Jonathan Ross could be honoured with a British Comedy award even though he will no longer host the ceremony.

The 47-year-old stepped down from presenting the December ceremony after he was suspended without pay over the Radio 2 lewd telephone calls controversy.

However, he is nominated for the best comedy show award while Russell Brand, who resigned from his Radio 2 show over the offensive voicemails left for veteran actor Andrew Sachs, is named in the best live stand-up category.

As well as Ross' suspension and Brand's resignation, two senior BBC executives resigned from their posts after thousands complained about the prank, in which Ross and Brand joked that the latter had slept with Sachs' granddaughter.

Ross' Friday night talkshow - currently off the air during his suspension - is up against Harry Hill's TV Burp (ITV1) and The Sunday Night Project (Channel 4) for the best comedy show prize.

Brand, 33, faces competition from Alan Carr and Michael McIntyre.

BBC sitcom Gavin and Stacey, a previous winner at the British Comedy awards, is named in the best TV comedy of 2008 category while James Corden - who co-wrote the series as well as starring in it - is up for best comedy actor.

The History Boys star faces competition from Ricky Gervais (for the Extras Christmas Special) and Peep Show's David Mitchell.

Nominees for the best comedy actress prize include Gervais and Mitchell's co-stars Ashley Jensen and Olivia Colman.

Ant and Dec, Graham Norton and Alan Carr will battle for the best comedy entertainment personality award while Have I Got News for You, Never Mind the Buzzcocks and QI are up for the best comedy panel show prize.

The British Comedy Awards will be broadcast live on ITV1 on Saturday December 6th.

14/11/2008 10:22:20