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History

The British Comedy Awards has been the premier accolade for all comedy programmes, performers and producers across the UK television industry since 1990.

The concept for the Awards was originally devised and produced by British TV legend, Michael Hurll to promote homegrown comedy talent. The original show was presented by Michael Parkinson and winners included VICTORIA WOOD as Best Live Stand-up, PAULINE QUIRKE as Best TV Comedy Newcomer, and DROP THE DEAD DONKEY as the Best New TV Comedy. Other winners included RUSS ABBOTT, CLIVE JAMES & ROWAN ATKINSON.

Since then the Awards have been presented by Jonathan Ross* and as a result they have increasingly grown a reputation for being outrageous and unpredictable. Unlike most awards events which are formal and reverent occasions, Jonathan's presence has evolved the ceremony into one of the funniest shows on television in its own right. With comic guests turning presentations and acceptance speeches into classic TV moments.

Take a look at some by visiting our Photo Galleries and YouTube links on this site for an ever increasing library of photos & hilarious clips from the show's archives.

After 20 years of broadcasting on ITV, the show moved to Channel 4 for the 2010 ceremony, on Saturday January 22nd, 2011. This 21st year was special due to a 'grand redesign' of the show's imageā€¦ with a new venue, set, logo and stunning new award - the heaviest award any UK performer could ever win!! Unlike anyone in the industry, the award is two-faced! With the traditional playing cards symbol on one side, and the new Joker icon and Union Flag on the other.

2010 also saw the creation of the BRITISH COMEDY ACADEMY, a collective of almost 300 individuals which includes all of the UK's most talented & successful comedy performers, agents, writers and producers. This executive body was formed to share ideas and influence for generating new initiatives to support and promote British comedy from the grass roots up. And importantly, the Academy membership also drives our Awards voting process.

2013 represents the 24th year of show. The British Comedy Awards may be seen as growing up and becoming an important institution for the broader British comedy industry. But it will always keep its unique sense of humour and mischief!

Mike Brosnan
The British Comedy Academy

*Except 2008 when Angus Deayton filled in for Jonathan at the last minute, after he and Russell Brand got told off by the BBC!