Controversial comedian Russell Brand was crowned the best live stand-up performer at the British Comedy Awards last night, dedicating the award to Jonathan Ross.

Brand, who accepted the award via a video link as he is currently working in the United States, referred to Ross as a "kingmaker" in his speech - saying the former Friday Night host had been a major influence on his career.

However, his speech was not allowed to pass without mention of the controversial Radio 2 incident, in which Ross and Brand made a prank phonecall to former Faulty Towers actor Andrew Sachs.

The two men joked about breaking into the actor's home and mentioned allegations that Brand had slept with Sachs' granddaughter.

In Brand's address to the comedy awards, when he had his award presented to him by American actor and comedian Adam Sandler, the Briton asked him if he would like to do a radio show.

Ross had been due to host the ceremony but pulled out over the prank phonecall scandal and was replaced by Angus Deyton.

And the former Have I Got News For You? Host, who was himself axed by the BBC over allegations about lewd behaviour in his private life, joked: "Normally it's the winners who can't be here tonight - but in this case it's the host."

07/12/2008 10:06:40