Armando Iannucci, responsible for such ground-breaking shows as The Day Today, I’m Alan Partridge and The Thick Of It, was honoured at the British Comedy Awards with the “Outstanding Achievement In Writing Award”, presented to him by long-time friend and colleague Steve Coogan.
Coogan said he was "humbled and honoured" to present the award to The Thick Of It creator.
He said the Scot, who also devised his Alan Partridge character, had displayed "laser-guided humour" in his career.
Iannucci said that he was pleased to be in the spotlight for once, admitting that he usually hid behind someone "more famous" when arriving at awards ceremonies.
The cast of the hit comedy series The Inbetweeners were also winners at the Awards, as ‘outstanding achievers’, and the viewers' award for queen of comedy went to Sarah Millican, who was not at the ceremony but said in a live link-up that she was "thrilled" to receive it.
The best comedy panel show award went to the recently axed Shooting Stars.
Dame Helen Mirren, who had presented Have I Got News For You with a lifetime achievement award, said backstage that she was a huge fan of female comics.
"I think British comedy is in an incredible spot right now," said the actress, "There have always been great female comedians but there has been a real rise in modern female comics.
Darren Boyd, from Smack The Pony, Green Wing and, most recently, for playing John Cleese in Holy Flying Circus, won the best comedy actor award.
The British Comedy Awards ceremony was hosted by Jonathan Ross and screened live on Channel 4.
Full list of winners:
Best new comedy programme: Fresh Meat, Channel 4
Best comedy entertainment programme: Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle, BBC
Best sketch show: Horrible Histories, CBBC
Best comedy panel show: Shooting Stars, BBC
Best sitcom: Twenty Twelve, BBC
Best comedy drama: Psychoville, BBC
Best comedy entertainment personality: Graham Norton, The Graham Norton Show, BBC
Best TV comedy actor: Darren Boyd, Spy, Sky
Best TV comedy actress: Miranda Hart, Miranda, BBC
Best comedy breakthrough artist: Dan Skinner, Shooting Stars, BBC
Best male television comic: Stewart Lee, Stewart Lee's Comedy Vehicle, BBC
Best female television comic: Victoria Wood, Victoria Wood's Angina Monologues, Sky
The Writers' Guild of Great Britain award: Armando Iannucci
The British Comedy Academy outstanding achievement award: The Inbetweeners
The British Comedy Academy lifetime achievement award: Have I Got News For You
The Channel 4 award for special contribution to comedy: Lee Evans