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Last Updated: Wednesday, 5 December 2007, 17:47 GMT
Comic talent attends awards gala
Catherine Tate as Nan
Catherine Tate's sketch show has earned her a best actress nod
Comic stars including Catherine Tate and Jack Dee are among the hopefuls vying for glory at the British Comedy Awards taking place in London.

BBC Three sitcom Gavin and Stacey leads the field with seven nominations, including best TV comedy and two nods for the show's co-star Ruth Jones.

The ceremony will not be aired live after ITV uncovered a phone-in irregularity during the 2005 edition.

ITV paid a 700,000 fee to prevent other networks showing the ceremony.

Double act

Jonathan Ross will host ceremony, which is taking place at the London Television Centre.

Jones faces competition from Catherine Tate in the comedy actress category.

She is also known for her role in Little Britain as Welsh barmaid Myfanwy in the show's "I'm the only gay in the village" sketches.

TV veteran Liz Smith has also been nominated for her role in Royle Family special The Queen of Sheba.

Stand-up Jack Dee is up for the best TV comedy actor prize for his role in BBC Four sitcom Lead Balloon.

Ruth Jones
Ruth Jones has also been recognised for her role in Saxondale
Other candidates include Channel 4's Friday Night Project double act Alan Carr and Justin Lee Collins - nominated together for the best comedy entertainment personality prize - and QI host Stephen Fry.

But there are no nominations for Ant and Dec, whose victory in 2005's People's Choice award prompted the internal investigation.

Allegations that viewers had been encouraged to vote in the category in a section of the programme broadcast with a half-hour time delay are being probed.

In reality, the winner of the award - Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway - had already been announced.

ITV has said it would not comment on the matter until the investigation was concluded.

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