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Saturday, 18 December, 1999, 23:37 GMT
Royles clean up at comedy awards
Sofa superstars: The Royle Family has been a hit for the BBC
BBC One sitcom The Royle Family has swept the boards at the British Comedy Awards, winning four titles including best actress for its star and creator Caroline Aherne.

The show - about a family whose lives revolve around the television - won best TV sitcom at the awards night hosted by Jonathan Ross in London.

Ricky Tomlinson won best actor as Jim Royle
Ricky Tomlinson, who plays lazy slob Jim - the self-proclaimed head of the Royle family - was named best actor and Jessica Stevenson, who plays a family friend and also appeared in Channel 4's Spaced, took the female newcomer award.

Other major winners included Paul Merton as best entertainment personality, and Sacha Baron Cohen, Channel 4's Ali G, who was best male newcomer.

The Royle Family began life on BBC Two, but its huge success soon led to a transfer to BBC One for its second series.

It revolves around a working class Manchester family as they chat in front of the TV.

Guests at the awards included Hollywood actress Jane Seymour and Adam West, who played superhero Batman in the 1960s US TV series.

Victoria Wood's BBC One show Dinnerladies was named best new TV comedy, and ITV's bittersweet Cold Feet took the title for best comedy drama.

Best newcomer: Sacha Baron Cohen as Ali G
Lifetime achievement awards were presented to the Two Ronnies - Ronnie Corbett and Ronnie Barker - and Barry Humphries, best known as Dame Edna Everage.

Richard Curtis took the Writer Of The Year title and saw his movie Notting Hill named Best Comedy Film.

Although The Royle Family is screened by BBC, it is produced by Granada - which also makes Cold Feet for ITV.

The Royle Family only missed one award it was nominated for - Craig Cash (Dave) lost out to Baron Cohen for the newcomer title.

The winners in full:

  • Best Television Comedy Actor: Ricky Tomlinson (The Royle Family).

  • Best Televison Comedy Actress: Caroline Aherne (The Royle Family, Mrs Merton & Malcolm).

  • Best Comedy Entertainment Personality: Paul Merton (Room 101, Have I Got News For You).

  • Best Live Stand-up: Bill Bailey (The Comedy Store 99/Edinburgh 99).

  • Best Male Comedy Newcomer: Sacha Baron Cohen (Ali G from The 11 O'Clock Show).

  • Best Female Comedy Newcomer: Jessica Stevenson (Spaced, The Royle Family).

  • Best New TV Comedy: Dinnerladies (BBC One).

  • Best Broken Comedy Show: Big Train (BBC Two).

  • Best Comedy Gameshow: Have I Got News For You (BBC Two).

  • Best Comedy Talkshow: So Graham Norton (Channel 4).

  • Best TV Sitcom: The Royle Family (BBC Two).

  • Best TV Comedy Drama: Cold Feet (ITV).

  • Best Comedy Film: Notting Hill.

  • Best International Comedy Show: The Larry Sanders Show (BBC Two).

  • Best Comedy Entertainment Programme: Comic Relief 1999 (BBC One).

  • Best Radio Comedy: The Sunday Format (BBC Radio 4).

  • Writer Of The Year Award: Richard Curtis.

  • Lifetime Achievement Awards: Barry Humphries, The Two Ronnies.

See also:

17 Nov 99 | Entertainment
Royle flush in comedy shortlist
16 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Aherne plans right Royle film
10 Nov 99 | Entertainment
Ali G leads Channel 4's winter
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