Broadcasting Press Guild Awards Winners 2015

‘Biopic’ dramas, based on the lives of real people, have picked up more top prizes at the 41st Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, voted for by journalists who write about TV and radio. This morning winners and BPG members attended a celebratory lunch sponsored by the Discovery Channel.

Hard on the heels of Eddie Redmayne’s Oscar and BAFTA success for his portrayal of Professor Stephen Hawking, Sheridan Smith has won the BPG’sbest actress award for her performance as the young Cilla Black in the ITV drama Cilla. Toby Jones has been named best actor for his role as Neil Baldwin, the relentlessly upbeat kit-man at Stoke City Football Club, whose life was dramatised in Marvellous on BBC Two. Marvellous won the award for best single drama and BBC Two also won the award for best drama series, withThe Honourable Woman.

Forty years after his TV debut in New Faces, Lenny Henry receives the BPG’s highest honour, the Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution toBroadcasting. It recognises his contribution to Comic Relief, which began 30 years ago, and also his campaign for greater diversity in broadcasting, which is finally starting to change policies at the UK’s major broadcasters. Henry is breaking off from rehearsals for tonight’s Red Nose Day telethon to attend the ceremony.

The award for best radio programme has gone to BBC Radio 4 for Germany: Memories of a Nation, presented by Neil MacGregor, director of the British Museum. Jane Garvey, the presenter of Woman’s Hour, also on Radio 4, is named radio broadcaster of the year.

Channel 4 has taken two awards for factual television. Benefits Street – which attracted front-page headlines and fostered debate and controversy – won the award for best documentary series and Gogglebox won the BPG award for best factual entertainment, for the second year. The award for best single documentary went to Baby P: The Untold Story on BBC One.

W1A, BBC Two’s spoof documentary about the BBC and its management, was named best comedy. Crackanory, the star-studded storytelling series for adults on UK TV’s Dave, won the multichannel award.

Writers were well represented at this year’s awards. Sally Wainwright was a runaway winner of the BPG writer’s award for Last Tango in Halifax and Happy Valley, both on BBC One. And the BPG Breakthrough Award went to the brothers Harry and Jack Williams, who wrote another hit BBC One drama series, The Missing.

The final award, for Innovation in Broadcasting, went to Vice News, the online start-up which was set up in London only a year ago as part of Vice Media, and which has produced ground-breaking reports on the world’s trouble zones for young audiences.

Full list of winners and a gallery pf pictures below:

Best Factual Entertainment Gogglebox

Best Single Drama Marvellous

Best Drama Series The Honourable Woman

Best Single Documentary Baby P: The Untold Story

Best Documentary Series Benefits Street

Best Multichannel Programme Crackanory

Radio Programme of the Year Germany: Memories of A Nation

Radio Broadcaster of the Year Jane Garvey - Woman’s Hour

Best Entertainment/Comedy W1A

Writer’s Award Sally Wainwright

Best Actress Sheridan Smith

Best Actor Toby Jones

Breakthrough Award Harry and Jack Williams, writers of The Missing

Innovation in Broadcasting Award Vice News for The Islamic State and other original commissions

 Harvey Lee Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting Lenny Henry

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