At tonight's 2006 British Comedy Awards, "Peep Show" - after three series - has finally picked up an award: for Best TV Comedy! The Channel 4 sitcom written by Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain beat off tough competition from "Extras" and "The Thick of It" to scoop the prize. The top brass over at Channel 4 are no doubt wiping their brows that they did indeed commission a fourth series (due to air early in 2007) as they'd have looked very silly tonight if they had cancelled it earlier in the year as they were so close to doing.
It was a good night for Channel 4 all-round as their new comedy "Star Stories" was named Best New TV Comedy by the judges. A bit of a shock result in all honesty as everyone had their money on the BBC2 sketch show "That Mitchell and Webb Look" to take this prize.
Harry Hill picked up two awards for the great "TV Burp", whilst Stephen Merchant beat his writing partner Ricky Gervais to claim the Best Actor award (although Gervais still managed to upstage him in a video link up).
Charlotte Church picked up the award for Best Female Comedy Newcomer - much head scratching must have taken place around the country as people tried to figure out when she's ever attempted comedy. (The Charlotte Church Show contained jokes apparently?!?)
Other notable awards were The People's Choice Awards (Ant and Dec took a massive 54% of the vote to win that yet again), Outstanding Contribution (Chris Tarrant), Best TV Comedy Actress (Catherine Tate) and Best Male Comedy Newcomer (Russell Brand).
Host Jonathan Ross's traditional biting and risqué opening poked fun at everyone from Chris Langham (who's accused of child abuse) to Heather Mills-McCartney (very messy divorce from Sir Paul). His well received opening speech included jokes about Paul O'Grady's heart attack, Steve Coogan's tabloid love life, Ant and Dec's salary, Craig Charles' drug arrest, C4's terrible Friday night schedule and Michael Barrymore's fall from fame.
No doubt the evening will be remembered for the snake incident though - a very large live python was brought on stage by Nigel Marvin and almost escaped, getting extremely close to the audience at numerous points!
The full list of winners was as follows:
Best TV Comedy Actor: Stephen Merchant
Best Comedy Entertainment Programme: Harry Hill's TV Burp
Best Comedy Entertainment Personality: Harry Hill
Best Female Comedy Newcomer: Charlotte Church
Best Male Comedy Newcomer Russell Brand
Best TV Comedy Actress: Catherine Tate
Outstanding Contribution: Chris Tarrant
Best New TV Comedy: Star Stories
Writers Guild Ronnie Barker Award: Borat writing team (inc. Sacha Baron Cohen)
Best TV Comedy: Peep Show
People's Choice Award: Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway
(2nd: Green Wing, 3rd: Friday Night with Jonathan Ross, 4th: That Mitchell and Webb Look)
Best Stage Comedy: Little Britain
Writers of Great Britain Award: Jonathan Ross
Best Live Stand-Up Tour: Jimmy Carr
Best International Comedy Show: Curb Your Enthusiasm
Best Comedy Film: Wallace and Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit