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Last Updated: Wednesday, 10 December, 2003, 23:04 GMT
Jonathan Ross bags comedy award
Jonathan Ross
Ross was hosting the awards for the 13th time
Chat show host Jonathan Ross has won a top honour at the 14th annual British Comedy Awards.

The comic has hosted the awards for 13 years and been nominated many times but always came away empty-handed.

His show Friday Night With Jonathan Ross stole the glory from Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway and Comic Relief Does Fame Academy.

Best comedy actor went to Steve Coogan while impressionist Ronni Ancona scooped best comedy actress.

Ross, accepting the award for best comedy entertainment programme, joked: "What took you so long?"

He went on: "Genuinely, I'm touched. It's been a long string of defeats.

"My work here is done, I can go home at last and rest."

Comedy newcomer

Having missed out on the top award, there was consolation for Ant and Dec.

Their Saturday Night Takeaway won the One.Tel People's Choice award, voted by viewers.

Genuinely, I'm touched. It's been a long string of defeats
Jonathan Ross

And the cheeky presenters came away with best comedy entertainment personalities, while Cold Feet won the best comedy drama category.

Coupling was named best TV comedy, My New Best Friend best new TV comedy, and Little Britain's David Walliams won best comedy newcomer.

Calendar Girls, starring Helen Mirren and Julie Walters as Yorkshire WI members stripping off for charity, won best comedy film.

The lifetime achievement award went to Jimmy Perry and David Croft, the writer-producer team behind such TV classics as Dad's Army, Hi-de-Hi! and It Ain't Half Hot Mum.

The performance lifetime achievement award went to comic Lenny Henry.

Henry joked: "I know I'm only getting this because Benjamin Zephaniah turned it down first."

Full list of winners:

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