Liz Smith – Nana in the Royle Family – picked up the Best Actress gong at the British Comedy Awards at the age of 85.

The awards ceremony, hosted by Jonathan Ross, went ahead despite the fact that it may never be broadcast.

Romantic comedy series Gavin And Stacey, and the relatively small digital channel it is broadcast on, BBC3, was the biggest winner of the night.

Scunthorpe-born Liz beat Catherine Tate to Best Actress for her role in Royle Family special The Queen Of Sheba, which saw Caroline Aherne, Ricky Tomlinson and their co-stars return to the sofa for the first time in six years.

Gavin And Stacey picked up three awards – Best New British Television Comedy, Best Female Comedy Newcomer for Ruth Jones and Best Male Comedy Newcomer for James Corden.

The pair are the co-creators of the show and also play up-front Nessa and best man Smithy, best friends of the central characters.

David Mitchell beat Jack Dee to Best Television Comedy Actor for Channel 4 comedy Peep Show, which also scooped the Best Television Comedy gong.

Stephen Fry was the recipient of the British Comedy Lifetime Achievement Award and Hot Fuzz star Simon Pegg took the Writers’ Guild Ronnie Barker Award.

ITV made the decision to ‘suspend’ broadcast of Britain’s most watched awards after they were caught up in the TV phone vote scandal. It stopped other channels airing the ceremony live by paying a £700,000 blocking fee.