Belfast Telegraph

Comedy awards dropped by Channel 4

Channel 4 has dropped the British Comedy Awards after broadcasting the ceremony for the last four years.

The channel said that it wanted to invest in new comedy series.

Jonathan Ross has hosted the ceremony, which has caused controversy over the years.

Last year, Ross joked about the new venue - Wembley, in north-west London, for the show, which was sponsored by Lidl, as he opened the ceremony, claiming it was so awful and remote that ''even the Ebola virus can't be bothered to get the Tube here".

The ceremony hit the headlines in 2005 when it was broadcast on ITV and it emerged that Ant and Dec were awarded a prize that they did not win.

The Catherine Tate Show had collected more votes for the People's Choice Award.

Viewers of the ITV show were asked to keep voting on premium rate lines even though the duo had already been filmed winning the People's Choice Award.

Another of its most famous moments came when Julian Clary was banned for comments he made about former chancellor of the exchequer Norman Lamont.

A Channel 4 spokeswoman said: "After four great years on the channel, we will be saying goodbye to the British Comedy Awards. Our focus moving forward is investing in new comedy series."

Last year's awards were seen by 1.3 million viewers.

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