The 71-year-old presenter was given a standing ovation by audience members as he accepted the prize. "If you can stay upright and reasonably sober, they'll give you something in the end," he joked, as he took to the stage.
BBC One comedy Outnumbered picked up gongs for best sitcom and best comedy, with 8-year-old Ramona Marquez winning female newcomer.
Harry Hill's TV Burp was named best comedy entertainment programme for the second year running, with Hill collecting the gong for entertainment personality.
Michael McIntyre was named best live stand-up comedian, while Peter Kay was honoured for his outstanding contribution to comedy.
Host Jonathan Ross opened the show by referring to his absence last year in the wake of the Manuelgate row. "It's been a remarkable year... for a start I've been allowed to work," he told the audience.