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


French And Saunders. Image shows from L to R: Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French. Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.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

 
2015 British comedy survey

2015 British comedy survey

A comedy survey has been launched, aiming to collect the thoughts of comedy fans across the UK. Details

20 festive comedy videos

20 festive comedy videos

The internet has been busy creating lots of funny festive video sketches. Here's 20 of the best from 2014. Watch

Christmas Puns

Christmas Puns

UK Pun Champion Darren Walsh has written us some festive jokes. There's a couple of drawings too. Read

BBC New Comedy Award 2014

BBC New Comedy Award 2014

Lee Ridley, a stand-up comedian with cerebral palsy, has won the BBC New Comedy Award 2014. Read

Richard Osman podcast

Richard Osman podcast

Pointless star Richard Osman joins Richard Herring for an entertaining chat. Watch or listen here: Listen

New Christmas Cracker jokes

New Christmas Cracker jokes

The winners of UKTV Gold's Christmas Cracker joke competition have been announced. Read the top 10: Read

No Pressure To Be Festive

No Pressure To Be Festive

Alistair Barrie and Nick Revell host a festive edition of the No Pressure To Be Funny political podcast. Listen

Pun Championships 2015

Pun Championships 2015

Check out some of the puns from the comedians who will take part in the UK Pun Championships 2015. Read

Christmas TV Guide 2014

Christmas TV Guide 2014

A list of 25 festive comedy specials to look out for between now and 2015. There's lots of treats ahead: Read

Christmas Gift Guide 2014

Christmas Gift Guide 2014

Shopping for gifts? We've plenty to choose from in our Christmas selection, from books to DVDs. Browse

Channel 4 pilot Space Ark

Channel 4 pilot Space Ark

Channel 4 has commissioned Space Ark, a new sci-fi sitcom pilot about a crew living on a spaceship. Read

BBC Comedy's 2015 plans

BBC Comedy's 2015 plans

Boomers and Citizen Khan will both return for another series, as the BBC outlines its plans for comedy in 2015. Read

Win Fools & Horses costumes

Win Fools & Horses costumes

We've got some official Only Fools And Horses fancy dress costumes to give away. Del Boy and Rodney. Enter

Joke Thieves interview

Joke Thieves interview

Will Mars talks about his 'bulletproof' live comedy format Joke Thieves. It's on tour and heading for TV. Read

Olivia Colman's new sitcom

Olivia Colman's new sitcom

Olivia Colman and Julian Barrett are to star in Flowers, a sitcom pilot about 'the ultimate dysfunctional family'. Read

Bob Monkhouse documentary

Bob Monkhouse documentary

UKTV Gold is to show Bob Monkhouse: The Million Joke Man, a three-part series presented by Paul O' Grady. Read

Toast Of London Series 3

Toast Of London Series 3

Channel 4 has ordered a third series of Toast Of London, its hit new comedy series starring Matt Berry. Read

Brian Pern interview

Brian Pern interview

Simon Day and Rhys Thomas, the creators of Brian Pern: A Life In Rock, talk about the second series. Read

Educating Bitchfield pilot

Educating Bitchfield pilot

Early Doors stars John Henshaw and Mark Benton are amongst the cast for the Educating Bitchfield pilot. Read

Shop Newsletter

Shop Newsletter

We've relaunched our Shop Newsletter. Why not have a read through to see what catches your eye? Read

British comedy art

British comedy art

Check out some unique artworks inspired by classic British comedy shows like Blackadder and The Young Ones. View

Simon Evans interview

Simon Evans interview

Simon Evans has just made his first stand-up DVD. He chats with Si Hawkins about all things comedy. Read

Drunk History series

Drunk History series

Comedy Central orders a series in which comedians get very drunk and attempt to tell historical tales. Read

Almost Royal gets Series 2

Almost Royal gets Series 2

Almost Royal the prank show involving two actors pretending to be royalty, is to return for a 2nd series. Read

Winston Churchill facts

Winston Churchill facts

Happy 140th birthday to Winston Churchill. Here's some funny videos which reveal 10 'facts' about him. View

New Arthur Mathews sitcom

New Arthur Mathews sitcom

Father Ted and Toast co-writer Arthur Mathews is developing a new BBC sitcom about bailiffs. Read

Richard Gadd interview

Richard Gadd interview

A discussion with 'troubled comedian' Richard Gadd about topics such as mining one's life for material. Read

Julian Clary's kids books

Julian Clary's kids books

Julian Clary has signed a two book deal with a publishing company to write children's novels. Read

Phoenix Nights to return

Phoenix Nights to return

Peter Kay's much loved sitcom Phoenix Nights will return as a live stage show in January. Read

