North West Comedy Awards
One Piccadilly Gardens - Manchester - 28.10.04

You only have to look over the past few years leading TV Comedy Shows to realise how important the North West comedy scene has become in popular culture. Take away Alan Partridge, Mrs Merton, The Royle Family, Phoenix Nights and Early Doors and the TV schedules are looking pretty bare.

With The City Life Comedian Of The Year contest previously providing a showcase for up and coming comedians an awards show like this years North West Comedy Awards in Manchester was long overdue for showcasing some of the real success stories from the region. In a star studded event at One Piccadilly Gardens Designer Magazine Editor Alex McCann was their to bring you the highlights and the interviews.

Leading the pack was Early Doors who took home 2 gongs, one for the Best Comedy Writing Award which went to writers Craig Cash and Phil Mealy, and the second of which went to Mark Benton for his role as Eddie in the hit BBC2 show. The latter was perhaps one of the most deserved awards of the night with Eddie surely being one of those classic cult characters of comedy - not big enough to make a T-shirt catchphrase (although surely "The answer's pickles" deserves one), an hilarious character.

On two different ends of the scale Peter Kay won the Best Touring Production Award and Agraman won the Les Dennis Services to Comedy Award for his sterling work at the Buzz Club and various venues across the city. The latter proving that the awards shows wasn't just about big names, but also about those names relatively unknown to the general public who have provided the nuts and bolts over the past few years on the North West circuit.

While it was widely expected that Coronation Street would win, Alex Carter from Hollyoaks won the Best Comedic Performance in a Soap, who seemed much more down to earth and relaxed on stage after a few jars than he been previous nervously walking the red carpet entrance earlier in the night

Seymour Mace won the Best Breakthough award and preceded to phone his parents live on stage after accepting his award from Johnny Vegas who'd ate and farted the award out.

Manchester Confidential have added one of the events of the Manchester Calender and lets hope that this event becomes an annual showcase of the best of North West comedy talent. A mention must also go to the various stars who offered signed sports gear from the likes of Wayne Rooney and Lennox Lewis which were put to auction and rasised thousands for Nordoff-Robbins Music Therapy

Words: Alex McCann
Photos: Shirlaine Forrest

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Designer Magazine's Editor Alex McCann managed to interview a number of the nominees and presenters at this years North West Comedy Awards, the highlight of which turned out to be Bruce Jones' (Coronation Streets Les Battersby) most in-depth interview ever published. Click on the photos below for the full interviews.

Bruce Jones
(Coronation Street's Les Battersby)

Johnny Vegas

(Pic: Alex McCann)
Antony Cotton / Sally Lindsay

(Pic: Alex McCann)
Andrew Whyment

Seymour Mace

Jumping On The Bandwagon
Archie Kelly / Steve Edge / Paddy McGuinness