Russell Brand was forced to miss last night’s British Comedy Awards ceremony, because his friend was seriously ill.
The newlywed comedian was due to pick up the Outstanding Contribution to Comedy honour at London’s The O2 but stayed in New York to be with close pal Martino Sclavi, who is said to be in a critical condition after having a brain tumour removed earlier this week.
In a video acceptance speech, Russell said: “I’m really sorry I couldn’t be there. One of my friends is really ill and I couldn’t travel.”
The 35-year-old comic – who is married to singer Katy Perry – later tweeted: “Thanks for my award, you beautiful British b*****ds. Comedy is our best defence against pain. In conjunction with medical expertise.”
The programme’s host, Russell’s friend Jonathan Ross, was disappointed by the star’s absence.
He tweeted: “So sad. Was really looking forward to seeing Russell at the comedy awards.”
Elsewhere at the awards, Miranda Hart picked up three awards, taking home trophies for the People’s Choice Award and Best Comedy Actress, as well as her sitcom ‘Miranda’ being named Best New TV Comedy.
Michael McIntyre was named Best Male TV Comic, while veteran funnywoman Jo Brand picked up the female honour.
‘The Inbetweeners’ – which ended after its third season last year – was named Best Sitcom.
British Comedy Awards winners list:
Best Male TV Comic:
Best Female TV Comic:
Best TV Comedy Actress:
Best TV Comedy Actor:
Best Male Comedy Breakthrough Artist:
Best Female Comedy Breakthrough Artist:
Best Comedy Entertainment Personality:
Best Comedy Entertainment Programme:
Best New TV Comedy:
Best Comedy Panel Show:
‘Would I Lie To You?’
Best Sketch Show:
Best British Comedy Performance on Film:
People’s Choice Award:
Outstanding Contribution to Comedy:
Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Award:
Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong