurprisingly, Ricky Gervais and Stephen Merchant's Life's Too Short was a very close contender for this 'prize'; it certainly seemed to disappoint many contributors to our message board, particularly so after the heights of Extras and The Office.

Best Returning British TV Sitcom 2011


Absolutely Fabulous. Image shows from L to R: Edina (Jennifer Saunders), Patsy (Joanna Lumley). Image credit: Saunders And French Productions.Absolutely Fabulous

Following a break of nearly 7 years, Jennifer Saunders' riotous sitcom returned to screens this festive period. The Christmas special was suitably well received - and highly anticipated enough - to garner your votes to crown it the Best Returning TV Sitcom. An Olympics special is set to follow in the summer, and word from TV Centre has it that a whole new series and specials are likely, so will this win be repeated for 2012 or 13?

After a tricky few years, bosses at BBC One can sleep a little easier tonight, with the knowledge that fellow channel-mates Not Going Out and Outnumbered also did extremely well in this category. BBC Two's Rev wasn't far behind.

Worst Returning British TV Sitcom 2011

See category above

Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps. Image shows from L to R: Tim (Luke Gell), Donna (Natalie Casey), Billy (Freddie Hogan), Gaz (Will Mellor), Cassie (Georgia Henshaw). Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.Two Pints Of Lager And A Packet Of Crisps

Having picked up the same not-so-coveted gong for its previous series in 2009, British Comedy Guide readers continued to voice their dislike for this BBC Three sitcom in 2011. Despite some key cast departures the show actually managed to increase its audience figures during Series 9 and wasn't received too badly by its fans, but those that voted for it in this category can rest easy with the knowledge that new BBC Three boss Zai Bennett has brought the show to an end.

Best British Radio Sitcom 2011


Cabin Pressure. Image shows from L to R: Arthur (John Finnemore), Douglas (Roger Allam), Carolyn (Stephanie Cole), Martin (Benedict Cumberbatch). Image credit: Pozzitive Productions.Cabin Pressure

This sitcom set around the adventures of a tiny airline company has captured a large Radio 4 fan base since its premiere in 2008. Writer John Finnemore (left) mixes carefully planned plots and sharp dialogue with an array of utterly joyful characters to create a winning show. Fans will be pleased to hear it's coming back for another series, even though Benedict Cumberbatch has been catapulted to TV stardom as the new Sherlock Holmes. Someone at production company Pozzitive should crack open a bottle of bubbly to 2011, as their other sitcom - Another Case Of Milton Jones - was second in this category.

Best British TV Sketch Show 2011


Horrible Histories. Image shows from L to R: Lawry Lewin, Jim Howick, Mathew Baynton, Laurence Rickard, Ben Willbond. Image credit: Lion Television.Horrible Histories

The drought of sketch shows during 2011 has been widely commented upon, with Come Fly With Me the only big prime-time terrestrial TV sketch vehicle - and even that was somewhere between sitcom and satire, being as it was a mockumentary. However, one of the few sketch series that did broadcast has kept its high quality level for years: CBBC's Horrible Histories. Fellow childrens' show and now sadly cancelled Sorry, I've Got No Head came a close second place in the poll, proving that comedy fans are willing to seek out the best comedy, wherever it might be. A fourth series of Horrible Histories has already been recorded and will broadcast a little later in the year.

Worst British TV Sketch Show 2011

See category above

Lee Nelson's Well Good Show. Lee Nelson (Simon Brodkin). Image credit: Avalon Television.Lee Nelson's Well Good Show

Lee Nelson's Well Good Show is, according to our readers, anything but 'well good'. The series, which mixes studio games and audience interaction segments with pre-filmed sketches, gets fairly decent ratings and clearly knows its audience, but it seems that they just don't often vote in our awards.

Best British Radio Sketch Show 2011


John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme. John Finnemore. John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme

A second win for John Finnemore, but perhaps not surprising as his sketch show - the first programme to go out in Radio 4's new Sunday night comedy slot - was a winning mix of clever skits and wonderful wordplay, and all done without repeating or beating ideas to death. There's no word yet of a second series or not, but here's hoping...

Best British TV Panel Show 2011


Would I Lie To You?. Image shows from L to R: David Mitchell, Rob Brydon, Lee Mack. Image credit: Zeppotron.Would I Lie To You?

