2014 has been a fantastic year for British Comedy, and The British Comedy Awards exists to showcase a large proportion of that to the public.
Last year’s post about the British Comedy Awards ceremony was largely negative, as a result of the production rather than the comedy being nominated and awarded. The show was aired live, which meant that mistakes could not be hidden and the timing issues were obvious, with some speeches having to be cut short which seemed outrageous. This year, however, the programme aired on Channel 4 on December 17th, rather than live, on December 16th, which meant the whole affair appeared far more professional and respectable, if a little fake, to the television audience.
It was a delight to see the wonderful Harry Enfield receive three awards (individually for Best TV Comedy Actor and teamed with Paul Whitehouse (Harry & Paul) for Best Sketch Show and Best Comedy Moment). Katherine Parkinson (The IT Crowd) also won Best TV Comedy Actress, which I think is incredibly well-deserved and so endearing to see how shocked she was to be recognised. Matt Berry was nominated for a whopping six awards, though he lost to Nick Helm for Best Comedy Breakthrough Artist, which is just as it should be seeing as Berry has been a television comic for over a decade. I’m a big fan of Berry’s Toast of London; it was great to see such a strange style of sitcom win an award for once.
The person I was most pleased to see win an award was certainly Aisling Bea, who won Best Female TV Comic. Seeing this absolute ray of sunshine crawl onto stage in her dress and heels and inadvertently turn herself into a “hospital DJ,” made me laugh so much and just proved that Aisling is a funny woman through and through. I am unbelievably pleased for her and can’t wait to see what this award does for her career in the coming year. Another beautiful moment was hearing an emotional speech from Brendan O’Carroll (Mrs Brown’s Boys), who was rightly awarded with the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Award.
It’s easy to be cynical whilst watching such a grandiose display of wealth and status, and there were times throughout the production where I did feel like the spirit of British Comedy was being exploited, but, unlike Stewart Lee, I chose to ignore that this year. From the position of a viewer rather than a performer, I can see that The British Comedy Awards gives comics a platform to boost their careers or give them recognition for their lifetime achievements, and that can only be a good thing in my opinion, however unfair you believe the results to be. Out of the nominees for King or Queen of Comedy, however, Greg Davies will always win in the end.
I think my favourite part of the whole affair was hearing Tulisa say “I’m a big comedy fan.” Yes, that part made me laugh the most.