Winners – 37th BPG Television and Radio Awards

News Release
Embargo 0001 Friday March 25th 2010

Two dramas – ITV1’s Downton Abbey and Channel 4’s Mo – have each won two top prizes at the 37th annual Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, voted for by those who write about TV and radio. The Awards will be presented later today at a lunch at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. (Full list of winners below.)

Downton Abbey narrowly beat BBC One’s Sherlock to be named best drama series of 2010 and its creator Julian Fellowes won the writer’s award. But the star of Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch, won the award for Best Actor, ahead of Downton’s Hugh Bonneville and Tom Hollander (Rev and Any Human Heart).

Julie Walters was named best actress for her role as Mo Mowlam in Channel 4’s Mo, which was named best single drama.

Another actor, Graham Seed, who played Nigel Pargetter in The Archers for 27 years until his character’s untimely death, was named radio broadcaster of the year. It’s the first time an actor has won this award, an acknowledgment of the affection in which Nigel was held by Archers fans and the huge outcry when he was written out of the BBC Radio 4 series.

The physicist Professor Brian Cox won two awards – as best performer in a non-acting role and for BBC Two’s Wonders of the Solar System, which was named best documentary series.

The BPG awards are being presented at a lunch today (Friday) at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The lunch is again sponsored by Dave, the “home of witty banter”, one of ten channels broadcast by leading multi-channel operator UKTV: http://www.joindave.co.uk. The invitation-only ceremony will be attended by the winners and leading broadcasting executives.

Miranda Hart will be there with co-stars Patricia Hodge and Sarah Hadland from BBC Two’s Miranda, which has been named best comedy show. The latest winner of The Apprentice, Stella English, will pick up the award for best factual entertainment show. And the creator of Coronation Street, Tony Warren, will be there to pick up the Harvey Lee award for outstanding contribution to broadcasting, marking the soap’s 50th anniversary at the end of 2010.

The multichannel award went to the comedy show Fry and Laurie: Reunited on GOLD, one of the UKTV stations, while the BBC Radio 4 comedy Ed Reardon’s Week was named radio programme of the year.

Channel 4’s Cutting Edge: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding, which has now been turned into a hit series, won the prize for the best single documentary. The innovation award has gone to The 2010 Leader Election Debates on Television, and will be accepted by the three debate chairmen, Adam Boulton from Sky, David Dimbleby from the BBC & Alastair Stewart from ITV.

The awards are sponsored by Dave, part of UKTV.  Its Channel Head, Steve North, said: “Dave is once again delighted to be sponsoring the Broadcasting Press Guild awards. We are committed to commissioning and acquiring high quality, innovative, genre-defining programmes that resonate with our audience – all qualities that the BPG recognises.”

For more information, or to send a photographer, reporter or crew,
please reply or contact:

Torin Douglas, Broadcasting Press Guild
07860 422992

Editor’s notes:

1.  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.

2.  Harvey Lee was a leading light of the BPG, who died at the tragically early age of 41, and the award for outstanding achievement has been given in his memory every year since 1992.

3.  Details of the nominations, previous BPG Awards and the event sponsor, Dave, “the home of witty banter”, can be found at: http://www.broadcastingpressguild.org/, together with pictures and video of previous awards ceremonies and more on the history of the Harvey Lee Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting Award.

Embargo 0001 Friday March 25th 2010

37th Broadcasting Press Guild TV and Radio Awards  – The winners

Best Single Drama
Mo
(An ITV Studios production for Channel 4)

Best Drama Series
Downton Abbey
(A Carnival Films/Masterpiece co-production for ITV1)

Best Single Documentary
Cutting Edge: My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding
(A Firecracker Films production for Cutting Edge on Channel 4)

Best Documentary Series
Wonders of the Solar System
(A BBC Factual London and Science Channel co-production for BBC Two)

Best Comedy
Miranda
(A BBC Comedy production for BBC Two)

Best Factual Entertainment
The Apprentice
(A TalkbackThames production for BBC One)

Best Multichannel Programme
Fry and Laurie: Reunited
(A Tiger Aspect production for GOLD)

Best Actor
Benedict Cumberbatch
(Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock, for BBC One)

Best Actress
Julie Walters
(Mo Mowlam in Mo, for Channel 4)

Best TV Performer in a Non-acting Role
Professor Brian Cox for Wonders of the Solar System
(A BBC Factual London and Science Channel co-production for BBC Two)

Writer’s Award
Julian Fellowes
(Downton Abbey, a Carnival Films/Masterpiece co-production for ITV1)

Radio Broadcaster of the Year
Graham Seed
(Nigel Pargetter in The Archers, a BBC Radio production for BBC Radio 4)

Radio Programme of the Year
Ed Reardon’s Week
(A BBC Radio production for BBC Radio 4)

Innovation Award
The 2010 Leader Election Debates on Television (BBC, ITV & Sky)

Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting
Tony Warren, creator of Coronation Street

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