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Wednesday, November 17, 1999 Published at 22:06 GMT


Royle flush in comedy shortlist

Sofa superstars: The Royle Family has been a hit for the BBC

Caroline Aherne's BBC One sitcom The Royle Family leads the nominations for this year's British Comedy Awards - with five nominations in a shortlist dominated by new talent.

The programme, about a family whose lives revolve around watching television, is up for best sitcom, while writer Aherne is up for best comedy actress, and her screen spouse Craig Cash is nominated for best male newcomer. Jessica Stevenson - who plays Denise's friend Cheryl - is up for best female character.

[ image: Banjo man: Ricky Tomlinson as Jim Royle]
Banjo man: Ricky Tomlinson as Jim Royle
Ricky Tomlinson - slobby father Jim Royle - is shortlisted for best comedy actor.

Jessica Stevenson's other show, Spaced, is nominated for three awards. Her co-star, Simon Pegg, is nominated for best male newcomer, while the show is also up for best TV sitcom. Spaced recently finished its first run on Channel 4 after first appearing on the Paramount satellite channel.

ITV's Cold Feet is also nominated for three awards: best comedy actor for James Nesbitt, best actress for Fay Ripley and best comedy drama.

Sacha Baron Cohen - the man behind spoof interviewer Ali G - and Daisy Donovan won two nominations for the 11 O'Clock Show while Channel 4's Smack The Pony and BBC Two's League of Gentlemen also won two nominations.

The awards will be broadcast live on ITV on 18 December, hosted by Julian Clary.

The nominations in full are:

Best Television Comedy Actor: James Nesbitt (Cold Feet), Ricky Tomlinson (The Royle Family), Paul Whitehouse (Ted and Ralph)

Best Television Comedy Actress: Caroline Aherne (The Royle Family/ Mrs Merton and Malcolm), Kathy Burke (Gimme Gimme Gimme), Fay Ripley (Cold Feet)

Best Comedy Entertainment Personality: Michael Barrymore (Strike It Rich/ My Kind Of Music), Paul Merton (Room 101/ Have I Got News For You), Graham Norton (So Graham Norton)

Best Live Stand-up: Bill Bailey, Ed Byrne, Rich Hall

[ image: Shown some respect: Sacha Baron Cohen's Ali G]
Shown some respect: Sacha Baron Cohen's Ali G
Best Male Comedy Newcomer: Sacha Baron Cohen (11 O'Clock Show), Craig Cash (The Royle Family), Simon Pegg (Spaced/ Big Train)

Best Female Comedy Newcomer: Daisy Donovan (11 O'Clock Show), Sally Phillips (Smack The Pony), Jessica Stevenson (Spaced/ The Royle Family)

Best New TV Comedy: Dinnerladies (Pozzitive production for BBC One), The League Of Gentlemen (BBC Two), People Like Us (BBC Two)

Best Broken Comedy Show: Big Train (TalkBack for BBC Two), The League of Gentlemen (BBC Two), Smack The Pony (TalkBack for Channel 4)

Best Comedy Game show: Families At War (Channel X for BBC One), Have I Got News For You (Hat Trick for BBC Two), Never Mind The Buzzcocks (TalkBack for BBC Two)

Best Comedy Talk show: Room 101 (Hat Trick for BBC Two), Ruby's American Pie (BBC One), So Graham Norton (United for Channel 4).

Best TV Sitcom: Dinnerladies (Pozzitive for BBC One), Gimme Gimme Gimme (Tiger Aspect for BBC Two), The Royle Family (Granada for BBC One), Spaced (LWT/ Paramount Comedy Channel)

Best TV Comedy Drama: Cold Feet (Granada for ITV), Jonathan Creek Christmas Special: Black Canary (BBC One), Ted And Ralph (BBC Two)

Best Comedy Film: Antz, Notting Hill, There's Something About Mary

Best International Comedy Show: The Larry Sanders Show (Columbia Tristar), Seinfeld (Columbia Tristar), The Simpsons (Fox)

Best Comedy Entertainment Programme: Celebrity Stars In Their Eyes (Granada for ITV), Comic Relief 1999 (BBC One), Two Ronnies Night (BBC Two)

Best Radio Comedy: Jonathan Ross (Virgin Radio), Old Harry's Game (BBC Radio 4), The Sunday Format (BBC Radio 4).

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