BPG Awards 2024 Highlights Video

 

Relive our memorable 50th BPG Awards lunch in this compilation video featuring Sarah Lancashire, the Ghosts team, Manori Ravindran, Rory Cellan-Jones, Sir Nicholas Mostyn, Gary Oldman, David Jonsson, Jo Hamilton, Toby Jones, Helen Black, Estella Hawkey, GK Barry, Ken Bruce and Andy Harries.

Richard Last, 1927-2024

Richard Last at the 2014 Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, with Torin Douglas

We were very sad to report the death in May of Richard Last, one of the founders of the BPG and its lynchpin for many years – as chair for two years (1984-5) and membership secretary, lunch secretary, awards secretary and treasurer for many more. He was 96 and our treasurer Torin Douglas spoke to him on the phone on the eve of our memorable 50th BPG Awards lunch which he was sorry to miss.

 

Torin attended Richard’s funeral on Thursday May 30th in Woking, with longstanding BPG members Maggie Forwood and Steve Clark, and also Marilyn Lee, Harvey Lee’s wife – who became a close friend of Richard and Pauline Last through the BPG. It took place at St. Dunstan’s Catholic Church, Woking, and Pauline requested that no one should wear black attire. All five of Richard’s daughters – Jane, Elizabeth, Amanda, Charlotte and Victoria – give tributes to their Dad. In them, and after the service, they made clear how much the BPG – and its Awards lunches – had meant to them as a family. The funeral was followed by a celebration of Richard’s life at The Cricketers Pub, Horsell, Woking, where a light buffet was served.  

Following the funeral, Marilyn wrote:
“You could see how popular Richard and his family are by how many people attended the funeral.  His daughters are delightful and delivered funny and poignant eulogies. I have known Richard a very long time, back to the days of The BPG Awards downstairs at The Cheshire Cheese pub, when Harvey first joined the committee. Harvey really looked up to Richard who was so supportive – he adored and respected him – and Richard, Pauline and the girls were so kind to my family. We stayed in one of the holiday houses that the Lasts recommended near Santiago de Compostela, and had 2 fabulous and memorable holidays there. Famous for its frog that lived in a black plastic bin bag!  By the way plenty of water there – I had no idea Richard was a fierce supporter of water being available for everyone in the world and how privileged he felt being able to freely have a shower whenever he wanted. 

“The wake was a very lovely, relaxed, and gentle affair. I got to know some of his family, a nephew who had worked in defence, very interesting and also Richard’s  sister-in-law. I then joined Steve Clarke and Robin Stringer ex-Daily Telegraph , who Harvey used to mention to me and spoke about the DT days. I enjoyed meeting him and hearing the tales.  The food was scrummy and his daughter Jane – who trades as Jane’s Cakes – pointed out she did not provide the food this time, as the wake had been catered by someone else. I was so pleased I went and was able to pay my respects to a most delightful man.”
 
Steve Clark wrote:
“The wake was very jolly. Pauline gave a lovely speech, the food was fab and in certain quarters quite a lot of drink was taken! Richard would have approved. I’ve never been to such a joyous funeral!”
 
Maggie Forwood wrote:
“Splendid funeral and sterling performances by the family. It’s strange when you learn something new about someone you’ve known for so long – at their funeral! After the girls’ fascinating tales of Richard’s excessive love of water, washing and bathing, I shall think of him now as the Water King of Woking.”
 
We have received some very warm messages and memories from our members.

Graham Keal: “It is indeed very sad news. Richard was a lovely man and a talented journalist, as well as a great supporter and indeed leader of the BPG. He will be greatly missed, and I’ve missed his presence at recent awards lunches.”

Maggie Brown: “I am sorry to hear of the passing of Richard Last who was for so long a key member of and contributor to the BPG’s success. He was a very nice charming person who loved the TV industry and wrote about it with authority. I think he is the last of a generation of national broadsheet dedicated writers and critics who saw television as an art form.”

Țara Conlan: “Richard was so kind and welcoming to  me when I first joined the BPG; a really lovely man who did so much for the guild x.”

Ben Dowell: “Very sorry to hear. What a lovely, lively, kindly, clever and affable man he was.”

