Day: December 30, 2015

British Comedy Awards 1998 – tape 2439

We enter the 1998 British Comedy Awards in progress, with Jonathan Ross making jokes about the set.

“The people’s choice award is decided by a phone vote. (SOUND EFFECT: Kerching.) The proceeds from this year’s vote will be going towards research into the causes of Noel’s House Party.”

The audience award nominations are clearly plucked one from each channel. One Foot in the Grave and Have I Got News For You from the BBC, ITV offer An Audience with the Spice GirlsFather Ted represents C4, and for Channel 5? Night Fever. No, me neither.

Presenting the first award, Helen Baxendale and James Nesbitt. Ross: “Cold Feet is fantastic, it’s great. Is it as surprising to you guys that it’s on ITV as the rest of us?”

Helen Baxendale and James Nesbitt

Nesbitt: “It’s surprising that anyone’s prepared to give John Thompson that length of contract”
Ross: “Is he with us tonight, John?”
Nesbitt: “Um, I don’t know.”
Ross: “Maybe in spirit only, as always.”

Leslie Phillips presents Best ITV Personality.

Leslie Phillips

He manages to mispronounce David Baddiel’s name as David Biddell. Both he and Frank Skinner were up against Chris Tarrant (comedy?) and Michael Barrymore. Unsurprisingly, Barrymore wins. He even does some rather mean-spirited lisp gags at Ross’s expense. He’s really quite a nasty piece of work, based on these appearances.

Another presenter is Eurovision winner Dana International. Cue some jokes about gender realignment, and the name of the show’s sponsor.

Dana International

Nominated for Top Stand-up, alongside Peter Key and Tommy Tiernan, is Al Murray. Not sure who this is they cut to, though.

Not Al Murray

I imagine he’s sitting next to Al Murray. Tommy Tiernan wins, surprisingly.

Presenting Best Newcomer, Hollywood swimming star Esther Williams

Esther Williams

Mo Mowlem is a popular presenter.

Mo Mowlem

Armando Iannucci and Peter Baynham win for best sitcom, with I’m Alan Partridge.

Peter Baynham and armando Iannucci

Liddy Oldroyd and Andy Hamilton accept the award for best comedy drama for Underworld, a series that completely passed me by.

Liddy Oldroyd and Andy Hamilton

The writers’ guild award goes to Frank Muir and Denis Norden (Muir posthumously).

Muir and Norden

Nominated for a radio award, Milton Jones, seen here with Alexander Armstrong and Mo Mowlem.

Alexander Armstrong, Milton Jones, Mo Mowlem

Thora Hird wins the lifetime achievement award.

Thora Hird 2

And to present the last award of the evening, an icon of comedy, Linda Blair off of The Exorcist.

Linda Blair

Winner Steve Coogan was slightly nonplussed, since he was up against the late Dermot Morgan, so he spent most of his speech paying tribute to him.

The show actually runs a bit short, so they have to repeat ITV’s funniest moments at the end. The recording stops just after the show, as the ITV weather is starting.


  • BMW 7 Series
  • Prince of Egypt in cinemas
  • Freixenet
  • Comet
  • Siemens SL10
  • Goldeneye – N64
  • Fosters
  • Southern Comfort
  • Philishave
  • Hooch
  • cKOne
  • Gordon’s & Tonic
  • Thomson TV
  • Woolworth’s – Billy Connolly
  • The Mark of Zorro – in cinemas
  • Guinness
  • Archers
  • Mumm Cordon Rouge
  • Ford Cougar
  • Orange
  • Alka Seltzer
  • Holsten Pils
  • Yellow Pages
  • Rennie
  • Tia Maria
  • Playstation – Crash Bandicoot
  • Tommy Girl
  • John Smith’s
  • Bell’s
  • Heineken
  • Eternity
  • Organics
  • One2One