In a move that will doubtless offend The Daily Mail, and create more headlines for the paper, Russell Brand picked up a gong last night at the British Comedy Awards.
The comedian was at the centre of a media storm – which the right-wing paper was instrumental in whipping up – earlier this year alongside Jonathan Ross. The scandal arose from the pair’s prank calling of the actor Andrew Sachs, and a series of lewd messages they left on his answering machine. However, the Daily Mail was more than happy to draw attention to the incident which occurred on BBC radio, driving up the number of complaints significantly.
The storm caused Brand to quit his BBC Radio 2 show and the controller of the station, Lesley Douglas, to leave her position. Jonathan Ross, meanwhile, was suspended by the Beeb for his role in the misjudged telephone ‘joke’. Ross was meant to host last night’s awards but pulled out following the storm surrounding the calls and was replaced by Angus Deayton.
Brand picked up the award for Best Live Stand-up and paid tribute to Jonathan Ross when awarded the gong in Los Angeles.
Other winners: Ricky Gervais won Best Television Comedy Award for the 2007 Extra’s Christmas Special and Sharon Horgan, star and writer of Pulling, won Best Comedy Entertainment Actress. Alan Carr was presented with the Best Comedy Entertainment Personality prize and Harry Hill’s TV Burp won Best Comedy Entertainment Programme.
The ever popular BBC comedy series Gavin and Stacey won Best TV Comedy and Drop Dead Gorgeous won Best Comedy Drama. Best New British Comedy was won by C4’s The Inbetweeners and Best Male Comedy Newcomer for Simon Bird. Jasper Carrott was award an Lifetime Achievement Award and Katy Brand won Best Female Comedy Newcomer.