Broadcasting Press Guild announces the BPG 33rd Annual Television and Radio Awards

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Dame Helen Mirren has continued her winning streak, picking up the best actress award at the 33rd annual Broadcasting Press Guild Awards for her performance in ITV1’s Prime Suspect: The Final Act.

Jim Broadbent was named as best actor for his role as Lord Longford in Channel 4’s Longford, which dealt with his relationship with Myra Hindley. It also won the award for best single drama.

The third TV performance award also went to commercial television. Russell Brand won the award for ‘best TV performer in a non-acting role’ for The Russell Brand Show and Russell Brand’s Got Issues, both on Channel 4; E4’s Big Brother’s Big Mouth; and No.1 Leicester Square on MTV.

The BPG awards are voted for by those who write about TV and radio – correspondents, critics and previewers. The awards are being presented at a lunch today at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, sponsored by Turner Broadcasting System Europe, which runs CNN, Cartoon Network and TCM (Turner Classic Movies).

BBC programmes dominated the non-performance categories, winning eight of a total of 14 awards made by the BPG.

BBC One’s Life on Mars won two awards – for best drama series and the writer’s award, which went to Matthew Graham, Tony Jordan and Ashley Pharoah.

There were also two wins for BBC One’s Planet Earth. It was named best documentary/ factual series and also won the Innovation in Broadcasting Award, for pioneering new methods of filming and producing video about the natural world, including the use of high-definition cameras, ground-breaking new aerial photography techniques and bespoke slow-motion cameras.

Another BBC One show, The Royle Family: Queen of Sheba, an hour-long special, won the comedy/entertainment award.

The award for best single documentary went to Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive on BBC Two.

Radio 4 won both of the radio awards. Sandi Toksvig was named radio broadcaster of the year, for chairing The News Quiz and presenting Excess Baggage. Radio 4’s spoof phone-in show Down The Line won the award for radio programme of the year.

Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather, on Sky One, won the award for best multi-channel programme.

And children’s programme maker Anne Wood of Ragdoll Productions won the Harvey Lee award for her outstanding contribution to children’s broadcasting around the world. She was responsible for The Book Tower, Rosie & Jim, Tots TV, Brum, Roland Rat and Rub a Dub Tub. This week, her best-known series, Teletubbies, shown on BBC One and CBBC, launched its 10th anniversary celebrations. Ragdoll has also just launched a new BBC series, In The Night Garden.

The Broadcasting Press Guild was founded in 1974 and has more than a hundred members – all journalists who specialise in writing and broadcasting about television, radio and the media in general. They include media correspondents, reviewers, previewers and feature writers from the major national newspapers, broadcasters and leading trade journals.

This year’s awards are sponsored by Turner Broadcasting System Europe, with help from channels CNN, Cartoon Network and Turner Classic Movies. Further details of nominations and previous BPG Awards winners can be found at:

For more information, or to send a photographer, reporter or crew to the awards,
please contact: Torin Douglas, Broadcasting Press Guild 07860 422992

The full list of winners is:

Best Single Drama
Longford (Granada Productions for Channel 4 and HBO)

Best Drama Series
Life on Mars (Kudos Film and Television for BBC One)

Best Comedy/Entertainment
The Royle Family: Queen of Sheba (Granada Productions for BBC One)

Best Single Documentary/Factual Programme
Stephen Fry: The Secret Life of the Manic Depressive (IWC Media for BBC Two)

Best Documentary/Factual Series
Planet Earth (BBC Natural History Unit co-production with BBC Worldwide, Discovery and NHK for BBC One)

Best Actor
Jim Broadbent (Lord Longford in Longford, Granada Productions for Channel 4 and HBO)

Best Actress
Helen Mirren (Detective Superintendent Jane Tennison in Prime Suspect: The Final Act,
ITV Productions for ITV1)

Best TV Performer in Non-acting Role
Russell Brand
(The Russell Brand Show and Russell Brand’s Got Issues, Channel 4;Big Brother’s Big Mouth, E4; No 1 Leicester Square, MTV)

Writer’s Award
Matthew Graham, Tony Jordan, Ashley Pharoah (Life on Mars, Kudos Film and Television for BBC One)

Radio Broadcaster of the Year
Sandy Toksvig (Excess Baggage, The News Quiz, BBC Radio Productions for BBC Radio 4)

Radio Programme of the Year
Down The Line (Down The Line production for BBC Radio 4)

Multichannel Award
Terry Pratchett’s Hogfather (The Mob Film Company for Sky One and RHI)

Innovation in Broadcasting Award
Planet Earth – pioneering film and production techniques (BBC Natural History Unit co-production with BBC Worldwide, Discovery and NHK for BBC One)

Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting
Anne Wood, Ragdoll Productions