This BBC One panel show has been growing in popularity over the last couple of years, with Lee Mack and David Mitchell's playful arguments at the heart of many people's enjoyment of the programme. The opening episode of the 2011 series was hailed by many as the best yet - as host Rob Brydon and The Apprentice's Nick Hewer's antics with a 'cuddle jumper' reduced the studio and viewers at home to tears of laughter. However, this was another particularly fiercely fought category, with QI, HIGNFY and Shooting Stars also attracting many votes.

Worst British TV Panel Show 2011

See category above

Celebrity Juice. Image shows from L to R: Fearne Cotton, Keith Lemon, Holly Willoughby. Image credit: Talkback.Celebrity Juice

Despite attracting record breaking audience figures in 2011, the ITV2 panel show fronted by Leigh Francis's comedy creation Keith Lemon failed to impress our voters. The series is doing wonders for its home channel though, so don't expect an end any time soon. Prime time Channel 4 hit Chris Moyles Quiz Night also scored rather highly for this somewhat dubious title.

Best British Radio Panel Show 2011


The Unbelievable Truth. David Mitchell. Image credit: Random Entertainment.The Unbelievable Truth

It first appeared on the airwaves just 6 years ago, but David Mitchell's The Unbelievable Truth is fast looking like it could join the likes of ISIHAC, Just A Minute and The News Quiz as a Radio 4 signature programme. The format is simple: contestants must spot true facts amongst the lies told in pre-prepared lectures. Playing the game, however, is not...

Congratulations to David Mitchell and the production team for beating the more established panel show giants in the voting.

Best British TV Entertainment Show 2011


The Graham Norton Show. Graham Norton. Image credit: So Television.The Graham Norton Show

This category, which mixes the burgeoning TV genres of stand-up, comic chat shows and other satire, saw strong support for Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle and Harry Hill's TV Burp, but it was The Graham Norton Show that polled the most votes. Norton's chat show has been going from strength-to-strength since it confidently took over the Jonathan Ross slot, with the host expertly handling his guests and squeezing comic mileage out of all their stories.

Worst British TV Entertainment Show 2011

See category above

The Ricky Gervais Show. Image shows from L to R: Stephen Merchant, Ricky Gervais, Karl Pilkington. Image credit: Media Rights Capital.The Ricky Gervais Show

This animated TV series received the most negative votes in the TV entertainment category. As 2010's first series didn't annoy anyone, we can only speculate that the public are beginning to tire of Gervais's elephant ego and dismissive comments towards any British comedy he hasn't written; not to mention the hugely hyped shambles that was recent sitcom Life's Too Short. Has Reading's boy wonder finally lost his sparkle?

Best British Radio Entertainment Show 2011


Image shows from L to R: Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French. French & Saunders

Long standing comedy duo Dawn French and Jennifer Saunders have been taking to Radio 2's airwaves since Boxing Day 2010 with a periodic series of holiday specials. The duo's natural charm and likeability have combined perfectly with the radio medium in this chat and entertainment show, as evidenced by their taking this title for Best British Radio Entertainment Show 2011.

Best British TV Comedy Drama 2011


Fresh Meat. Image shows from L to R: JP (Jack Whitehall), Kingsley (Joe Thomas). Image credit: Objective Productions.Fresh Meat

This Channel 4 comedy drama may have been created and part-written by Peep Show creators Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong, but it still surprised almost everyone with just how good it was. Jack Whitehall was a particular revelation - often written off as just 'another young comic' propelled above his station, Fresh Meat proved that he has genuine talent and really can act. It was a fine cast all round though, with Greg McHugh as the rather creepy Howard also a particular joy. The series will be back later this year.

BBC Four's Holy Flying Circus, the gloriously silly re-telling of the controversy surrounding Monty Python's Life Of Brian, also scored very well in this category. The seemingly never-ending juggernaut that is bleak comic-drama Shameless picks up the Worst TV Comedy Drama title.

Worst Comedy Of The Year 2011

Every new British comedy broadcast in 2011 - 346 nominees in total

Mrs. Brown's Boys. Image shows from L to R: Dermot Brown (Paddy Houlihan), Rory Brown (Rory Cowan), Winnie McGoogan (Eilish O'Carroll), Agnes Brown (Brendan O'Carroll), Cathy Brown (Jennifer Gibney), Buster Brady (Danny O'Carroll). Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.Mrs. Brown's Boys

And so we come to the least coveted award of them all. Sitcom proves itself to be the passionate staple, the very core of British comedy once more, as the Worst New British TV Sitcom as voted by you, also picks up the gong for the worst comedy of any type on any medium in 2011: Mrs. Brown's Boys. It may be enjoying great DVD sales, high viewing figures and unprecedented requests for tickets to see the show recorded, but this particular sitcom also polarised opinion right from the off, being almost universally condemned within the comedy world, and hardly a favourite with the critics.

