Broadcasting Press Guild 32nd Annual Television and Radio Awards

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The innovative TV production of Charles Dickens’ Bleak House – which was screened on BBC1 in half-hour episodes, twice a week after Eastenders – has won three top awards in this year’s Broadcasting Press Guild Awards. Now in their 32nd year, the awards are voted for by the journalists who write about broadcasting.

Bleak House was named best drama series, Charles Dance was named best actor for his role as Mr Tulkinghorn, and Gillian Anderson, who played Lady Dedlock, was voted best actress. Dance and Anderson are due to receive their awards at lunchtime today (Friday) at a ceremony at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The series’ writer Andrew Davies will also be there, with other members of the production team. This year’s BPG awards lunch is sponsored by Home Choice, the video-on-demand company.

Other BPG winners this year include Melvyn Bragg, Martin Scorsese, Jamie Oliver, Armando Iannucci, Ross Kemp and Jonathan Ross.

Oliver has won two awards for his work on Channel 4. Jamie’s School Dinners was named best documentary series and he also won the award for best performer in a non-acting role.

Jonathan Ross was named radio broadcaster of the year, for his BBC Radio 2 show. Radio 4’s comedy series The Ed Reardon Show was radio programme of the year.

The BBC TV comedy series The Thick of It, which was shown on BBC4 and BBC2, won two awards – for best comedy/entertainment show and the writer’s award, which went to the writing team headed by Armando Iannucci. BBC2 also picked up the award for best single documentary, which went to Martin Scorsese’s film for the Arena strand, No Direction Home – Bob Dylan.

More 4’s A Very Social Secretary, about the events leading to David Blunkett’s resignation as Home Secretary, won the award for best single drama. It was later shown on Channel 4. Sky One’s Ross Kemp on Gangs was named best multichannel programme.

Melvyn Bragg is to be given a lifetime achievement award, for his work as an ITV executive and as a broadcaster, on ITV’s The South Bank Show and on Radio 4, where his weekly programme In Our Time has been a surprise podcasting hit. He will receive the annual Harvey Lee award for outstanding contribution to broadcasting. Previous winners include David Attenborough, Michael Grade and Greg Dyke.

Podcasting was also recognised in a new BPG award for innovation. It went to BBC Radio and Music Interactive, for its pioneering work bringing radio to listeners “on demand” through the BBC Radio Player, downloading and podcasting.

The Broadcasting Press Guild is an association of more than a hundred journalists who write and broadcast about television, radio and the media generally. The Awards will be presented by the Guild’s chairman, Kate Bulkley and other BPG members.

Further information available from:
Torin Douglas on 020 8624 9052 or 07860 422992

List of Winners

Best Single Drama A Very Social Secretary (Mentorn for More 4/Channel 4)
Best Drama Series/Serial Bleak House (BBC One)
Best Documentary Series Jamie’s School Dinners (Fresh One Productions for Channel 4)
Best Single Documentary: Arena: No Direction Home – Bob Dylan (BBC Arena, Grey Water Park Productions, Spitfire Pictures, Thirteen/WNET New York & Sikelia Productions for PBS and BBC Two)
Best Comedy/Entertainment The Thick of It (BBC Four/BBC Two)
Multichannel Award Ross Kemp on Gangs (IWC Media for Sky One)
Best Actor Charles Dance (Bleak House, BBC One)
Best Actress Gillian Anderson (Bleak House, BBC One)
Best Performer (Non-acting) Jamie Oliver (Jamie’s School Dinners,
Channel 4)
Writer’s Award Armando Iannucci, Jesse Armstrong, Tony Roche, Simon Blackwell, Ian Martin (The Thick of It, BBC Four/BBC Two)
Radio Programme of the Year Ed Reardon’s Week (BBC Radio 4)
Radio Broadcaster of the Year Jonathan Ross (Off the Kerb Productions for BBC Radio 2)
Innovation Award BBC Radio and Music Interactive
Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting
Melvyn Bragg