Rosalie Horner, who worked closely with Richard in bringing the BPG Awards to national prominence (seen here with Sir Alec Guinness), wrote this tribute:

Richard Last was one of Fleet Street’s acclaimed television critics along with such great names as his fellow Daily Telegraph scribes Sylvia Clayton and Sean Day Lewis, and Nancy Banks Smith of The Guardian. But if Richard spent most of his working life staring at the screen in darkened projection rooms around Soho or Tottenham Court Road, visiting Thames TV in Euston Road, London Weekend on the Southbank or trudging out to White City to view BBC content, there was another side to his devotion to ‘the box in the corner’ as television is no longer referred to.  He was a founder of the Broadcasting Press Guild fifty years ago, that group of journalists who earned their daily bread writing about what was shown on British television screens.

When I became a Daily Express television writer in 1976 Richard and fellow devotees, Martin Jackson and Stewart Lane encouraged me to become part of the Guild and my association remains to this day as a Life Member. Richard always brought harmony and good sense to the Guild and in the early days he helped make our illustrious stars of television and theatre, people like Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Sir Alec Guinness, Sir David Attenborough and John Pilger, welcome to our unpretentious venue under the arches at Blackfriars.

At one stage the BPG Awards were first announced on television on BBC’s Pebble Mill at One and Richard and I would travel up to Birmingham, hoping we would cope with the same tenacity in front of the camera we gave to its scrutiny in our day jobs. Alan Titchmarsh was kind and we managed to avoid obvious traps like mixing metaphors unlike one unfortunate interviewee whose name I’ve forgotten who said an actress really got into her role ‘grabbing it with both teeth’.

Richard loved and believed in television and was proud to be writing about it. For most of the last fifty years of the BPG, Richard’s wisdom and knowledge have been a guiding force behind the Guild’s reputation for acknowledging the very best of British television. He will be much missed but his legacy remains.

You can also read Richard’s own, highly entertainingHistory of the BPG – the first 21 years”.
You can still make a donation to his favourite charity WaterAid.

Andy Harries: UK television at risk of being a ‘service industry’ to the US

Chief executive and co-founder of Left Bank Pictures Andy Harries’ BPG Awards Speech on 21st March 2024, accepting the BPG Harvey Lee Award For Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting

Did you see clip from the second series of Mad Dogs with our baddie in the Tony Blair mask? It reminded me of the casting session in Madrid. We turned up at the offices one morning to find it overflowing with very small Spanish men. We assumed they must be casting another show at the same time – a Time Bandits 2 or something – and as we threaded our way through them, we were astonished to hear that they were there to meet us. How so, we asked? These, said the casting team, are your “Tiny Blairs”…and yes…a small typing error in our production office had turned Tony into Tiny…and it seemed rude not to keep it that way.

To get an award from a bunch of top journalists is particularly special to me as I started life as a young reporter on the Peterborough Evening Telegraph when I was 17, so in some ways I have come full circle. I might have clambered up to Fleet Street like my primary school pal Richard Littlejohn (as opinionated in the playground then as he is today) – who knows – but my life took a sharp turn into TV when I was offered a job at Granada TV, scriptwriting the trailers when I was 21.

Granada was a proper northern powerhouse in its heyday.
The Bernstein family created the company in the northwest because it had the most rainfall in the UK and therefore, they believed that more people would watch TV there than anywhere else.

The company was a fabulous creation with deep showbiz roots – the very name suggested scale and sunshine. The building in Quay Street in the centre of the city had 4 studios – 2/6/8/12 – think about it – and adding to the illusion of being a much bigger TV station than it really was, was the large fake tower on the rooftop, built of wood, which appeared to be beaming its shows into outer space.

The ethos of Granada was simple – the company was very proud of being in the north – deeply suspicious of the establishment and the London bias, and we were always expected to punch above our weight. It was an inspiring place to be as a youngster in the late 1970’s working on shows like World In Action and maverick geniuses like presenter and Factory Records boss, Tony Wilson. Many of my obsessions, my ideas, and my attitude to making television comes from these formative years.

The real touch of class in those days was a huge Francis Bacon painting in the foyer and a grand collection of Modern British art along the corridors – and the day that Gerry Robinson and Charles Allen sent it all to the auction house in the late 1990’s, I knew the very heart and soul of the old Granada had properly gone.

Today, the stylish 50’s building in central Manchester is about to open this autumn as a Soho house. The very offices where groundbreaking shows like Prime Suspect, Cracker, Coronation Street, Brideshead Revisited and Stars in Their Eyes were created will soon be home to a bunch of bars and restaurants with a roof top pool! As with the BBC’s White City HQ – the private members club created for creatives in TV has taken over the very factories where we learnt our trade. A small and cosmetic change in a world that is dramatically different today – but ironic.