Comedy Of The Year 2011

Every new British comedy broadcast in 2011 - 346 nominees in total

Horrible Histories. Image shows from L to R: Laurence Rickard, Mathew Baynton, Simon Farnaby, Martha Howe-Douglas, Ben Willbond. Image credit: Lion Television.Horrible Histories

Proving that you don't need to talk down to children, and that it's still possible to be a little silly and not crude yet still very funny, readers of The British Comedy Guide voted Horrible Histories as the single best comedy of 2011.

A winning mix of witty songs, educational sketches, dry dialogue and surprisingly dark yet child-friendly humour have made this sketch show a hit with parents, kids, students and comedy fans alike.

As sitcoms continue falling over themselves to be as 'realistic' as possible, and in a year when it got its own Prom at the BBC's prestigious Royal Albert Hall season, not to mention being treated to a prime-time highlights series hosted by none other than mainstream intellectual comedy supremo Stephen Fry, it's perhaps not all that surprising to see such an accolade handed out. How's that for a kids' show?

British Comedy Guide Editors' Award 2011

Each year we reserve one award to be given out to something, or someone, that we think deserves a little extra attention, a pat on the back, or perhaps just a reminder of their achievements.

Sky Comedy. This year, that award goes to satellite network Sky, for their commitment to creating and supporting British comedy during 2011. They've spent millions on the development of a raft of new shows, as the constant stream of commissions filling up our news section proves.

Okay, so sports panel show A League Of Their Own is a bit bloated, and no, not all of the new programmes have worked quite as well as they did on paper (Wall Of Fame, anyone?), but family sitcom Spy has been rewarded by the public, and the recent second series of Little Crackers was a festive highlight.

Many channels in the past, including Sky1 themselves, and even ITV1 today, have tried to do comedy and thrown their toys out of the pram as soon as they failed to get an instantaneous hit. The modern Sky however, is continuing to invest in and stick with shows, allowing them time to grow - from the experimental This Is Jinsy to the more mainstream likes of supermarket sitcom Trollied, for which 37 brand new episodes were ordered almost immediately. (Which other broadcaster would order another 37 episodes just like that?) We think it a good strategy as, after all, some of this country's most famous sitcoms took a few years to warm up.

It may be a controversial choice in some quarters, but at a time when many other channels appear to be floundering and struggling to even search for a hit, we want to commend Sky for their actions.

Thanks to everyone who cast their vote, and congratulations to all of the winners. Join us next January to have your say on the comedies broadcasting this year.

See the results from previous years

 
BBC Radio Contract Writers

BBC Radio Contract Writers

BBC Radio Comedy has announced the appointment of two new Contract Writers, Sarah Campbell and Liam Beirne. Read

Ben Miller Horrible Science

Ben Miller Horrible Science

Ben Miller is to star in Horrible Science, a new children's comedy-entertainment series for Children's ITV. Read

Sketchorama Series 4 acts

Sketchorama Series 4 acts

Isy Suttie will host acts including The Penny Dreadfuls, Frisky & Mannish, and Gein's Family Giftshop. Read

Hadrian's Wall charity gigs

Hadrian's Wall charity gigs

A 15-strong collective of comedians are hoping to raise more than laughs when they tackle Hadrian's Wall. Read

Catherine Tate's Nan

Catherine Tate's Nan

Catherine Tate is to return as her foul-mouthed OAP character Nan. She is set to record two specials for BBC TV. Read

Cast for BBC thriller Stag

Cast for BBC thriller Stag

Reece Shearsmith, Rufus Jones, Tim Key and Sharon Rooney are amongst the cast for BBC2 comic thriller Stag. Read

Knight & Gotobed interview

Knight & Gotobed interview

An interview with double act Rob Gotobed and Tony Knight. They provide lots of punchline filled answers. Read

Morecambe & Wise sitcom

Morecambe & Wise sitcom

Historian Graham McCann has revealed an aborted Morecambe & Wise sitcom pilot. Read

