The Night Manager, The Crown, Planet Earth II and Desert Island Discs take top prizes at 43rd Broadcasting Press Guild Awards

Keeley Hawes, Robbie Coltrane, Phoebe Waller-Bridge and James O’Brien win individual awards

After a great year for TV drama, The Night Manager, The Crown, National Treasure, The Witness for The Prosecution, Line of Duty, The Durrells and The Missing have all been recognised at this year’s Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, voted for by journalists who write about TV and radio.

Caroline Frost, BPG Chair, said: “In a year where drama continued to electrify and surprise TV audiences, and prove itself still capable of water-cooler moments, there was huge competition for all of our drama awards.”

The 43rd BPG awards lunch, sponsored by Virgin TV, is taking place today at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, attended by the winners, BPG members and leading broadcasting executives. (Full list of winners below)

Keeley Hawes was named Best Actress for her roles in three hit drama series – Line of Duty (BBC Two), The Durrells (ITV) and The Missing (BBC One). She will receive her award at today’s lunch.

Caroline Frost said “She is someone who, through her diverse choice of roles, her knack of picking scripts that become must-see TV drama for huge audiences and her willingness to bring vulnerability as well as power to screen, continues to surprise and delight us with every fresh project.”

The Night Manager (BBC One) was named Best Drama Series, and two of its stars, Hugh Laurie and Tom Hollander, will receive the award. The Crown (Netflix) won the award for Best Online First/Streaming and the Agatha Christie play The Witness for the Prosecution (BBC One) was named Best Single Drama. Robbie Coltrane was named Best Actor for National Treasure (Channel 4).

Phoebe Waller-Bridge, actress and writer of the comedy series Fleabag (BBC Three, then BBC Two) was named Best Writer, and will attend the lunch. Mum (BBC Two) won the award for Best Comedy and its star Lesley Manville will receive the award.

The BPG Awards – given only for work commissioned in the UK – are highly prized by programme-makers because they are selected independently by TV and radio correspondents, critics and previewers.

Planet Earth II (BBC One) was named Best Documentary Series and Hillsborough (BBC Two) won the award for Best Single Documentary. The annual BPG Award for Innovation went to Exodus: Our Journey in Europe (BBC Two) for the innovative use of mobile phones and crowd-sourced content to tell a compelling story.

The award for Best Entertainment programme went to BBC One’s The Graham Norton Show, and Alan Partridge: Mid Morning Matters (Sky Atlantic) won the award for Best Multichannel (non-PSB) programme.

In its 75th anniversary year, Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, presented by Kirsty Young, was named Radio Programme of the Year.

Maisie McCabe, chair of the radio jury, said “Even by its high standards, 2016 was a particularly strong year for Desert Island Discs. Guests included the CEO of Lloyd’s of London talking about her sexuality, Bruce Springsteen reminiscing about hearing The Beatles for the first time and Bill Gates on Steve Jobs. And all stewarded by a supremely talented broadcaster, who knows what questions to ask and when to let her guests speak.”

LBC’s James O’Brien was named Radio Broadcaster of the Year.

Maisie McCabe said: “In a year that seemed to bring us at least a decade’s worth of major news events, James spoke honestly and compassionately about the major issues of the day, not only providing brilliant live radio for his listeners, but reaching a whole new audience online, as people shared his remarks and debated them on social media.”

The Harvey Lee award for an Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting, which is in the gift of the BPG executive committee, has gone to the documentary filmmaker and producer Norma Percy. She has persuaded a who’s who of world leaders to be interviewed for revelatory series such as The Death of Yugoslavia, The Second Russian Revolution and Inside Obama’s White House. She has been responsible, with Brian Lapping, for many other award-winning documentaries made by Brook Lapping, including The Iraq War, Putin, Russia & The West, Iran & The West, The Fall of Milosevic, Endgame in Ireland, and Elusive Peace: Israel & The Arabs.


All media and photography requests:

Verity Henderson, Virgin Media

T: 0333 000 2900

M: 07964 938893




For social media, please follow:


Notes to editors

  1. The Broadcasting Press Guild was founded in 1974 and has more than 120 members. They are journalists who specialise in covering television, radio and the media, and include critics, previewers, media correspondents and feature writers from national newspapers, broadcasters and leading trade journals and websites.
  1. The invitation-only event in the Grand Saloon of the Theatre Royal Drury Lane is sponsored by Virgin TV and attended by the winners, BPG members and leading broadcasting executives. Details of the nominations, previous BPG awards and Virgin TV can be found at, together with pictures, videos and a history of the Guild.
  2. Harvey Lee – in honour of whom our Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting Award is named – was a leading light of the BPG, who died at the tragically early age of 41. The award for outstanding achievement has been given in his memory every year since every year since 1992. Previous winners are named on our website:
  1. This year’s BPG Awards are sponsored by Virgin TV. Virgin TV is part of Virgin Media, which offers four multi award-winning services across the UK and Ireland: broadband, TV, mobile phone and landline. Its interactive TV service brings live programmes, thousands of hours of on-demand programming and the best apps and games in a set-top box, as well as on-the-go for tablets and smartphones. It launched the world’s first virtual mobile network and is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the UK and Ireland. Virgin Media is part of Liberty Global, the world’s largest international cable company, with operations in more than 30 countries.

For more information about the Broadcasting Press Guild, please contact:

Torin Douglas, BPG or 07860 422992


The full list of BPG TV and Radio Awards winners is:

 Best Single Drama

The Witness for the Prosecution
A Mammoth Screen & Agatha Christie Productions production for BBC One, in association with A+E Networks & RLJ Entertainment 

Best Drama Series

The Night Manager

Produced by The Ink Factory, Demarest Films & Character 7 for BBC One in co-production with AMC.

Best Single Documentary


A VeryMuchSo & Passion Pictures production for BBC Two

Best Documentary Series

Planet Earth II

A BBC Studios Natural History Unit Production, co-produced with BBC America, ZDF, Tencent & France Television for BBC One 

Best Entertainment

The Graham Norton Show

A So Television production for BBC One

Best Online First/Streaming

The Crown

Produced by Left Bank Pictures, a Sony Pictures TV Company, for Netflix

Best Comedy


A Big Talk Production in association with The Money Men for BBC Two

Radio Broadcaster of the Year

James O’Brien

A Global production for LBC

Radio Programme of the Year

Desert Island Discs, presented by Kirsty Young

A BBC Factual Radio Production for BBC Radio 4

Best Actor

Robbie Coltrane for National Treasure (Channel 4)

Best Actress

Keeley Hawes – for Line of Duty (BBC Two), The Durrells (ITV) and The Missing (BBC One)

Best Writer
Phoebe Waller-Bridge for Fleabag

A Two Brothers Pictures Production for BBC Three

Innovation Award

Exodus: Our Journey to Europe

For innovative use of crowd-sourced content & camera phones, including first-person points of view from refugees themselves to tell a compelling story about the migrant crisis
A Keo Films production for BBC Two

Harvey Lee Award

Norma Percy, Brook Lapping