ITV has suspended its annual British Comedy Awards programme after unearthing a potential irregularity in the 2005 show.

A statement from the commercial broadcaster released this afternoon said it had requested media law firm Olswang to investigate an "issue" relating to the show.

"Pending conclusion of the investigation, broadcast of the British Comedy Awards 2007 will be postponed," the statement said.

"ITV will not make any further comment regarding this matter until the conclusion of the investigation."

According to reports the People's Choice award, which is voted for by the general public, is at the centre of suspicion but this remains the subject of media speculation.

The award was won by Ant and Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway in 2005.

The news comes after the BBC admitted it had unearthed four more instances of editorial standard breaches relating to competitions and online voting yesterday.

21/09/2007 15:31:07