Miranda Hart crowned queen of British Comedy Awards

Miranda Hart said she was "genuinely thrilled" by her success - Footage courtesy Channel 4

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Miranda Hart has triumphed at the British Comedy Awards, walking away with three titles, including Best Female Comedy Actress.

Her BBC Two sitcom Miranda - which she stars in and writes - won Best New TV Comedy, and the comedian also picked up the People's Choice Award - chosen by viewers.

At the awards ceremony at Indigo, part of London's O2 Arena, hosted by Jonathan Ross, Hart said she was "genuinely thrilled".

Meanwhile, Russell Brand won the Outstanding Contribution To Comedy award. He was unable to collect it in person because of a family friend being unwell, and instead sent a video message.

Michael McIntyre Stand-up comedian Michael McIntyre won Best Male TV Comic

Tributes to him from stars including Adam Sandler, Robert Downey Jr and Noel Gallagher were also shown.

Gallagher said: "He's lived his life on the edge and that idea comes across in his work."

Saturday night's live awards show was shown on Channel 4 for first time in its 20-year history, after the broadcaster secured the rights to the programme for three years. It was previously screened on ITV.

'Thanks for not suing'

Throughout Saturday's show, host Ross took every opportunity to make jokes at the expense of fellow celebrities, including describing Simon Anstell's acting as "so wooden Ray Mears tried to make a canoe out of him".

Stand-up comedian Michael McIntyre won Best Male TV Comic, while Best Comedy Panel Show went to BBC One's Would I Lie To You.

Goldie Hawn Goldie Hawn added some Hollywood glamour

Accepting the award, one of the stars of the show, Lee Mack, joked: "We'd just like to thank the creators of Call My Bluff for not suing us."

Hollywood star Goldie Hawn was there to hand out the award for Best TV Comedy Actor to Peter Capaldi, the star of The Thick Of It, in which he plays foul-mouthed spin doctor Malcolm Tucker.

Jo Brand won the Best Female TV Comic award, while Best Sitcom was won by The Inbetweeners.

Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong, the writers of the Bafta-winning Channel 4 cult sitcom Peep Show, which stars David Mitchell and Robert Webb, won the Writers' Guild Award.

Former controversy

BBC children's show Horrible Histories won the award for Best Sketch Show, beating off competition from adult shows such as Armstrong and Miller. This year was the first to see a children's comedy show nominated for an award.

The British Comedy Lifetime Achievement Award went to Roy Clarke, the writer of numerous hit shows including Last of the Summer Wine and Open All Hours.

In recent years the British Comedy Awards ceremony has been marred by controversy, with jokes made by Ross being heavily criticised in the press.

In 2006 he made a joke about Heather Mills and her prosthetic leg, and the following year the presenter suggested he thought he was worth "1,000 BBC journalists" during a time when the corporation was making lots of redundancies in its news division.

He was temporarily replaced by Angus Deayton in 2008 following the "Sachsgate" row - which ensued after Ross and Russell Brand left lewd messages for Fawlty Towers actor Andrew Sachs - and his BBC suspension.

In 2007 ITV suspended broadcasting of the event for that year while phone-voting problems were looked into.

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