For The Record: Burying the British Comedy Awards scandal

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The Independent Online

It's a funny one

To the chagrin of Channel TV, which asked the media watchdog to call in the police, Ofcom appears intent on burying the British Comedy Awards scandal despite having failed to discover how ITV's Ant and Dec came to win in 2005, when the public voted for the BBC's Catherine Tate. Channel TV, which was fined by Ofcom for compliance failings over the show, asked the regulator to call in the police, claiming the public had been defrauded. Ofcom admitted being "frustrated by the lack of cooperation" from key people in the production chain who refused to say what happened. Yet when I call the regulator it's clear there are no plans to call the cops. "Ofcom is obviously happy to cooperate fully with the police should they wish to investigate any criminality," it tells me. In Whitehall, it's known as long grass country.

Fizzy goes flat

The inaugural Comment Awards were announced last week over breakfast champagne in London, with gongs for this paper's Johann Hari and the Daily Mail's Richard Littlejohn. But the comment among female writers was a dark muttering of why only one winner out of ten was a woman.

Cover girl

Leona Lewis is the subject of a photo book, Dreams, by snapper Dean Freeman, whose father Robert designed and shot five album sleeves for The Beatles.

Wise words

Visiting the Chicago Tribune's gothic tower last week was a sombre experience, given Tribune Group filed for bankruptcy last December, and the inscriptions in the atrium, including Thomas Jefferson's assertion: "Our liberty depends on the freedom of the press and that can not be limited without being lost."