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Sunday, 17 December, 2000, 13:11 GMT
Award for 'Cold Feet' star
James Nesbitt: Star of hit comedy series, Cold Feet
James Nesbitt: Star of hit comedy series, Cold Feet
Northern Ireland-born James Nesbitt has won the Best Actor title for his role in the hit Cold Feet series at the British Comedy Awards in London.

The actor beat off tough competition from Ricky Tomlinson who plays Joe in the BBC's Royle Family and fellow Irish comedian Dylan Moran who stars in Black Books.

He has also featured in BBC Northern Ireland's Ballykissangel and starred in several films.

It was a double success for Cold Feet as the ITV series also won the award for Best TV Drama for the second year running at the gala event.

Caroline Aherne: Writer of Royle Family
Caroline Aherne: Shouted "get on with it"
The occasion did not pass off without controversy as Royle Family writer Caroline Aherne heckled Sir Nigel Hawthorne as he accepted a lifetime achievement award on behalf of Alan Bennett.

Ms Aherne is understood to have shouted "get on with it" during Sir Nigel's speech.

He stopped his speech and replied: "Would you like to do this yourself madam? I'm not speaking for myself you understand."

The show's host, Jonathan Ross, apologised to Sir Nigel. "Not all of us can handle the drink my friend, although normally she can," he said.

After the award ceremony Sir Nigel said he had been "horrified" by the heckling.

Aherne is known to have been fighting a drink problem.

Veteran comedienne Victoria Wood picked up two of the prestigious awards.

Ms Wood won the writer of the year award while her comedy Dinnerladies won the best comedy category.

Sue Johnston from the BBC One sitcom, The Royle Family, won best television comedy actress and Cork-born Graham Norton was named best TV comedy personality.

Sue Johnston is the latest Royle to get an award

Receiving her award she paid tribute to Caroline Aherne for showing "such remarkable talent".

She said she had never considered herself to be a comedy actress, and so the award was all the more amazing.

"I have made people cry most of my career, to be nominated against Victoria Wood and Cathy Burke and to win is just amazing," she said.

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See also:

07 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Ant and Dec leave BBC
17 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Honours even in ratings war
11 Oct 00 | Entertainment
Barrymore is viewers' favourite
15 May 00 | Entertainment
A Royle night at the Baftas
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