Granada was the company that trained me, but it also dismissed me when I was 26.
I was told by a dull mid-level executive that, “I was wasting my time… I had absolutely no future in TV”.  Depressing at the time – but to be honest – his words were like rocket fuel propelling me to London and into the new freelance world as a documentary director created by the arrival of Channel 4 and a ton of small production companies.

12 years and a hell of a lot of documentaries and mad adventures later, I found myself in another of those sliding-doors moments in your career. And this is where I have to thank two very important people. Comedy had gripped me since taking Lenny Henry to New York as part of the South Bank Show profile. I watched him turn a live set round in 4 days performing at a New York club and I fell in love with the edge and excitement of comedy – there is no safety net – its either funny or its not – it works or it doesn’t. But trying to move from documentaries to comedy was hard given the Oxbridge biased domination of the British comedy scene at that time. I was drifting, not sure how to set up a very funny play I had bought at Edinburgh called An Evening with Gary Lineker. Everyone I went to turned it down and, as a last resort, I sent it to my old friend – David Liddiment…the man who had sat opposite me as a promotion script writer all those years ago, but who was now the deputy director of programmes at Granada. We arranged what became a long, hugely enjoyable, and rather drunken lunch in Kensington.

Much later that evening as I sobered up, my partner Rebecca, who I was living with, asked me how the lunch had gone. I mumbled a few things and then about 20 minutes later rather half-heartedly, “Oh and he offered me a job as Head of Comedy”. She looked at me and said immediately, “That’s brilliant – that’s perfect for you”. “But they haven’t got any comedy”, I said. “Even better”, she replied, “You can do your own thing.” I told her I was rather hoping to stay in London, get married and have children, not go back to Manchester!

We headed to Thailand to think it through. We rented a small hut on a large empty beach in the Phi Phi Islands and every day I would draw a list in the sand of reasons for and against the job – decent salary – security etc, against – going back to the northwest – corporate life etc. And on the issue of the marriage – we had lived together for 5 years – I would write only positives and underline “have babies asap!”

I took the job. Manchester was no longer the grey, gloomy city that Joy Division’s music reflected…it was jumping with brilliant new bands like the Happy Mondays and Oasis and a ton of emerging comedy talent to collaborate with like Caroline Aherne and Craig Cash, Steve Coogan, John Thompson, Lee Evans, and Rik Mayall. David backed me all the way and has been a huge ally throughout my career – he is a wise and wonderful man – thank you David.

Rebecca and I got married and we had identical twin boys almost immediately – one of them, Jack, is here today. Rebecca has been equally smart and supportive, steering me away from the precipice of lunacy and keeping me as grounded as possible. She has nurtured three amazing children and managed a very successful career as a writer and film maker.

I owe them both my career. Everything flowed forward from this point.
I understood what I was good at, identifying talent – on screen and off – and creating the means and the creative environment for the talent to flourish.

And you lot – critics and media specialists – have been very supportive too. I dug out a review of The Royle Family by the late Victor Lewis Smith in the Evening Standard which meant a huge amount to the team, at the time.

“When a preview tape of the Royle Family first arrived, I thought it was so dire that I ejected it from my video recorder after 5 minutes and threw it in the bin. Yet strangely an hour later, I felt compelled to retrieve it, watched another five minutes threw it into the bin again and so on in a deranged cycle until I finally began to understand what writers, Caroline Aherne, Craig Cash and Henry Normal were trying to do. Making a comedy without gags is, on the face of it, as absurd as making champagne without fizz…but once you have overcome the initial barrier of unfulfilled expectation you suddenly find yourself engrossed in a world that perfectly captures the warm bleakness of lumpenproletarian existence, a world so bittersweet and truthful that, at times, it’s almost too honest to watch.

TV critics are commonly perceived to be a misanthropic bunch, yet in reality, we are desperate to find genuinely funny programmes to praise, but the quality and originality that shines through in The Royle Family is sadly all too rare. The fact is, on most days, the only way I could honestly write, “you’ll piss yourself laughing”, would be if I was a TV critic for Incontinence Sufferers Digest.”

TV today is very different from the days of the duopoly of the BBC and ITV.
Streamers, and Netflix in particular, have changed everything, especially for me. The Crown would never have been made if Netflix had not bought it. They had the money – they shared our ambition for it – and they always understood the brand value of the other “royal family” in a global market. There are more broadcasters than ever before, more opportunities, and the tax breaks reflect a government who are slowly understanding how important the creative industries are to our economy. TV is a big business and we are very good at it – much of our top UK talent play a key part in US funded TV shows, and mega Hollywood movies are being shot here in the UK – but despite all our success, I am worried that the very heart of our UK business – our public broadcasters – are increasingly looking vulnerable with ad money now draining from ITV and C4 to Amazon and Netflix, and the BBC’s licence fee falling far short of the rate of inflation.

