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

 
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

Channel 4's Election Night

Channel 4's Election Night

Channel 4 is bringing back its Alternative Election Night format on 7th May, with Jeremy Paxman & David Mitchell. 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

Win a comedy writing book

Win a comedy writing book

We have three copies of Masterclass: Writing Comedy, the new tutorial book by Lesley Bown, to hand out. Enter

Get Started In Stand-Up

Get Started In Stand-Up

We've got some copies of Logan Murray's great tutorial book Get Started In Stand-Up to hand out to comedians. Enter

Dave's Election Night

Dave's Election Night

Channel Dave is to broadcast a one-off documentary focusing on Al Murray as he lobbies in the General Election. 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

BAFTA nominations

BAFTA nominations

The shortlists for the 2015 BAFTA Television Awards have been announced. Here's the comedy nominees: Read

Terry Jones - Bath Plug

Terry Jones - Bath Plug

Monty Python star Terry Jones has received Bath Comedy Festival's first ever 'Bath Plug Award'. Pictures

Blake Harrison gets Tripped

Blake Harrison gets Tripped

The Inbetweeners star Blake Harrison will take the lead role in Tripped, a comedy drama series for E4. Read

E4 orders Aliens comedy

E4 orders Aliens comedy

E4 has ordered Aliens, a show about a group of extra-terrestrials forced to live in a segregated community. Read

Max & Ivan on their R4 show

Max & Ivan on their R4 show

Comedy double-act Max & Ivan attempt to introduce their Radio 4 series to us in this funny article written by them. Read

Bethan Roberts wins in Bath

Bethan Roberts wins in Bath

Bethan Roberts has been named the winner of Bath Comedy Festival's 2015 New Act Of The Year contest. Read

Sue Perkins panel show

Sue Perkins panel show

Sue Perkins will host the pilot episode of Insert Name Here, a new comedy panel show format for BBC Two. Read

As Yet Untitled - Series 3

As Yet Untitled - Series 3

Unscripted chat format Alan Davies As Yet Untitled is to return to Dave for a third series. There'll be 10 episodes. Read

David Mitchell's new sitcom

David Mitchell's new sitcom

David Mitchell has signed up to play William Shakespeare in Upstart Crow, a sitcom pilot for BBC Two. Read

You, Me & Them interviews

You, Me & Them interviews

Seven members of the cast of UKTV Gold sitcom You, Me & Them talk about the second series of their show. Read

39 Steps - 4 play 139 roles

39 Steps - 4 play 139 roles

The 39 Steps is one of the West End's longest-running and funniest plays. We take a look at the show here. Read

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

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