The winners of the Comedy.co.uk Awards 2016 have been revealed.
Tens of thousands of comedy fans cast votes over the past fortnight, first narrowing down all 346 comedy programmes broadcast on radio and television in 2016 into shortlists of six in each category, and then voting again to determine the eventual winners.
Ben Elton's Upstart Crow, starring David Mitchell, was voted "Best New TV Sitcom 2016", whilst UKTV's channel Dave scored a double with comedy challenge show Taskmaster named "Best TV Entertainment Show 2016" to add to the Red Dwarf win.
Channel boss Steve North says: "We're really delighted that viewers and British Comedy Guide's visitors have enjoyed our shows so much this year. It's testament to the strength of the writing and the performances of the cast that Red Dwarf XI is perhaps as strong a series as there's ever been, while watching the hilarious chaos of Taskmaster is a delight every week. We can't wait for both shows to return this year."
He adds: "Dave commissions these shows because we think they're very special and they're shows we want to see, and it's really encouraging to know that comedy viewers feel the same."
This is the 11th year British Comedy Guide has run its annual awards. Television event The British Comedy Awards have not taken place since 2014, making the Comedy.co.uk Awards one of the only chances for British comedy programmes and those who create and star in them to be celebrated, and the only awards in which the results are decided entirely by the public.
The winners in each category, as well as the other shortlisted nominees, are detailed below.
Best New TV Sitcom 2016: Upstart Crow
Best Returning TV Sitcom 2016: Red Dwarf
The hotly anticipated twelfth series of the sci-fi sitcom has already been filmed and is expected to broadcast this Autumn on Dave.
Co-creator and series writer/director Doug Naylor says: "Absolutely thrilled to hear the news that Red Dwarf XI has won both awards. Especially in a year with so many great shows. Thanks to Dave, Baby Cow and all who voted. This award will really help me next time I need to persuade one of the guys to climb into a prosthetic monster costume with six other creature performers and stay in there for half a day with no toilet breaks. So thank you. You've made my job a whole lot easier."
Best Radio Sitcom 2016: Count Arthur Strong's Radio Show!
Count Arthur remarks: "I don't know what to say! The last thing I won was a bottle of White Horse's in a Knobbly Knees Contest at Butlins, Pwllheli. This is almost as good as that! Apart from the White Horse's, obviously. I'm sure I speak for all at Komedia Entertainment and Smooth Operations when I say, thank you to all who voted for it/us... What do I get?"
A new live DVD, Count Arthur Strong's Command Performance will be released in February.
Best TV Sketch Show 2016: Horrible Histories
The hit childrens' factually-accurate sketch show wins the award for a remarkable sixth year in a row, despite only broadcasting 3 special episodes in 2016. They are available now on DVD.
Best Radio Sketch Show 2016: John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme
Finnemore says of his win: "I am absolutely delighted that Souvenir Programme has joined the proud roll-call of Things The Public Voted For In 2016; alongside Trump, Brexit, and Boaty McBoatface." This win further underlines writer-star John Finnemore talent. He remains the most successful writer in the history of the Comedy.co.uk Awards, having won in at least one category every year since 2011.
Best TV Panel Show 2016: 8 Out Of 10 Cats Does Countdown
Best Radio Panel Show 2016: The Unbelievable Truth
Best TV Entertainment Show 2016: Taskmaster
A year in which not one but two series of the hit comic challenge show were broadcast, sees Taskmaster take the TV Entertainment Show crown from The Graham Norton Show, the chat show which has won in this category for the previous five years in a row.