This means that all of their drama budgets are under huge pressure and the sort of shows that are at risk in the future are the ones about us and our lives in the UK. Neither BBC or ITV licence fees have kept pace with inflation and there is very little appetite from the US and global TV market for shows that are essentially about very local and contentious – and I mean political – subjects.

Mr Bates vs The Post Office was a timely reminder of the impact and importance of a show about a specific British scandal. But it was touch and go on the budget before it was greenlit, and I understand all the actors were paid scale – i.e. they took a pay cut in order to get the show on air. A couple of years ago when we made Sitting in Limbo, a BAFTA-winning single film for the BBC about the Windrush scandal, we had to make a decision at Left Bank that if we were going to make it – we had to do it for cost. More recently – with co-pro monies drying up in the US – I have heard of many uniquely British shows that simply can’t be financed at all.

So I ask – would Boys from the Blackstuff, Hillsborough, or Our Friends in the North be made these days?
How about Five Daughters, This Is England, The Deal, Longford or even The Royle Family? I am not so sure. Are we in danger of our business ending up as a first class, top-end service industry to the US at the expense of our own experiences – shows that reflect our own lives in the UK? Perhaps the answer lies in extending the 40% tax allowance recently introduced in the last budget for British movies to single films and limited series on TV that are specifically British.

Of course, the streamers are spending lots of money here, and Netflix in particular is very committed at present to British producers and locally made shows but streamers like shows that travel, are entertaining, and won’t offend. I know that The Gentlemen or our show Who is Erin Carter will play happily in a bar in Brazil, but Mr Bates won’t. We live in times when drama on TV is becoming de-politicised – no global company is rushing to make dramas which involve religious, racial, or political controversy. For example, who has ever have heard of a plane being hijacked because the guy behind it was hoping to make a few bob through the share price crashing as quickly as the plane! Fun though Hijack was on Apple, the actual premise of the story was clearly apolitical and uncontentious. This is a trend which has spread from Hollywood’s big global movies. The country that Tom Cruise is bombing to shit in Top Gun Maverick is never named – the people are never named – they are just the bad guys.

So let’s have a think about how we can go about protecting original British drama on ITV and Channel 4, and let’s talk for a couple of minutes about the future of the BBC.
Surely, it’s time to stop chipping away at it or giving oxygen to those who constantly call to cut it to the bone – this is NOT the answer.
Do we want it to go the way of collapsing local councils like Birmingham, or the tragic chaos of the NHS, or the failure of our railways to get people where they need to go?
How many British institutions do we want to take the wrecking ball to?

I was at Labour’s Creatives Conference last Thursday, and while Keir Starmer’s words were warm and encouraging, he offered no clear view of the BBC or its future. If Labour achieves power, Starmer and his cabinet should commit to increasing the licence fee, show it the love, and secure its long-term future, once and for all.
The streamers NEED the competition. Our industry needs a healthy BBC, and the BBC keeps us British – its role in our society is unique and unifying.

And let’s stop calling it a TV licence, this tax should not be defined by the way you watch the BBC – it should be reinvented as a cultural subscription – a fee (and very comparable to each of the streamers these days) which gives every British citizen access to its extraordinary range of TV shows, radio, podcasts, orchestras, and music in all its forms.

The BBC and ITV are still the default entertainment channels for millions of people in this country, and always at times of national celebration and crisis.
This country needs a TV industry which remains distinctive, independent, and competitive with US global media companies. Let’s work together to find an inventive way to ensure that all our public broadcasters are a continuing part of the national debate with their drama, and they have some protection AND the funds to make the shows that can shine a light on our lives in the UK and sometimes – make a difference.

One final sliding doors moment for you: In 1979, Granada dispatched me to the Northwest Frontier for several months to set up a film about a small Pathan village in the tribal areas of Pakistan for the anthropological series, Disappearing World. It was not easy and not helped by the fact that the mullah of the village took a bit of a shine to me. The many weeks of filming were a bit of test to keep on the move and out of his way. Finally, we got the film in the can, and we returned to the relative calm and civilisation of the Deans Hotel in Peshawar. Deans, a former British camp with a series of timber-built cabins around a square. One morning, the day before we were due to fly back to the UK, I looked out of my cabin window to see the mullah from the village – and we are talking 6 or 7 hours away – striding across to the cabin of the director, Dr Andre Singer. I watched, horrified, as some sort of argument ensued for about 10 minutes before the mullah finally departed. I waited another 10 minutes and ran across to Andre’s cabin. He was in fits of laughter. The mullah had come to plead with him to leave me behind, and in a curious negotiation, had finally made an offer of 15 sheep to take me away.

