Two Jury Prize Winners at 50th BPG Awards Announced

Mr Bates vs The Post Office and Goalhanger Podcasts receive prestigious prizes for outstanding broadcasting contributions

Mr Bates vs The Post Office, one of the most significant television drama series in many decades, and the unparalleled success of Goalhanger Podcasts are both honoured today with prestigious Broadcasting Press Guild Jury Prizes as part of this year’s BPG 50th anniversary celebrations.

The BPG — an organisation of TV and audio journalists — are delivering two Jury Prizes for the first time ever at its star-studded luncheon in London.

Mr Bates vs The Post Office is based on the story of Alan Bates, one of hundreds of innocent sub-postmasters and postmistresses who were wrongly accused of theft, fraud and false accounting. Written by Gwyneth Hughes, the four-part ITV series showed how a defective IT system caused many years of untold hardship for the innocent victims who were finally exonerated in 2019. The final episode was watched by more than 10 million people and the series sent shock waves through the corridors of power, prompting the government to promise changes in legislation and speed up compensation.

BPG Chair Manori Ravindran said: “As an organisation of journalists, the BPG members wanted to be the first to pay tribute to a truly unique story and a piece of landmark television that created massive headlines, gripped a huge TV audience and helped clear the names of the victims of a gross miscarriage of justice.”

The second Jury Prize goes to Goalhanger Podcasts, which has taken the audio world by storm over the last five years. The company’s 11 shows ­— which include five from The Rest Is… franchise — currently achieve more than 28 million downloads per month, not only with UK audiences, but also with a growing number internationally, particularly The Rest Is History, which has been lauded for educating a wide age range of listeners. Founded by former professional footballer Gary Lineker along with ex-ITV Controller of Sport Tony Pastor and former award-winning BBC Radio Sport journalist Jack Davenport, Goalhanger successfully launched The Rest Is…Entertainment in 2023 with Richard Osman and Marina Hyde to rave reviews.

Ravindran said: “Goalhanger has quickly achieved a level of success as well as vast audiences in the highly competitive podcast arena. The BPG felt compelled to honour the company for its special accomplishments in our own very special year.”

Both on-screen and behind-the-screen talent from Mr Bates will be collecting their prize today at the Awards while senior members of the Goalhanger team will be attending to pick up their trophy.

A total of 15 other BPG Awards are being handed out at the BPG lunch and include three Audio prizes and television trophies for Best Actor, Actress and Writer; Best Drama; Best Comedy; and Best Documentary. The BPG Jury Prizes are the gift of the BPG Executive Committee.

The BPG Television, Streaming & Audio Awards are highly valued by programme-makers because they are chosen independently by TV and audio writers, correspondents and critics. The 50th annual BPG Awards lunch is an invitation-only event held at The Royal Horseguards Hotel at 2 Whitehall Court in Whitehall, London. The Guild is delighted that the special occasion is being sponsored by some of the most influential names in the industry: BBC Studios, Netflix, Pact, Prime Video and Warner Bros. Discovery. 

The Broadcasting Press Guild marks its 50th anniversary this year. The Guild began in 1974 and, as part of its celebrations, invited its members to select their Top 50 Landmark TV Programmes of the last half century. The resulting list is published on its website http://www.broadcastingpressguild.org.

Further information: Adrian Lobb, BPG: 07986 379 452 or adrianlobb1@gmail.com

Notes to editors

  1. The BPG Twitter handle for the Awards is #BPGAwards @BPGPressGuild.
  2. The Broadcasting Press Guild was founded in 1974 and has more than 110 members. They are journalists who specialise in covering television, streaming, radio podcasts and the media, and include critics, previewers, media correspondents and feature writers from national newspapers, broadcasters and leading trade journals and online publishers.
  3. Previous winners of the BPG Jury Prize include producer Michael Apted in 2020 for the groundbreaking 7Upseries made by Granada Television for ITV and eight independent local radio journalists who held Prime Minister Liz Truss to task in a remarkable series of interviews in 2022.
  4. The 50th BPG Awards are being sponsored by some of the most influential names in the industry: BBC Studios, Netflix, Pact, Prime Video and Warner Bros. Discovery. 

Information about our sponsors

BBC Studios is a world-renowned content studio and channels & streaming business, powered by British creativity, with a reach that touches audiences in every corner of the globe. BBC Studios is sponsoring the BPG Awards Red Carpet.

Netflix is one of the world’s leading entertainment services with over 260 million paid memberships in over 190 countries enjoying TV series, films, and games across a wide variety of genres and languages. Members can play, pause and resume watching, as much as they want, anytime, anywhere, and can change their plans at any time. Netflix is co-sponsor of the BPG Awards Drinks Reception.

Pact is the UK screen sector trade body representing and supporting independent production and distribution companies. Pact is sponsoring the BPG for the second consecutive year and is co-sponsor of the BPG Awards 2024 Drinks Reception.

Prime Video membership provides access to thousands of popular movies, TV shows, award-winning Originals, sports, and exclusive channels like discovery+, STARZPLAY, and Paramount+, with the added benefit of special deals for Prime Video members using the rent and buy feature to access new-release movies and TV series. Prime Video is sponsoring two BPG Talent Awards: BPG Emerging Creators Award and the BPG Breakthrough Award.

Warner Bros. Discovery is a leading global media and entertainment company that creates and distributes the world’s most differentiated and complete portfolio of content and brands across television, film, streaming and games with globally known brands including CNN, Cartoon Network, Discovery Channel, Friends, Harry Potter, HBO, TNT Sports. In the UK & Ireland WBD brings audiences 22 linear channels and is the streaming home of factual entertainment and premium sport through discovery+. 

WBD UK & Ireland is a proud supporter of the BPG Awards for the second consecutive year sponsoring the Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting.

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