New scandal hits British Comedy Awards

2004 vote was suspect, too

The British Comedy Awards has been hit by yet another scandal over its phone voting.

Investigators are said to have discovered problems with the 2004 People’s Choice award, with viewers asked to phone in and vote after the prize had already been awarded to Little Britain stars Matt Lucas and David Walliams.

The second half of the ceremony was aired with a delay, so people were still paying to register a vote, even though it would not have counted. It has been reported that just under £5,000 was wrongly taken from viewers.

Earlier this year, ITV was fined £5.6million for a string of phone-vote deceptions, including the People’s Choice award at the 2005 awards, which was given to Ant And Dec, even though Catherine Tate was the rightful winner.

Ofcom could impose a fine of more than £100,000 for the new errors, the Guardian reports.

An ITV spokesman said: ‘As part of an independent investigation into the 2005 British Comedy Awards commissioned by ITV, [legal firm] Olswang identified that the second part of the 2004 awards was recorded and then broadcast as live.’

ITV refused to show last year's British Comedy Awards because of the fallout from the phone vote scandal.

Published: 16 Aug 2008

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