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Sunday, 15 December, 2002, 17:44 GMT
Office sweep at comedy awards
Cast members of The Office
The Office won acclaim from viewers and critics
Hit TV sitcom The Office and its star Ricky Gervais were among the winners at the British Comedy Awards on Saturday, picking up two major prizes.

The BBC2 series beat off competition from Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights to be named best TV comedy and its lead man Gervais, who plays boss David Brent, took the title of best comedy actor.

Phoenix Nights star Kay was not left empty-handed, taking the writer of the year award, while the best comedy entertainment personality went to Graham Norton.

Norton's Channel Four show - V Graham Norton - also won the award for best entertainment programme.

Live vote

A special lifetime achievement award went to former Python Michael Palin.

Some of the cast from The Kumars at Number 42
The Kumars were among the winners

And Gimme Gimme Gimme's Kathy Burke won Best Comedy Actress, after a three-way battle with impressionist Ronni Ancona and Ab Fab star Joanna Lumley.

Peter Kay's Phoenix Nights won the people's choice award after a live phone-in.

The show's star, Peter Kay, could not be at the ceremony to accept his award in person as he was on tour.

But afterwards the show's producers spoke of their delight at receiving the public vote.

"It's amazing," said co-writer Neil Fitzmaurice.

"A public vote is very special because there are a lot of politics behind awards ceremonies and there are different reasons why different shows win awards.

"To win one from a phone vote may be purer than the others," he said.

This year's awards were hosted by Jonathan Ross at the LWT headquarters on London's Southbank.

See also:

14 Jul 02 | Entertainment
19 Nov 02 | Entertainment
16 Dec 02 | Entertainment
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