Entertainer Yoo Jae-suk has been named major broadcaster SBS’ entertainer of the year.

Yoo, 39, took the top prize of the SBS Entertainment Awards 2011 held in Seoul on Friday for his role as main host of weekly Sunday show “Running Man.”

“Running Man,” focusing on a race between the show’s cast also of celebrities Haha, Kim Jong-gook, song Ji-hyo, Ji Suk-jin and Gary, was slow for the first several months of its showing.

However, the show’s popularity picked up over time and now scores viewership ratings close to 20 percent while having been sold to nearly ten countries overseas.

“Up until early this year, there was talk internally on the fate of this program and although I told myself ‘I’ll do my best and not mind the ratings,’ I was very worried. So I would like to dedicate this to the members of the show. I realized once again that I can’t do anything alone,” Yoo said upon receiving his trophy.

One of the highest-paid entertainers in the Korean entertainment scene, Yoo, 39, is considered a national favorite and has hosted numerous variety television shows in Korea since his debut in 1991

▶List of Winners of SBS Entertainment Awards 2011◀

▶Grand Prize = Yoo Jae-suk (“Running Man”)
▶Top Excellence (Variety Shows) = Kim Byung-man (“Kiss & Cry”)
▶Top Excellence (Talk Shows) = Lee Seung-gi (“Strong Heart”)
▶Best New Comedian = Kang Jae-joon (“Gag Tonight”)
▶Best New Emcee = Han Hye-jin (“Healing Camp”)
▶Excellence Award (Comedy) = Son Min-hyuk (“Gag Tonight”), Hong Hyun-hee (“Gag Tonight”)
▶TV Writer = Park Hyun-sook (“Running Man”), Choi Kyung (“SBS Special”)
▶Best Anchor = Kim So-won (“Miracle Audition”)
▶Best Radio DJ = Choi Beck-ho (“Choi Beck-ho’s Romantic Times”), Park So-hyun (“Park So-hyun’s Love Game”)
▶Achievement Award = “Kim Byung-man’s The Law of the Jungle”
▶Best Entertainer (Variety Shows) = Park Jun-keum (“Kiss & Cry”), Haha (“Running Man”), Yoo In-na (“한밤의 TV연예”)
▶Best Entertainer (Talk Shows) = Peng Hyun-sook (“Darling”), Shindong (“Strong Heart”), Jung Ju-ri (“Strong Heart”)
▶Excellence Award (Variety Shows) = Kim Jong-gook (“Running Man”), Song Ji-hyo (“Running Man”)
▶Excellence Award (Talk Shows) = Boom (“Strong Heart”), Lee Teuk (“Strong Heart”), Cho Hae-ryun (“Star Junior Show”)
▶Producer’s Best Emcee Award = Lee Kyung-kyoo (“Healing Camp”, “Star Junior Show”)
▶Best Program (Variety Shows) = “Running Man”
▶Best Program =
▶Excellent Program (Variety Shows) = “Jjack”
▶Excellent Program (Talk Shows) = “Strong Heart”
▶Special Award = Kim Yuna (“Kiss & Cry”)

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Jessica Kim jesskim@