Steve Coogan, Will Ferrell and Paul Whitehouse scoop special prizes at the British Comedy Awards

Coogan has won the Outstanding Achievement award while Anchorman star Ferrell will pick up the International Achievement prize at tomorrow's ceremony

Steve Coogan has won the Outstanding Achievement award at the British Comedy Awards, with American comedy actor Will Ferrell scooping the International Achievement award.


Another comedy great to be garlanded with a special award a day before the December 12 ceremony is The Fast Show’s Paul Whitehouse who will pick up this year’s Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Award.

Ferrell, star of modern Christmas classic Elf and Anchorman: The Legend of Ron Burgundy, said: “I’d love to say how honoured and thrilled I am to be receiving this award; I’d love to say how honoured I am to be held in such high regard by the British comedy community but, at this juncture, I think it would be more prudent to say: no comment.”

Coogan was also in the joshing spirit. He said: “I can honestly say I am almost humbled by having my modest contribution to the world of comedy be pronounced ‘Outstanding’. Over the last 25 years I have worked with many wonderful people and a few bastards. Of the many epithets I have received – cutting edge, acerbic, incisive, one trick pony, visionary and ‘depressingly popular’ (Time Out) – Outstanding is perhaps the most flattering.

“Of all the accolades I have received the most gratifying is undoubtedly Best Screenplay at the Venice Film Festival and then probably this one. Although I don’t pay enough attention to the comedy Zeitgeist, preferring instead to watch reruns of Nazi-Hunters on the Military channel, it is never the less an honour to be recognised among my peers. I can only hope that one day my epitaph will read Here lies Alan Partridge AKA Steve Coogan. God bless you all.”

Last week Channel 4 announced that Plebs, ITV2’s comedy about a group of Misfits from Ancient Rome, had won the best new comedy award.

Ferrell, Coogan and Whitehouse will all be present to receive their awards during the live broadcast on Channel 4 from 9pm tomorrow (Thursday December 12).

The awards will be hosted by Jonathan Ross and broadcast live on C4 with the night rounded off by announcing the King or Queen of Comedy.

The nominees for this are Alan Carr, David Mitchell, Graham Norton, Jack Whitehall, Lee Mack and Sarah Millican.