Jodie Comer and Hugh Grant were among the winners of the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards today, judges praised the “brilliance of the output.”
The popular BBC TV dramas Killing Eve and A Very English Scandal have each won three prizes at this year’s Broadcasting Press Guild (BPG) Awards.
The serial-killer drama Killing Eve for BBC America was voted Best Drama Series and its star Jodie Comer was named Best Actress. It also won the Best Online First/Streaming Award, having been shown as a BBC Three boxed set on BBC iPlayer, ahead of its transmission on BBC One.
Hugh Grant was named Best Actor for his portrayal of former Liberal Leader Jeremy Thorpe in A Very English Scandal about his affair with Norman Scott, winning the award for Best Single Drama/Mini Series. Based on the book by John Preston, Russell T Davies, who wrote the script, won Best Writer.
Channel 4’s Derry Girls won the award for Best Comedy and BBC Two’s Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing was named Best Entertainment programme. Netflix made the winning list with its interactive drama Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, created by Charlie Brooker who won the BPG Award for Innovation.
BPG Chair Jake Kanter said: “Drama’s hot streak continued. We had killer antiheroes, political subterfuge, and dangerous trysts. Elsewhere, five kids from Derry created history in Northern Ireland, two jokers went fishing and hooked an unexpected hit, and the retelling of one unthinkable murder shocked the nation all over again.”
This year, the Awards saw a record number of votes, Kanter added: “[It] is a testament to the enduring qualities of the BPG and the brilliance of the output.”
BBC One was awarded the Best Documentary Series for Stephen: The Murder that Changed a Nation and BBC Two’s Grenfell won the Best Single Documentary.
The Best of Multichannel Award, which goes to one of the non-PSB programmes shortlisted in the drama, documentaries, comedy and entertainment categories, went to the drama Patrick Melrose for Sky Atlantic.
The award for Radio Programme of the Year went to Tara and George, presented by Audrey Gillan from BBC Radio Four, which explored the lives of two people in their late forties who sleep rough in London, while the Podcast of the Year award went to Hip Hop Saved My Life with Romesh Ranganathan.
Lauren Laverne was named Radio Broadcaster of the Year for her work on BBC Radio Six Music as well as Desert Island Discs and Late Night Woman’s Hour, both on BBC Radio Four.
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BPG radio jury Julian Clover said: “Our winner moves seamlessly between speech and music radio. She’s been tasked with presenting two of the big beasts of Radio Four and after presenting the mid morning show on BBC Radio Six Music, her move to breakfast was described by one of our judges as a big step forward for the music content and a welcome step away from obligatory breakfast banter.”
Among several special awards made by the BPG executive committee, sports presenter and football pundit Alex Scott won the Breakthrough Award for her work with BBC Sport and Sky Sports.
Big Brother was also recognised for its impact on UK television winning the BPG Chairman’s Award.
Kanter said: “The reality TV behemoth gave rise to countless copycat formats and became a training ground for the industry’s top creatives, as well as making household names out of the likes of Dermot O’Leary and Davina McCall.
“It was a defining hit for Channel 4, gave a fresh lease of life to Channel 5 and proved its durability and value to producer Endemol Shine Group.”
Nicholas Parsons CBE received the Harvey Lee Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting, and attended the lunch with members of his family. As previously announced, the award recognises his seven decades of TV and radio entertainment, and in particular his contribution to one of the BBC’s longest-running programmes, Just A Minute on BBC Radio 4, which he has chaired for over 50 years.
The Awards recognise work commissioned or produced in the UK and are voted by journalists reporting for TV and radio and presented at the Banking Hall in the City of London.
The full list of BPG TV and Radio Awards winners:
Best Single Drama/Mini-series
A Very English Scandal
A Blueprint Pictures production for the BBC and Amazon Studios
Best Drama Series
A Sid Gentle Films Ltd production for BBC America, internationally distributed by Endeavor Content
Best Single Documentary
A Minnow Films production for BBC One
Best Documentary Series
Stephen: The Murder that Changed a Nation
An On the Corner production, in association with Rogan Productions, for BBC One
Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing
An Owl Power TV production for BBC Two
Best Online First/ Streaming
A Sid Gentle Films Ltd production for BBC America, internationally distributed by Endeavor Content and first streamed in UK on BBC Three as a box set on BBC iPlayer
A Hat Trick Productions production for Channel 4
Best of Multichannel
A Two Cities production in association with Sunnymarch and Little Island for Sky Atlantic and Showtime
Radio Broadcaster of the Year
BBC Radio 6 Music, Late Night Woman’s Hour and Desert Island Discs, BBC Radio 4
Radio Programme of the Year
Tara and George
A BBC Radio Production for BBC Radio 4
Podcast of the Year
Hip Hop Saved My Life - Romesh Ranganathan
Ranga Bee Productions
Hugh Grant for A Very English Scandal (BBC One)
Jodie Comer for Killing Eve (BBC America)
Russell T Davies for A Very English Scandal (BBC One)
Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, for a ground-breaking form of storytelling.
A House of Tomorrow production for Netflix
Sports broadcaster for BBC and Sky
BPG Chairman’s Prize
EndemolShine Group for Channel 4 and Channel 5
Harvey Lee Award
Nicholas Parsons CBE
Actor, presenter & game show host, in particular recognition of more than 50 years of presenting Radio 4’s Just A Minute.