My Mad Fat Diary S3

My Mad Fat Diary S3

The comedy drama about a 16-year-old with weight and mental health problems is to return. Read

British Comedy Awards

British Comedy Awards

Who do you think will win at the British Comedy Awards? Have a guess on our interactive website. Enter

Rebecca Front podcast

Rebecca Front podcast

Rebecca Front chats to Richard Herring about some of her comedy acting roles in this episode of RHLSTP. Listen

Virtually Famous returns

Virtually Famous returns

E4 has commissioned 2 new series of panel show Virtually Famous, focusing on internet celebrities. Read

BBC Xmas offerings

BBC Xmas offerings

The BBC has announced its Christmas comedy offerings. Amongst the shows is the end of hit sitcom Miranda. Read

British Comedy Awards K&Q

British Comedy Awards K&Q

Voting for the British Comedy Awards 2014 King or Queen category has launched. Pick from 6: Read

So On & So Forth series

So On & So Forth series

The comedy troupe So On And So Forth have been given their own BBC Radio 4 sketch show series. Read

Lee Evans quits comedy

Lee Evans quits comedy

Lee Evans, one of the UK's best known stand-ups, has unexpectedly announced he is to retire from comedy. Read

Jason Manford interview

Jason Manford interview

Jason Manford explains why his new DVD is making people soil themselves, and he talks about his club chain. Read

What is a joke? - Part 2

What is a joke? - Part 2

Dave Cohen prepares Big Comedy Conference delegates with an attempt to explain EVERY type of joke. Read

Sarah Millican podcast

Sarah Millican podcast

Sarah Millican chats to Richard Herring in the latest episode of his podcast series. It's a funny chat. Listen

Paddy McGuinness sitcom

Paddy McGuinness sitcom

Paddy McGuinness is to return to comedy acting with a role in ITV's new midwife sitcom, The Delivery Man. Read

Where are the older comics?

Where are the older comics?

Comedy sketch duo Flip and Maggie ask 'Where are the people, particularly women, of our age in comedy?' Read

I Live With Models series

I Live With Models series

Comedy Central has confirmed the commission of a new studio sitcom. It's called I Live With Models. Read

Taking Liberties comedies

Taking Liberties comedies

The BBC has ordered comedies for its Magna Carta season, including a new Horrible Histories episode. Read

Laughing Horse finalists

Laughing Horse finalists

The 15 finalists involved in the Laughing Horse New Act of the Year 2014 competition are listed here: Read

What is a joke?

What is a joke?

An article in which Dave Cohen looks at the structure of a joke, and explains how Aristotle got there first. Read

Eddie Izzard autobiography

Eddie Izzard autobiography

Eddie Izzard is to write his memoirs. He has signed a book deal with a US publishing company. Read

Gold to make more sitcoms

Gold to make more sitcoms

UKTV Gold has announced it is increasing its investment in new shows to develop five new sitcoms. Read

John Cleese leads icon list

John Cleese leads icon list

John Cleese has been named as the most influential British comedy icon in a poll of the public. Read

Charlie Brooker wipes again

Charlie Brooker wipes again

BBC Two has ordered another series of Charlie Brooker's Weekly Wipe, and a round-up of 2014. Read

People Just Do Nothing 2

People Just Do Nothing 2

People Just Do Nothing, the BBC Three sitcom set around a pirate radio station, has been given a 2nd series. Read

Stand-up newcomers report

Stand-up newcomers report

Nine of the brave souls who performed stand-up for the first time as part of a charity gig report back. Read

Sara Pascoe podcast

Sara Pascoe podcast

Stand-up Sara Pascoe is this week's guest on Richard Herring's Leicester Square Theatre Podcast. Listen

Julia Davis commissioned

Julia Davis commissioned

Julia Davis's latest sitcom project, Morning Has Broken, has been given a full series by Channel 4. Read

Dapper Laughs won't return

Dapper Laughs won't return

ITV has confirmed that it will not order a second series of comedy-dating show Dapper Laughs: On The Pull. Read

Joseph Morpurgo interview

Joseph Morpurgo interview

An interview with Joseph Morpurgo, a comic actor whose solo work is pretty audacious in ambition. Read

Woody is now filming

Woody is now filming

Bradley Walsh and Kayvan Novak are now filming Woody, a new BBC sitcom set on a Spanish island. Read

British Comedy Awards 2014

British Comedy Awards 2014

The nominees for the British Comedy Awards 2014 have been revealed. See the shortlist for all 16 categories. Read

Babylon interviews

Babylon interviews

The stars of Babylon, Channel 4's police-based comedy drama, talk about how they prepared for the show. Read

Puppy Love interview

Puppy Love interview

The creators of new sitcom Puppy Love introduce the show, and talk about working with canine stars. Read