Channel 4 relaunches Comedy Awards | Revamped ceremony coming next spring

Channel 4 relaunches Comedy Awards

Revamped ceremony coming next spring

Channel 4 is launching a successor to the British Comedy Awards.

The first National Comedy Awards will be given out in March next year at a televised red-carpet event as part of the broadcaster’s Stand Up To Cancer strand of fundraising programming.

Phil Harris, Channel 4’s head of entertainment, said: ‘This is an award show for our times. Fans will be able to vote on the people, some established and others less so, who really make them laugh. We will be celebrating some incredible comedy talent while supporting the incredible Stand Up To Cancer. It promises to be a very special night of TV.’

Channel 4’s director of programmes, Ian Katz announced the news at the online Edinburgh TV festival today, where he also revealed that comic Rosie Jones is making a travel show.

The new awards will be produced by Hungry Bear Media, which makes such high-profile entertainment programmes as Michael McIntyre’s Big Show  and All Round To Mrs Brown’s.

Managing director Dan Baldwin said: ‘This has been a difficult year for so many, but the copious hours of comedy has helped through tough times.

‘Next year, with Channel 4, we’ll celebrate the comedy community with a prestigious, respected and distinguished televised awards ceremony which will congratulate all corners of the comedy world.

‘And we can’t wait to help put a smile on people’s faces whilst doing it.’

The British Comedy Awards were given out every year from 1990 to 2014, and included such memorable moments as Spike Milligan calling Prince Charles ‘a little grovelling bastard’ and Julian Clary making a crude innuendo about fisting Chancellor Norman Lamont.

Almost always hosted by Jonathan Ross, they were broadcast on ITV until 2010 – except for 2007, when they remained off-screen because of a scandal over phone-in votes two years earlier, when Ant & Dec were declared winners, even though Catherine Tate won more support.

The awards moved to Channel 4 in 2010, but the broadcaster decided not to renew the contact with previous production company Michael Hurll Television after 2014. At their peak, they attracted almost 8 million viewers, but the last ceremony was seen by 1.35million

Published: 25 Aug 2020

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