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Comedy Awards move from ITV to Channel 4

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Channel 4 has signed a three-year deal to host the British Comedy Awards.

The ceremony has been aired on ITV for the past 20 years but will now be broadcast exclusively on Channel 4.

The channel has already decided to return to a live broadcast of the event and is planning to create initiatives to support new comedians.

Julian Bellamy, the head of Channel 4, said: "From The Inbetweeners and Peep Show to our Comedy Labs and Showcases, we're passionate about comedy at Channel 4 and have a long heritage of supporting and developing new talent in this arena.

"After the success of our Comedy Gala and our Alternative Election Night, we're excited about bringing the event of the comedy calendar to viewers this winter."

Meanwhile, the channel's head of comedy Shane Allen added: "The British Comedy Awards are crucial in recognising the excellence, originality and rude health of the comedy industry. At their best, the awards have a spirit of mischief, hilarity, surprise and danger about them, so C4 feels like a natural fit."

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