Tate takes comedy crown in Royal Television Awards

She has introduced the immortal phrase "Am I bothered?" to the English language: Last night the comedienne Catherine Tate was crowned the queen of comedy at a leading awards ceremony.

Tate won the Royal Television Society's award for best comedy performance at London's Grosvenor House Hotel, beating Little Britain's David Walliams and Matt Lucas, and Peter Capaldi in The Thick Of It.

The Catherine Tate Show was also voted best entertainment programme, triumphing over talent contest The X-Factor and reality television show I'm a Celebrity ... Get Me Out of Here. In the BBC2 show Tate plays a wide range of characters from a bored teenage schoolgirl to a foul-mouthed granny.

David Threlfall won the best actor award for playing characters as diverse as Frank Gallagher, the hapless father of the robust Mancunian clan in Channel 4's Shameless, and the Duke of Edinburgh in The Queens Sister, Channel 4's film about Princess Margaret. The judges paid tribute to Threlfall's "shire verse veritably and amazing charm".

The BBC's soap opera-style adaptation of Charles Dickens's Bleak House scooped best drama writer prize for Andrew Davies, whose credits include the BBC's Pride and Prejudice, as well as winning the award for best drama serial.

After being nominated but failing to win several prizes, Channel 4's The Peep Show, a wry look at the lives of two young men sharing a flat in London, finally won an award for best comedy writer for its creators, Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong.

The Thick of It, Armando Ianucci's Yes Minister for the 21st century, was named best sitcom.

The dramatised accounts of the events that led to the death of Dr David Kelly, Channel 4's The Government Inspector, won best single drama.

Weeds, Sky One's drama about a housewife who deals marijuana, created a stir by beating Channel 4 imports Lost and Desperate Housewives to win the award for best international programme.

But it was a good night in general for Channel 4, which also won the award for best history programme for its documentary Trafalgar Battle Surgeon as well as the science prize for Doctor Gunther Von Hagens's Anatomy for Beginners. Bill Oddie's BBC2 show Springwatch was another surprise winner in the factual entertainment category.

Selected winners

* Best Sitcom

The Thick of It (BBC4)

* Best Entertainment Show

Catherine Tate Show (BBC2)

* Best Soap

Emmerdale (ITV)

* Best Presenter

Lorraine Kelly for LK Today (GMTV)

* Best Daytime Programme

Deal or No Deal (Channel 4)

* Best Drama Serial

Bleak House (BBC1)

* Best Drama Series

Bodies (BBC3)

* Best Single Drama

The Government Inspector (Channel 4)

* Best Drama Writer

Andrew Davies for Bleak House (BBC1)

* Best Female Actor

Lesley Sharp (Afterlife)

* Best Male Actor

David Threlfall (Shameless and The Queen's Sister)

* Best Entertainment Performance

Paul O'Grady (ITV1)

* Best Comedy Performance

Catherine Tate (BBC2)

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