Awards 2012 results

Miranda Hart's smash hit sitcom was named the best comedy of 2012, a second win for the popular sitcom.

Best New TV Sitcom: Hebburn

Hebburn. Image shows from L to R: Vicki (Lisa McGrillis), Pauline Pearson (Gina McKee), Joe Pearson (Vic Reeves), Sarah Pearson (Kimberley Nixon), Jack Pearson (Chris Ramsey), Dot (Pat Dunn)

Sitcom is not only the most popular comedy genre, but also the most difficult to get right. That makes this award, for the best brand new television sitcom of the year, a particularly prestigious one, indicating that the winner has instantly captured the public's imagination. Previous winners include The Inbetweeners and Gavin & Stacey - and this year it's the turn of BBC Two hit Hebburn to take the crown.

Written by stand-up comic Jason Cook, the north east-set sitcom drew in viewers up and down the nation when it launched in October, telling the story of Jack Pearson (Chris Ramsey) and his family - in particular his new wife Sarah (Kimberley Nixon), whom he wed in Las Vegas without his parents' knowledge.

Other new sitcom to score highly include Bad Education, Cuckoo and Moone Boy. The most-loved pilot was Milton Jones's House Of Rooms, suggesting that Channel 4 made a mistake not to order a series.

Best Returning TV Sitcom: Miranda

Miranda. Image shows from L to R: Penny (Patricia Hodge), Gary (Tom Ellis), Miranda (Miranda Hart), Stevie (Sarah Hadland), Clive (James Holmes). Copyright: BBC

Miranda Hart's sitcom was picking up amazing ratings on BBC One at the time of these awards. Over 7 million viewers tuned in to the most recent episode. It's a perfect antidote to the times of financial struggle, with its permanently feel-good, upbeat, escapist and high-energy comedy.

Mrs. Brown's Boys, Not Going Out and the return of Red Dwarf were also very popular - a clear sign to critics and commissioners that the public love nothing more than a good, gag-packed, traditional studio sitcom. Non-audience hits Outnumbered, Peep Show and The Thick Of It also scored well.

Best Radio Sitcom: Bleak Expectations

Bleak Expectations. Image shows from L to R: Pippa Bin (Susy Kane), 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). Copyright: BBC

We love radio comedy here at British Comedy Guide - it's a chance to be transported to worlds that TV budgets just can't achieve. Bleak Expectations is the perfect example of this - in its 2012 series the madcap sitcom set in the Victorian era visited India, the Antarctic and tackled a threat to the whole universe. We've yet to find someone who doesn't love the show, so it's no major surprise to learn it's been voted top in this category.

Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show!, Party, Ed Reardon's Week and Fags, Mags And Bags also proved popular.

Best TV Sketch Show: Horrible Histories

Horrible Histories

Once again childrens' comedy Horrible Histories has been voted as the favourite sketch show from the year. Proving that if you simply write funny rather than pander to an audience demographic you'll be rewarded, this CBBC series puts other TV sketch comedy to shame.

BBC Three pilot Dawson Bros. Funtime also proved very popular with our voters, suggesting that the channel's bosses should have commissioned a full series.

Best Radio Sketch Show: John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme

John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme. Image shows from L to R: Carrie Quinlan, Simon Kane, John Finnemore, Lawry Lewin, Margaret Cabourn-Smith. Copyright: BBC

John Finnemore is quickly becoming Radio 4's golden boy. His hit sitcom Cabin Pressure is currently raking in praise by the bucketload, and whilst that sitcom didn't broadcast any new episodes in 2012, his sketch show did return for a second, equally celebrated series.

The Radio Times called Souvenir Programme "the best sketch show in years", and it seems the public had no argument with such an assessment - for the second year running!

Best TV Panel Show: QI

QI. Image shows from L to R: Alan Davies, Stephen Fry. Copyright: TalkbackThames

The TV panel show category is, to say the least, hotly contested. Each year multiple newcomers jostle with established favourites such as Mock The Week and QI - and when all the votes were tallied, the brainy panel show just clinched the win. Proof that you don't need to dumb down to the lowest common denominator to be popular. Where else could you learn that the Epomis beetle larvae eats frogs inside-out?

QI was closely followed by ratings winners Celebrity Juice, HIGNFY, 8 Out Of 10 Cats, Would I Lie To You? and Mock The Week.

