They met as students at Cambridge University's Footlights and trod the boards at the Edinburgh Fringe for several years before hitting the big time.
But a decade on, David Mitchell and Robert Webb have capped recent television success with five nominations at the prestigious British Comedy Awards.
The pair, who rose to fame playing hapless young flatmates Mark and Jeremy in Channel 4's Peep Show, have enjoyed a remarkable year, culminating in their own prime-time BBC2 sketch show. That Mitchell and Webb Look, adapted from their successful Radio 4 show, has proved a ratings winner for the double act. It has been nominated as best new TV comedy of 2006, alongside Channel 4's Star Stories and Five's Suburban Shootout. It is also up for the people's choice award. Peep Show, meanwhile, is up for the best TV comedy award, pitted against the BBC's Extras and The Thick of It.
Mitchell, 32, and Webb, 33, face their stiffest competition in the category of best TV comedy actor - for which they are jointly nominated - from Ricky Gervais and his Extras co-star, Stephen Merchant. The competition should at least be good-natured - Gervais has described Peep Show as the "best thing in television".
The duo has also been nominated for the accolade of the best stage comedy for The Two Faces of Mitchell and Webb, which is pitted against Little Britain, Robin Ince's Book Club, The League of Gentlemen Are Behind You, and The Mighty Boosh.
Now in its 17th year, the British Comedy Awards 2006 will be held on 13 December, hosted by Jonathan Ross and screened live on ITV1. Other nominations include Russell Brand, who is nominated in the best male newcomer category, against Alan Carr and Justin Lee Collins for The Friday Night Project, and Kevin Bishop of Channel 4's Star Stories.
Charlotte Church, Katherine Parkinson and Miranda Hart are all nominated for best female comedy newcomer. Nominations for best TV comedy actress of 2006 include Catherine Tate, The IT Crowd's Katherine Parkinson and Green Wing's Tamsin Greig.
In the best comedy entertainment personality category, Ant & Dec are pitted against Harry Hill and Paul Merton.
Wallace & Gromit: the Curse of the Were-Rabbit, the quirky Little Miss Sunshine and Confetti will battle it out for best comedy film, while Curb Your Enthusiasm, Everybody Hates Chris and The Office: An American Workplace have been nominated for best international comedy. Al Murray, best known for his pub landlord routine, is a contender for the best live stand up tour, alongside Jimmy Carr, Lee Evans, Lee Mack, Ross Noble and Russell Brand.Reuse content