Merchant banks another prize

RTS award for Extras star

Stephen Merchant has won another award for his comedy performance in Extras.

Three months after winning a British Comedy Award ahead his more famous co-star Ricky Gervais, Merchant has scooped a Royal Television Society Award.

Judges said: ‘In the second series of this brilliant hit comedy, he has stepped out of the shadow of his illustrious partner, and craftily stolen the show’

Simon Amstell, Lee Mack and The Royle Family: The Queen of Sheba were also among the winners last night.

Amstell won the best entertainment performance award, over fellow nominees Harry Hill and Friday Night Project hosts Justin Lee Collin and Alan Carr, for hosting Never Mind The Buzzcocks.

His citation read: ‘With a comic style that is irreverent, exciting and original, he has totally revitalised a long-running format to make it, once again, must-watch TV.’

Mack shared the breakthrough award for behind-the-scenes talent with Andrew Collins, for writing the BBC One sitcom Not Going Out. ‘The winning programme was a real treat,’ judges said. ‘Well observed and well-written, with a stream of non-stop, laugh-out loud gags.’

The Royle Family special was named best comedy, being hailed as ‘a masterclass in writing’, while creators Caroline Aherne, Craig Cash and Phil Mealey won the comedy writing award.

Michael Sheen was lauded as best actor for playing Kenneth Williams in BBC Four drama Fantabulosa; while Dame Helen Mirren won best actress at the London ceremony.

Published: 14 Mar 2007

Today's comedy-on demand picks

COMEDY STORE PLAYERS

The UK's longest-running improv team are putting a show online for the very first time since they started in 1985. They will be live-stream an hour of Sunday night footage from their archives from 7.30pm.

The line-up will feature Paul Merton, Richard Vranch, Neil Mullarkey Josie Lawrence, Lee Simpson and Andy Smart.

Click for more suggestions

... including Andrew Maxwell Breaks The Internet and a streamed version of the 2017 Edinburgh Fringe curio Panopticon, from the Consignia sketch group.

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