Gervais in award surprise at Regent

AN Ipswich theatre audience unexpectedly found themselves on television after the presenters of an awards ceremony interrupted the comedy show they were watching.

AN Ipswich theatre audience unexpectedly found themselves on television after the presenters of an awards ceremony interrupted the comedy show they were watching.

Daytime television stars Richard Madeley and Judy Finnigan interrupted a live comedy performance by Ricky Gervais at the Regent Theatre last night to announce he had won an award.

The star, who was performing the second of two dates at the Regent as part of his current UK tour, was told he had won an award for his cartoon creations Flanimals of the Deep.

The shocked sell-out crowd at the Regent looked on as a TV crew appeared on stage to set up the live link-up to the Galaxy British Book Awards, which was held in London.

Gervais, star of The Office and Extras, won the Children's Book of the Year and was surprised on stage for the live link-up to Richard and Judy.

During his acceptance speech, Gervais poked fun at Madeley and Finnigan for the phone vote scandal which affected their afternoon show.

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Hearing of his award, he asked: “That's voted for by the public, isn't it?”

When Madeley agreed, Gervais shot back: ``Well, tell them to stop phoning now, it's a con.”

Golden Globe winner Gervais added: “I don't count, but this is my 65th award, although it's the first one for my literary endeavours.”

The 18th annual awards - known as the ``Nibbies' - were held at London's Grosvenor House last night and will be broadcast on Channel 4 at 8pm tomorrow.

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