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British Comedy Awards moves to Channel 4 from ITV

Channel 4 signed a three-year deal with BCA owner, Unique Television.

The British Comedy Awards (BCA) is going to move to Channel 4 after being telecast for 20 years on ITV.

The BCA's owner, Unique Television, has reportedly signed an exclusive three-year deal with Channel 4, which has promised to expand the awards beyond a once-a-year live show into a brand and help grow grass-root comedy.

The BCA ceremony, which celebrates notable comedians and entertainment performances of the previous year, is known for hitting the headlines with risqué comments by performers.

It is not yet clear if Jonathan Ross, who usually presents the ceremony, will continue to front it after BCA's shift to ITV.

The BCA ceremony has hit the headlines for controversies over the last three years. In 2007, ITV suspended the programme over phone-voting problems. In 2008, Jonathan Ross was temporarily replaced by Angus Deayton following the Sachsgate row. In 2009, Ofcom imposed fines totalling £80,000 over a scandal that led to the comedy duo Ant & Dec being wrongly given a prize at the awards.