Best Radio Panel Show: I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue

I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue. Image shows from L to R: Graeme Garden, Barry Cryer. Copyright: BBC

It's one of radio's longest running comedies, and it seems Jack Dee has been truly accepted by listeners now as the new host of the popular panel game. It's an incredibly popular category against fellow long-runners such as Just A Minute, but ISIHAC came out on top.

Radio 4's other established formats The News Quiz, Just A Minute and The Unbelievable Truth were also popular in this category.

Best TV Entertainment Show: The Graham Norton Show

The Graham Norton Show. Graham Norton. Credit: So Television, Christopher Baines

Affable Irishman Graham Norton has, it's fair to say, taken over Jonathan Ross's mantle of most popular chat show host with ease. In its 12th series at the time of these awards and heading fast toward the 200 episodes mark, the comic continues to get high ratings for his Friday night series, and a host of A-List Hollywood names on his sofa.

Other popular shows in this category include Alan Carr: Chatty Man, BBC Three topical smash hit Russell Howard's Good News, and for its final ever series, Harry Hill's TV Burp.

Best Radio Entertainment Show: Mark Steel's In Town

Mark Steel's In Town. Mark Steel. Copyright: BBC

This stand-up show, in which Mark Steel visits various towns and then performs a stand-up set to the locals, won a Sony Gold Award in 2011. It seems voters in our awards agree with the Sony panel, as they voted it their top audio entertainment show of 2012.

Musical series Alex Horne Presents The Horne Section was also popular.

Best TV Comedy Drama: Fresh Meat

Fresh Meat. Image shows from L to R: Kingsley (Joe Thomas), Vod (Zawe Ashton), Josie (Kimberley Nixon), Howard (Greg McHugh), Oregon (Charlotte Ritchie), JP (Jack Whitehall). Copyright: Objective Productions / Lime Pictures

The British Comedy Awards dropped their Comedy Drama category, which meant programmes which can tread that tricky line of being both dramatic and funny (something few succeed, normally they end up the worst of both worlds) don't get many chances to be recognised any more.

For the second year running, however, voters in the Awards named Channel 4 comedy drama Fresh Meat, starring Jack Whitehall, Joe Thomas, Kimberley Nixon, and Greg McHugh amongst others, as the single best comedy drama of the year.

Sky's gag-packed detective spoof A Touch Of Cloth was also very popular in the voting, as was hit new BBC show Last Tango In Halifax, and Ruth Jones's comedy drama Stella.

Comedy Of The Year: Miranda

Miranda. Image shows from L to R: Penny (Patricia Hodge), Gary (Tom Ellis), Miranda (Miranda Hart), Stevie (Sarah Hadland), Clive (James Holmes). Copyright: BBC

Miranda, Miranda, Miranda. There's no doubt that the British public love a good sitcom, and there really can be no doubt that this is one.

The third series of this super-successful comedy was achieving amazing ratings on BBC One, having transferred from BBC Two for its first two series, last broadcast in 2010. In that year it also scooped this same title, and audiences continue to proclaim their love and adoration for the series in droves.

We said at the time: "With this hit TV series to her name, an upcoming 2013 arena stand-up tour, a best-selling book and near astronomic national popularity, is there anything Miranda Hart cannot do?"

Editors' Award: Threesome

Threesome. Image shows from L to R: Richie (Emun Elliott), Alice (Amy Huberman), Mitch (Stephen Wight). Copyright: Big Talk Productions

This is the award the Editors of British Comedy Guide handed to the show, person, channel, or indeed anything else comedy related they thought deserved some extra recognition.

You mightn't have heard of this one? Tucked away on digital channel Comedy Central, this very modern sitcom focusses on the novel living arrangements of a loving couple and their gay best friend. After a drunken 30th birthday party the three end up in bed together - and it doesn't take a genius to work out who the father of the baby is!

Featuring witty, inventive, and very funny scripts; a fantastic regular cast; top quality guest appearances from the likes of Robert Webb (Peep Show), Bill Bailey, and Father Ted's Pauline McLynn, the second series of this sitcom, broadcast in the Autumn, was a sheer delight.

We congratulate production company Big Talk and Comedy Central for giving this unique series the chance to grow. It seems to have boosted the channel's confidence in ordering more original comedy: look out for The Alternative Comedy Experience and Big Bad World in 2013.

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