British Comedy Guide

Catastrophe, Taskmaster & Horrible Histories win at Broadcast Awards

Wednesday 7th February 2018, 11:03pm

  • Catastrophe has been named Best Comedy Programme at the Broadcast Awards 2018
  • The Taskmaster team picked up the Best Entertainment Programme prize
  • Horrible Histories was awarded the Best Children's Programme title
Catastrophe. Image shows from L to R: Rob (Rob Delaney), Sharon (Sharon Horgan). Copyright: Avalon Television.

TV trade magazine Broadcast has revealed the winners of its annual awards.

Looking back at 2017, the 2018 awards recognised the best in British television productions across categories as diverse as Best Comedy, Best News & Current Affairs Programme, Best Pre-School Programme, and Best Soap/Continuing Drama.

Hosted by Jonathan Ross, winners were announced tonight at a black tie event in central London.

The comedy-related winners were as follows:

Best Comedy Programme: Catastrophe

Catastrophe. Image shows from L to R: Sharon (Sharon Horgan), Rob (Rob Delaney). Copyright: Avalon Television.

Broadcast says of Catastrophe's win: "Scooping its second Best Comedy Programme gong in three years, Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney's six-part comedy scored a hat-trick of nominations for its third series, which was referred to by one judge as 'unlike anything else on TV right now'.

"The 'fresh, funny and real' series, co-produced with Amazon, once again followed the exploits of Sharon Morris (Horgan) and Rob Norris (Delaney) as work and family continued to put a strain on their relationship, culminating in some tough scenes of Rob's relapse into alcoholism.

"Featuring cameos from the likes of Domhnall Gleeson, Jordan Stephens and Douglas Hodge, the series was 'brilliantly observed comedy', said one judge, hailing the 'real chemistry of the central characters'."

The other nominees were Cunk On Christmas, Harry Hill's Alien Fun Capsule, People Just Do Nothing, Car Share and Revolting. View judges' comments

Best Entertainment Programme: Taskmaster

Taskmaster. Image shows from L to R: Greg Davies, Alex Horne. Copyright: Avalon Television.

Talking about Taskmaster, Broadcast explains: "'Highly original', 'innovative, fun and just plain silly', 'incredibly clever' and 'best series yet' - the judges' plaudits poured out thick and fast for the fourth series of Avalon's anti-panel show.

"Combining elements of a panel game, a comedy sketch show and a reality series, the fourth run of Dave's format featured comedians Hugh Dennis, Joe Lycett, Lolly Adefope, Mel Giedroyc and Noel Fielding competing against each other in a series of tricky - and very silly - tasks in the hope of impressing Taskmaster Greg Davies.

"Though playing the adoring side-kick to Davies' Taskmaster, it is co-creator Alex Horne who devises the tasks and the bulk of the show, which has a production team of just eight people.

"Series 4 highlights included Fielding legally marrying a rubber duck, Giedroyc crafting the ultimate chocolate sandwich, Dennis' unexpected basketball victory, Adefope's hide-and-seek skills and Lycett staging a real-life Where's Wally?

"Taskmaster continues to pay dividends for Dave, where the show's irreverent tone and character has found a natural home."

Other nominees in this category included All Round To Mrs. Brown's and Love Island. Judges' comments

Best Children's Programme: Horrible Histories

Horrible Histories.

The trade magazine says of Horrible Histories: "Having bedded in a new cast in a series of biopics of historical characters and specials, CBBC's phenomenally popular sketch show rebooted once again for its seventh run. It was back to the original format that zapped between different eras, but with a unifying theme at each episode's core.

"The team exploited the comic potential of explorers, US presidents and artists over 12 episodes, but it was the opener, Monstrous Musicians, that truly stood out. From the Stone Age's 'golden age of rock' to Beethoven and Purcell's 'H Factor' boot camps, via detours into Elvis and Jimi Hendrix, no corner of music was left unturned in this whistle-stop tour, which tied in with BBC Music Day.

"Judges remarked on how well the principal cast of Jessica Ransom, Gemma Whelan, Samson Kayo, Jalaal Hartley, Tom Stourton and Richard David-Caine had gelled into a tight ensemble in a format that had evolved from the star vehicle of the earlier biopics.

"'It's got its swagger back', said one judge. 'They've taken the format and revitalised it with a real energy.' The creative team's continued attention to detail and ability to drop 'real goblets of knowledge' into a fast-paced half-hour also impressed, as did the show's ability not to talk down to children - or exclude parents.

"'It's still one of the funniest shows on TV', one judge declared, while another summed up the mood of the room: 'I've fallen in love with Horrible Histories all over again'."

Comedies The Zoo and Danger Mouse also featured in the shortlist. Judges' comments

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