Flat TV gets full series

Flat TV gets full series

Tom Rosenthal and Naz Osmanoglu's Comedy Feeds sitcom Flat TV has been commissioned for a full series. Read

Room To Write interview

Room To Write interview

Laura Marks, the producer and director behind the BBC's Room To Write video sketches, shares some advice: Read

Cuckoo returns for Series 3

Cuckoo returns for Series 3

BBC Three's Cuckoo is to return for a third series. Greg Davies & Taylor Lautner will reprise their roles. Read

BBC Comedy Feeds 2015

BBC Comedy Feeds 2015

The BBC has announced six new pilots - SunnyD, Radges, People Time, Fishbowl, Dead Air and Funz And Gamez. Read

Frog and Bucket plaque

Frog and Bucket plaque

The Frog and Bucket club has celebrated its 21st birthday with a blue plaque for those that 'died' on its stage. Read

John Moloney interview

John Moloney interview

John Moloney introduces his new Radio 4 series and talks about how the comedy circuit is different nowadays. Read

Williams & Hancock show

Williams & Hancock show

A preview of Seriously Funny, a play at The Museum Of Comedy about Tony Hancock and Kenneth Williams. Read

Why We Need Ethnic Comedy

Why We Need Ethnic Comedy

In this article, comedy performer Inder Manocha discusses how ethnic comedy relates to the mainstream. Read

Trollied gets a Series 5

Trollied gets a Series 5

Sky1 sitcom Trollied will be back for a fifth series, star Jason Watkins (aka store manager Gavin) has confirmed. Read

'Making it' in comedy

'Making it' in comedy

Barry Ferns writes on the topic of what it means to 'make it' in comedy. Think carefully about your end goals. Read

Whose Line? is coming back

Whose Line? is coming back

Some of the stars of hit 1990s TV format Whose Line Is It Anyway? are reuniting for a series of live shows in London. Read

BAFTA TV Awards 2015

BAFTA TV Awards 2015

The winners of the BAFTA TV Awards 2015 have been revealed, including Jessica Hynes and Detectorists. Read

Not Going Out will return!

Not Going Out will return!

Lee Mack has revealed that his hit sitcom Not Going Out has not ended. It will return for a Christmas special. Read

Crims dropped by BBC Three

Crims dropped by BBC Three

BBC Three sitcom Crims has been dropped after just one series, the broadcaster has confirmed. Read

Nick Park's new film

Nick Park's new film

Nick Park and Aardman Animation, the creators of Wallace & Gromit and Shaun The Sheep, are making Early Man. Read

No Offence interviews

No Offence interviews

A guide to No Offence, the police-based comedy drama from the creator of Shameless. Lots more info: Read

David Mitchell interview

David Mitchell interview

David Mitchell talks about comedy and politics, as he prepares to co-host Channel 4's Alternative Election Night. Read

Reginald D Hunter interview

Reginald D Hunter interview

Reginald D Hunter is off on a tour of the UK. In this interview he talks about contrived outrage, and more: Read

Tom Davis interview

Tom Davis interview

We talk to comedy actor Tom Davis about his funny new improvised comedy series for BBC3, Murder In Successville. Read

Pub Landlord interview

Pub Landlord interview

We talk to the Pub Landlord as his drive for electoral victory comes to a head. Will he be voted in as an MP? Read

Red Dwarf XI & XII

Red Dwarf XI & XII

Good news. Dave has ordered two more new series of the cult sci-fi sitcom Red Dwarf, to air in 2016 and 2017. Read

Want to date a comedian?

Want to date a comedian?

Comedian Maddy Anholt explains her 2015 Fringe show, and how you could take her out on a date. Read

Hyde Park gigs line-ups

Hyde Park gigs line-ups

A host of stand-up stars are to perform at the Barclaycard British Summer Time Hyde Park gigs in London. Read

Zoe Lyons: Bad show names

Zoe Lyons: Bad show names

Top stand-up Zoe Lyons reveals to us the tours that never were... five show names that didn't make the grade. Read

Steve Pemberton interview

Steve Pemberton interview

Steve Pemberton discusses the reaction to the second series of Inside No. 9 and his hopes for a third series. Read

UKIP versus HIGNFY

UKIP versus HIGNFY

UKIP says comments made about Nigel Farage on Have I Got News For You have been biased against him. Read

