I was at the British Comedy Awards on Saturday night. Compared to other years, it was pretty mild (I was there when Julian Clary joked that he’d been fisting the chancellor Norman Lamont, a joke which led to his career being awarded to Paul O’Grady). The only real surprise was that Ryan Giggs didn’t win anything. Still, there was the usual amont of quality bitterness. It can only be a matter of time before they feed some poor victim to the baying comic masses by including a Lifetime Lack of Achievement Award (hope I don’t get a nom for that one). Here are some thoughts, a couple of jokes and some padding…
BEST LIFT AWARD – one of the highlights of the Awards is the lift you get from reception to the studio when you first arrive. The idea is to get in a lift which, if it burst into flames, would inflict a loss on British comedy so severe they’d be forced to show repeats of “Allo Allo” for a generation. This year’s haul was Griff Rhys Jones, Keith Allen and Frankie Boyle. Not too bad. I suspect if we’d been stuck there for days Frankie and Keith would have eaten me by Day 3.
MOST SHOCKING JOKE: This was the first year (I think) that the Comedy Awards weren’t going out totally live but were subject to a 15 minute delay known as Andrew Sachs Time. Which I think encouraged my liftmucker Frankie Boyle to really go for it, comparing the unusual award-announcing combination of Pamela Anderson and Vivienne Westwood to a before and after advert. That bit went out. The bit he added (what it was before and after) didn’t. Some people on my table thought he meant to say “HRT” but I think he knew exactly which 3 letters he wanted to say.
PERSONAL HIGHLIGHT: Lee Majors. The Six Million Dollar Man. I still sing the theme tune to myself when I’m running, convinced it will make me go faster. I loved Harry Hill’s impression and Lee Majors’ face as he did it. He just had to suffer something he’d suffered thousands of times, like the guy I once worked with called Anil Rash. To us, though, it was hilarious and a one-off. How we laughed!
MISSED TV TRICK OF THE NIGHT: What?! They didn’t show us the faces of the gutted kids when Charlie Brooker won (I’ve already banged on about this here). Ross and Brand have a lot to answer for.
THE GOODY BAG: No $20,000 earrings or jewel-encrusted condoms (actually not that practical idea come to think about it), but there was a Pocket Guide to Dubai (“Sale. Everything Must Go!”?), a Bowel Cancer foam bum (thank God they didn’t go with a brown ribbon) and a Tunnocks Caramel bar. Ambassador, wiz zees Maryland Mini Cookies you are spoileeeng us.
GENEROSITY SHOCK: Mayan mythology tells that once every 2 or 3000 years a roomful of bitter comedians will actually feel unsullied warmth and generosity for one of their number. It happened with Graham Linehan’s award. For a moment, we all felt pure pleasure for a lovely and talented bloke. In the aftermath, confusion and sickness reigned – it was like just after everyone blacked out in FlashForward: what happened? What were those strange emotions? Quickly, someone made a joke about James Corden and normal bitterness was soon restored.
And one final thought…
MICHAEL McINTYRE: Let’s be clear. He’s a nice bloke who makes a lot of people laugh. He is not Joseph Fritzl. Although he did share a lift with him on the way to the studio.
Thanks to @2muchcoffeekate for the Ferrero Rocher gag.