Borat has been nominated for the best comedy at the South Bank Awards.

Sacha Baron Cohen's fictional Kazakh journalist goes head to head with Ricky Gervais' drama Extras and the Royle Family's one-off special The Queen of Sheba for the award.

Helen Mirren's critically-acclaimed film The Queen has picked up yet another nomination for best film along with Red Road and United 93.

Artists given the nod in the popular music category are Jarvis Cocker for Jarvis, Amy Winehouse for Back to Black and Arctic Monkeys for Whatever People say I Am, That's What I'm Not.

The awards seek to recognise the whole spectrum of the arts and include the categories dance, classical music, visual arts, opera and literature.

There is also a special category for the breakthrough artist of the year, in which The Sound Of Music's Connie Fisher and comedian Simon Amstell are some of this year's nominees.

Melvyn Bragg, who will host the awards, commented: "Across the waterfront - in music, theatre, acting, writing, painting, dance and film - the British are enjoying quite wonderful success.

"This awards ceremony uniquely celebrates and honours that. The arts are an area in which we truly have a world class story to tell."

The ceremony will take place on Tuesday January 23rd at the Savoy and will be screened on ITV1 on the following Saturday.

05/01/2007 15:12:23