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Tuesday, 9 May, 2000, 14:01 GMT 15:01 UK
BBC admits Royle mistake
The Royle Family
Royle blues: sitcom missed out on Montreux award
The BBC has admitted it made a mistake entering an out-of-date episode of the Royle Family in a prestigious international competition.

An old episode of the sitcom - about a family whose lives revolve around the television - was put forward for the Rose d'Or festival in Montreux.

The show, from 1998, fell outside the 12-month cut-off date for the contest, but the BBC pointed out the festival jury had made its decision before the error came to light.

Caroline Aherne
Writer and creator Caroline Aherne

The wedding episode entered was ineligible - a more recent edition featuring Anthony Royle's 18th birthday should have been submitted instead.

The Corporation is investigating the mix-up, but it is thought to be down to human error.

A spokeswoman for the BBC said: "Unfortunately it does appear that the wrong episode of the Royle Family was inadvertently shown in competition at Montreux.

"However, it did not result in disqualification from the show. It only came to light after the jury had picked the winners of the sitcom category.

"The Royle Family went down very well in Montreux but it was up against a very strong field."

The series, produced by Granada for the BBC, was expected to do well in Montreux, but the top sitcom prize was given instead to All Stars from the Netherlands.

Last year the Royle Family swept the boards at the British Comedy Awards, winning four titles, including best actress for its star and creator Caroline Aherne.

It also claimed the best TV sitcom award, while Ricky Tomlinson, who plays Jim Royle - the slovenly head of the Royle family - was named best actor.

Silver Rose

The BBC had better luck at Montreux with its spoof documentary series People Like Us.

The fly-on-the-wall series, presented by roving reporter Chris Langham, received a Silver Rose after winning the comedy category at the annual five-day festival.

The League of Gentlemen
Different League: The League of Gentlemen scooped last year's top prize

BBC One's comedy game show Friends Like These, hosted by double act Ant and Dec, won a Bronze Rose award, with the comedy equivalent given to Channel 4's Trigger Happy TV.

Robbie Williams Live at Slane Castle, made by Done & Dusted, won the bronze for music, but it was pipped by Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, which took the silver award.

But despite its run of wins, the UK failed to repeat the success of BBC Two comedy The League of Gentlemen, which last year scooped the Golden Rose for best overall TV entertainment programme.

This year, the top prize went for the first time to Belgium for The Mole (La Taupe), an offbeat twist on the adventure game genre.

See also:

17 Nov 99 | Entertainment
Royle flush in comedy shortlist
16 Sep 99 | Entertainment
Aherne plans right Royle film
28 Apr 99 | Entertainment
UK blossoms at Golden Rose awards
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