The winners of the Comedy.co.uk Awards 2020, the comedy awards voted for by the public, can now be revealed.
Ricky Gervais was the big winner of the year, collecting both the Best Returning TV Sitcom and Comedy Of The Year prizes in recognition of the second series of his Netflix comedy, After Life. Other winners include Staged, Taskmaster and I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue.
The editors of British Comedy Guide, which runs the awards, say: "In what proved to be an extremely challenging year for all the wrong reasons, the results of the fifteenth annual Comedy.co.uk Awards illustrate the importance of laughter, and the importance of comedy - particularly warm, big-hearted, escapist comedy - to our national psyche, being front and centre of British cultural life. As 2021 looks set to prove continually difficult for many, we hope TV and radio can continue to provide the escapist hilarity we all so desperately need."
The full results are as follows:
Best Returning TV Sitcom & Comedy Of The Year: After Life (Netflix, Derek Productions)
Gervais said: "This is a lovely award. Thank you to Comedy.co.uk and everyone who voted!" A third series of the hit comedy is currently in development.
Best New TV Sitcom: Staged (BBC One, Infinity Hill & GCB Films)
Tennant and Sheen filmed a video to accept their award, in which they said: "Thank you so much for this beautiful Comedy Guide award. It's wonderful that this award is voted on by the regular folks. Thank you so much."
Best Radio Sitcom: Michael Spicer: Before Next Door (BBC Radio 4, Starstruck Media)
Michael Spicer: Before Next Door, which was broadcast in June, is a semi-autobiographical sitcom following Spicer's rise to fame after a spate of his home-made comedy videos satirising political speeches went viral across the internet.
Speaking in his acceptance video, he said: "I'd like to thank British Comedy Guide for this wonderful award for Best Radio Sitcom, and of course thank you to everyone who voted for me. It couldn't have happened without you and it means a great deal that you took the time out to vote."
Best TV Sketch Show: Horrible Histories (CBBC, Lion Television)
The long-running, historically accurate children's comedy series, inspired by the hit books by Terry Deary, aired its eighth series in 2019, with a string of thematic specials broadcast sporadically across 2020. A ninth series is now in pre-production.
Richard Bradley, executive producer for Lion Television, comments: "The Horrible Histories team are thrilled with this award. We are delighted that the show's unique diet of gruesome facts and horrible humour continues to hit the spot for our audience. We love making the show - and it feels in these challenging times understanding our history, and laughing ourselves smart feels even more important. Thanks to all the writers, actors and team that work against the odds to bring it to screen. To CBBC for backing us to make it. To our audience for watching. And to Comedy.co.uk for this great news!"
Lisa Mitchell, series producer, received the trophy on behalf of the team and said: "On behalf of the entire HH team thank you for this lovely award. We are thrilled to be able to continue making a programme kids love and winning accolades like this after so many years. It's all down to the incredible work of the cast and crew. Well done team!"
Current co-star Jessica Ransom adds: "Thank you so much to everyone who voted. We're over the moon to have won. It means so much to have people take the time to vote for us. We love making the show so it's massively rewarding to know people still enjoy it. We'll get on with making some more for you!"
James McNicholas says: "This is lovely news, thanks Comedy.co.uk. It feels apt the show should win this year - so many parents have been in touch to express their gratitude for Horrible Histories' continued ability to educate and entertain their kids throughout lockdown! We have such a great time making the show and can't wait to start shooting the new series."
Richard David-Caine concludes: "I am so very proud to be a part of this ridiculous show and, more than ever, as we go through this horrible moment in history, it shows us that there were many other horrible histories before this - all manner of hardships, wars and diseases - and yet humankind always prevailed. Often with hilarious consequences. Who knows? 2020 might have its own episode one day."
Best Radio Sketch Show: Dead Ringers (BBC Radio 4, BBC Studios)
Created and produced by Bill Dare, topical impressionism sketch show Dead Ringers first aired on Radio 4 in 2000, and after a break between 2007 and 2014, is now continuing as strongly and popularly as ever. Recently airing its twentieth series, the comedy stars Jon Culshaw and Jan Ravens, with Duncan Wisbey, Lewis Macleod and Debra Stephenson.
Bill Dare says: "We are delighted to have won this award again. We don't take the approval of the BCG voters for granted. Clearly they have very good taste - but I would say that, wouldn't I?"
Best TV Panel Show: Would I Lie To You? (BBC One, Zeppotron)
The hit parlour game is currently airing its fourteenth series, having aired half of the previous, and a new Christmas special, in 2020.
David Mitchell accepted the award, saying: "It's such an honour to be nominated at the only awards that, despite the pandemic, haven't had to cancel a lavish ceremony and dinner at a luxury hotel."
Rob Brydon says: "I've not seen the quotes from David or Lee, nonetheless I have to say I agree wholeheartedly."
Lee Mack adds: "Rob sums up my feelings perfectly."
Executive producer for Zeppotron, Rachel Ablett, says: "Thanks so much to all the readers of British Comedy Guide and everyone who voted for us as their favourite TV panel show for an incredible eighth time. It's especially nice to get such a ringing endorsement from the country's legions of comedy fans."
Best Radio Panel Show: I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue (BBC Radio 4, BBC Studios)
Producer Jon Naismith comments: "A big thank you to British Comedy Guide and all who voted for us. We'd like to dedicate this award to our dear departed friend and colleague Tim Brooke-Taylor who brought joy to several generations over his long and illustrious career. I know he would have been thrilled to receive it."
Graeme Garden says: "We're very proud to receive this award in what has been a difficult year for us all."
Jack Dee added: "This is a great honour. Here's to the programme's absent friends!"
Best TV Entertainment Show: Taskmaster (Channel 4, Avalon)
Taskmaster won Best TV Entertainment Show after a year-long wait saw its ninth series debut on Channel 4 in the autumn. Greg Davies said: "Thanks for the award, we really appreciate it. In future, please send it directly to me. Thank you though!"
Best Radio Entertainment Show: Joe Lycett's Obsessions (BBC Radio 4, BBC Studios)
The second series of Joe Lycett's Obsessions aired on Radio 4 in January 2020. The programme saw the comedian and guests such as Carol Kirkwood, Clara Amfo, Nina Wadia and Mary Berry taking a look at the nation's weird and wonderful obsessions.
Reacting to the win, Joe Lycett says: "Oh that's nice! Thank you to my sensational writers James Kettle, Kat Sadler and Catherine Brinkworth, the divine producer Suzy Grant and to all the wild obsessives both celeb and non-celeb who joined in. But mainly thanks to Alan Sugar."
Best TV Comedy Drama: Inside No. 9 (BBC Two, BBC Studios)
The highly acclaimed anthology series broadcast its fifth series early in 2020, with filming on a sixth recently completed.
Creators and stars Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton say: "We are delighted that Inside No. 9 has been voted 'Best TV Comedy Drama'. The public are a true barometer of the work, so it's thrilling to win an award voted for by discerning comedy fans. We feel very lucky to still be making the show, and very grateful to the fans that keep watching and enjoying it. Thank you so much!"
This was the 15th year of the Comedy.co.uk Awards. Public voting took place throughout January, split over two phases: the first consisted of a long list of every series to premiere, and every new single special to air, during the 2020 calendar year. The second round took forward the public's six favourite choices from each of the ten categories.
For more details and for a history of the awards, see the Comedy.co.uk Awards homepage