Foil, Arms & Hog on Britain

Foil, Arms & Hog on Britain

Irish sketch comedy trio Foil, Arms & Hog list out some of the cultural differences between Britain and Ireland. Read

Peter Kay's 2.8m car share

Peter Kay's 2.8m car share

Peter Kay's Car Share has broken a BBC record, with the show being streamed 2.8m times on iPlayer. Read

Counterfeit Cat

Counterfeit Cat

Counterfeit Cat, a new animated comedy from Disney XD, will feature Marc Wootton and Kayvan Novak. Read

Russell Howard interview

Russell Howard interview

Russell Howard introduces his new TV show in this quick interview. There's also a funny preview clip here. Read

Hoff The Record again

Hoff The Record again

UKTV has ordered a 2nd series of David Hasselhoff mockumentary Hoff The Record before the 1st has been seen. Read

Kayvan Novak's R4 show

Kayvan Novak's R4 show

Fonejacker star Kayvan Novak is making The Celebrity Voicemail Show, a new comedy series for Radio 4. Read

Keith Harris dies aged 67

Keith Harris dies aged 67

Comedy entertainer Keith Harris, best known for his ventriloquist performances with his puppet Orville, has died. Read

Toksvig quits News Quiz

Toksvig quits News Quiz

Sandi Toksvig has announced she is to step down as host of The News Quiz, the hit Radio 4 panel show. Read

Alex Horne interview

Alex Horne interview

His latest Edinburgh show involved ladders from Wickes, his first one was supposed to feature a bloke from Hot Chip. Read

Jonathan Ross cooking show

Jonathan Ross cooking show

Jonathan Ross is to present a food-themed comedy panel show pilot. The format is described as 'mouth watering'. Read

Missing TV sketch shows?

Missing TV sketch shows?

The organisers of London Sketchfest ponder why there's hardly any sketch shows on TV nowadays. Read

The John Bishop Show

The John Bishop Show

John Bishop will present a new eight-part comedy and entertainment variety show on BBC One on Saturday nights. Read

Channel 5 is back

Channel 5 is back

Good news. Channel 5 is to start showing British comedy again, following a deal with Comedy Central. Read

BBC Salford Sitcom Showcase

BBC Salford Sitcom Showcase

Funz And Gamez, Fishbowl and Barbara Nice are amongst the comedy that will be showcased at the BBC event: Read

Jim Howick to star in Stag

Jim Howick to star in Stag

Jim Howick will star in Stag, a comedy thriller for BBC Two from The Wrong Mans director Jim Field Smith. Read

BBC Two orders 'Mum'

BBC Two orders 'Mum'

BBC Two has commissioned Mum, a new sitcom from the writer and producers of hit BBC Three sitcom Him & Her. Read

Sky Arts slapstick comedies

Sky Arts slapstick comedies

Kevin Eldon, Johnny Vegas, Kim Cattrall, Vic Reeves and Frank Skinner star in four physical comedies on Sky Arts. Read

Ballot Monkeys preview

Ballot Monkeys preview

Top comedy writers Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin introduce their new political sitcom, Ballot Monkeys. Read

Frankie and Benny

Frankie and Benny

Robert Ross celebrates the memories of Frankie Howerd and Benny Hill, who died on Easter weekend 1992. Read

Jan Etherington interview

Jan Etherington interview

We talk to one of the writers of Lynda Bellingham sitcoms Second Thoughts & Faith In The Future, now on DVD. Read

Lee Nelson interview

Lee Nelson interview

Now on a nationwide tour, we talked to Lee Nelson about his plans for the future, politics, and his new look. Read

Friday Night Dinner 4

Friday Night Dinner 4

Channel 4 has ordered a fourth series of Robert Popper's award-winning sitcom Friday Night Dinner. Read

Have you made a short film?

Have you made a short film?

Short Com is open for comedy film submissions for its 2015/2016 touring schedule of screenings. Read

Alan Partridge book sequel

Alan Partridge book sequel

A sequel to Alan Partridge's smash hit autobiography, I, Partridge, will be published in 2016. Read

Zig and Zag are back!

Zig and Zag are back!

CBBC has ordered a 26-part animated sitcom series focused around former Big Breakfast characters Zig & Zag. Read

Kevin McHale interview

Kevin McHale interview

Kevin McHale talks about how he nearly said no to hosting Virtually Famous, and panel shows in the USA. Read