Some timely notes on the Comedy.co.uk awards that happened four days ago
We half-wrote some notes on the Comedy.co.uk awards which were announced on Monday and then sort of forgot about them, but WE HAVE REMEMBERED THEM AGAIN because (a) they're rather interesting reading, and (b) Comedy.co.uk have the most dedicated fans In The Business who we happen to agree with on about 80% of the awards.
- This 'BBC is producing inexplicable drivel and Sky is making everything great' narrative in comedy is getting rather hard to avoid, but the best sitcom (Spy) and worst sitcom (Mrs Brown's Boys) seems to encapsulate it rather nicely. Spy nails the family sitcom the BBC can't do; the BBC has to fall back on the comedy output of the nations to plug gaps in its schedules. It only seems a matter of time until old episodes of Man Del becomes BBC One's highest-rating comedy. (That being said, you should totally watch this BBC Scotland series on Late'n'Live.)
- We once tried to write a defence of worst returning British sitcom Two Pints but let's be honest it probably wasn't worth it. Still, it's GONE, which is sort of sad in a way (it isn't really sad in any way).
- Radio! No offence to John Finnemore's Souvenir Programme but any award where Listen Against is a runner should clearly only go one way. The bit were Harriet Cass flogged CDs of Alan Carr's Worst Sounds was easily the funniest thing on any radio anywhere during the whole of 2011. Also: we never heard best radio sitcom Cabin Pressure but the cast photo nicely shows how much Benedict Cumberbatch needs floppy hair and tighter tailoring to make the nation's women and gays go all a quiver.
- Best British entertainment show went to Graham Norton, which is quite reasonable, because he really is great at the light-as-air interview. We've never quite bought in to the schtick that he gets interviewees to really open up by being such fun, but that really doesn't matter: it's fun and airy and easy, which is what a Friday night chat show should be.
- BUT, while the interviewing is great, the opening jokes and other show bits and pieces are so utterly terrible that the show is frankly only watchable on YouTube afterwards to get the half-decent stuff. Basically can whoever used to write all the 'bits' back in the days of So Graham Norton please come back? Thanks.
- Fresh Meat won what was really quite a weak category for best British comedy drama. It's perfectly serviceable as a show but it is rather Channel 4 comedy drama-by-numbers. Fresh Meat, No Angels, Teachers (well, if you take the first two awesome series out of the equation), the slightly less-decent Sirens: they all operate in such a similar manner that after you've seen one you've sort of seen them all.
- The very positive critical reaction to the show surprised us a bit; the lukewarm ratings rattled just above the one-million mark and seemed to match what was on offer more tightly.
- Worst celebrity panel show: Celebrity Juice. And this is why we listen to Comedy.co.uk fans.
- Jason Cook
- Funny or Die and BBC Online in content talks
- Secret Edinburgh: Helen Arney's watery oasis at Warrender Swim Centre
- Must Watch Fringe Show: The Wrestling with Max & Ivan
- Al Murray, Frankie Boyle and Jimmy Carr headline Brighton Comedy Festival
- Marcus Brigstocke lands King Arthur role in Spamalot
- Sunset over Bestival 2010
- Russell Kane announces 80-date UK tour.
- Wil Hodgson
- Little Britain producer Myfanwy Moore is ITV's new comedy commissioner