Life could have been very different.

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.

Ends

Happy Birthday BPG! by veteran members Graham Keal and Rosalie Horner

L to r: Graham Keal, Rory Cellan-Jones, Tara Conlan, Alan Yentob and Sir Nicholas Mostyn

Graham Keal (above, left) has been attending the BPG Awards for 40 years – on LinkedIn he reflected on this year’s 50th anniversary ceremony

And so we say farewell to this year’s annual Broadcasting Press Guild Awards Lunch, which I’ve been attending since 1984 – with Happy Valley the most prominent winner, after being deservedly voted Best Drama, with its creator Sally Wainwright winning Best Writer and star Sarah Lancashire, pictured here with co-star Siobhan Finneran (BPG pic) winning Best Actress.

Sarah Lancashire
Siobhan Finneran
Photograph: Richard Kendal
BPG Awards 2024
London Horseguards Hotel London

Other luminaries present included Toby Jones from Mr Bates vs The Post Office (winner of the Special Jury Prize), Ken Bruce (Audio Presenter of the Year) and Jeremy Paxman, who last year won the Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting and this year won Podcast of the Year for his Movers and Shakers series, with fellow-participants Rory Cellan-Jones and Sir Nicholas Mostyn, who accepted on their behalf with what was easily the wittiest speech of the day. He was also amiable and chatty beforehand and cheerily gave me a great tip for ending it all if old age and infirmity become too burdensome…

Former BBC2 Controller Alan Yentob, who nowadays presents arts documentary strand Imagine, was also in this group so I was able to Hobnob with Yentob – and I give him that for free should he ever launch his own chat show.

Best Actor went to Gary Oldman for the superb Slow Horses – worth getting Apple TV+ for if only to binge on all three series (I did) and most impassioned speech of the day came from Andy Harries, producer of The Crown, amongst countless other hit TV series and movies (including The Queen, starring Helen Mirren, for which he was Oscar-nominated).

Andy said this: “TV is a big business and we are very good at it – much of our top UK talent play a key part in US funded TV shows, and mega Hollywood movies are being shot here in the UK – but despite all our success, I am worried that the very heart of our UK business – our public broadcasters – are increasingly looking vulnerable with ad money now draining from ITV and C4 to Amazon and Netflix, and the BBC’s licence fee falling far short of the rate of inflation.”

I am myself worried that this may have been not only the 50th but also the last BPG Awards lunch. Although sufficient sponsors were finally found to underwrite the cost of the event – which runs to tens of thousands of pounds – organising it each year is all down to volunteer committee members such as the indefatigable outgoing Awards Secretary Kate Bulkley, bustling Ross Biddescombe and the ever-industrious and conscientious treasurer Torin Douglas, and it’s a massive undertaking.

I wish recently-appointed Chair of the BPG Manori Ravindran the very best of luck in assembling a team that can replicate the enormous achievements of the previous incumbents. It certainly won’t be easy.

@BPGPressGuild #BPGAwards

 

Greetings from Rosalie Horner (BPG chair 1980-81, then lunch secretary) in Australia

Rosalie Horner presenting Sir Alec Guinness with his Best Actor award for ‘Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy’ in 1980

I am thinking of all my dear Broadcasting Press Guild friends and guests, and of course this year’s splendid winners. Congratulations! Everyone’s a winner today as you celebrate the BPG’s magnificent half century.  

I send love and greetings from Sydney, Australia. Have a fabulous time. I wish I were with you.

As the first female chair of the BPG and now honoured as a lifelong member of the Guild, I have always taken great pride in the achievements of the Guild. From the early days, people such as Martin Jackson, Sean Day-Lewis, Richard Last, Stewart Lane, Harvey Lee, Brenda Maddox, and more recently, Torin Douglas and Kate Bulkley, all have worked hard to make the annual Awards a must-attend event in the broadcasting calendar.

Over the years, the BPG has hosted the great names of British broadcasting, legends such as Peggy Ashcroft, John Pilger, Alec Guinness, Bruce Forsyth, Helen Mirren, David Attenborough, Colin Firth, Cilla Black, Terry Wogan, Dennis Potter, Kenith Trodd, Andrew Davies and many, many more. I have been privileged to take bread with them in a variety of venues which include the rude charm of the Shakespeare Tavern under the arches at Blackfriars, Covent Garden’s Crush Bar and the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane.

