Comedian Russell Brand has taken one of the top prizes at this year’s British Comedy Awards, held in London on Saturday night.
The controversial funnyman – who recently resigned from his Radio 2 show following the row over prank calls he and Jonathan Ross made to the actor Andrew Sachs – won the award for Best Live Stand-Up.
He was not there in person but was seen on film in Los Angeles, accepting the award from comedy actor Adam Sandler.
“I would like to dedicate this award to Jonathan Ross,” he said. “There are no comedy awards without Jonathan Ross, he is the kingmaker.”
Ross, who is currently suspended from all BBC duties following the phone call incident, stepped down from presenting the awards this year and was replaced by Angus Deayton.
And Deayton wasted no time in making jokes about Ross’ absence. “Normally at awards shows it’s winners who can’t be here but this time it’s the host,” he quipped.
Other winners included Ricky Gervais, who won the Best Comedy Actor prize for his role in the 2007 Extras Christmas Special.
Gervais – who appeared on film sitting in bed in his pyjamas, surrounded by awards, said “I can’t be bothered to be there in person. This is beneath me to be honest, I’ve won real awards, Golden Globes and Emmys.”
Sharon Horgan was named Best Comedy Actress for her role in the BBC comedy Pulling, while Alan Carr won the Best Comedy Entertainment Personality Prize.
Special awards were given to writer David Renwick – best known for One Foot In The Grave – and funnyman Jasper Carrott, while comedy producer Geoffrey Perkins, who died in a road accident earlier this year, was honoured posthumously.
The 55-year-old had worked on some of the biggest TV comedy shows of recent years including The Catherine Tate Show and Father Ted. His daughter Charlotte, accepting the award, said her father would have been “extremely surprised and utterly honoured to receive it”.