I also remember the ‘after party’, that unplanned event which occurred once the Awards and the wine were finished. More sustenance was taken in taverns nearby which saw lively, if increasingly inaccurate reruns of the main event until finally the remaining journalists and actors staggered off into the night to catch tubes, trains or taxis in the belief that Fleet Street and ‘the box’ were made for each other.  

Happy birthday BPG!  Have a great time.  I’m with you in spirit.

We’ve also received birthday good wishes from Richard Last
(BPG co-founder, chair 1984-85, then membership and lunch secretary, and treasurer)
and Maggie Forwood (BPG chair 1982-83)

Former BPG chairs in 2004, at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane: Left to right: Front row: Torin Douglas, Richard Last, Brenda Maddox, Sean Day-Lewis; Back row: Steve Clark, Rosalie Horner, Martin Jackson, Margaret Forwood, Ray Snoddy

‘Scandal’ and ‘Sin’ head this year’s Broadcasting Press Guild Awards

Two TV dramas – A Very British Scandal and It’s A Sin – have taken top honours at this year’s Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, chosen by critics and journalists who write about TV and radio.

It’s a Sin (Channel 4) was named Best Drama Series and its creator, Russell T Davies, won the BPG award for Best Writer, in the teeth of competition from Jimmy McGovern (Time), Sarah Phelps (A Very British Scandal), Chris Lang (Unforgotten) and Neil Forsyth (Guilt).

A Very British Scandal (BBC One) was voted Best Drama Mini-Series and its star Claire Foy was named Best Actress, ahead of Olivia Colman (Landscapers), Jodie Comer (Help) and Lydia West (It’s A Sin).

Stephen Graham won the award for Best Actor for his performances in Help (C4) and Time (BBC One), in another strong shortlist with Sean Bean (Time), Sanjeev Bhaskar (Unforgotten) and Olly Alexander and Callum Scott Howells (It’s A Sin).

The 48th BPG Awards lunch, sponsored for the first time by YouTube, took place today at The Brewery in the City of London, attended by the winners, BPG members and leading broadcasting executives. (Full list of winners below). The BPG Awards are given for TV, streaming and audio productions commissioned or premiered in the UK and screened in 2021. They are highly prized by programme-makers because they are selected independently by TV and radio correspondents, critics and previewers.

Bob Mortimer and Paul Whitehouse won the BPG Best Entertainment award for the third time with Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing (BBC Two), ahead of Michael MacIntyre’s The Wheel, Strictly Come Dancing (both BBC One), Mel Giedroyc: Unforgivable (Dave) and The Masked Singer (ITV). The Best Comedy award went to Alma’s Not Normal (BBC Two), in competition with Sex Education (Netflix) Stath Lets Flats (C4) and Starstruck (BBC Three).

The BBC Two series Blair & Brown: The New Labour Revolution was named Best Documentary Series, ahead of Clarkson’s Farm (Prime Video), David Attenborough’s A Perfect Planet (BBC One) and Grayson’s Art Club (Channel 4). Peter Jackson’s Disney+ series The Beatles: Get Back was voted Best Documentary Mini-Series, in competition with Grenfell: The Untold Story (Channel 4) and two BBC Two series – Four Hours at the Capitol and Gods of Snooker.

Grant Tucker, the chair of the BPG, said: “In their 48th year, the BPG awards remain true to the values on which they were founded: celebrating the best work on TV and radio, voted for by those whose job is to write about broadcasting.

“2021 was a fantastic year for British television. The industry bounced back from the worst days of the pandemic with record levels of investment and programming, and our winners announced today are testimony to that creative explosion.

“It is also evident that, despite reports of their death, our public service broadcasters are very much alive and thriving. “

Aasmah Mir of Times Radio was named as BPG Audio Presenter of the Year, for her performance on the station’s breakfast show, Aasmah Mir and Stig Abell with Times Radio Breakfast. The other nominees were Amol Rajan (BBC Radio 4), Iain Dale (LBC), Petroc Trelawny (BBC Radio 3) and Vick Hope (BBC Radio 1).

Jamz Supernova won the Radio Programme of the Year award, for her BBC 6 Music show Jamz Supernova on 6, ahead of Aasmah Mir and Stig Abell with Times Radio Breakfast (Times Radio), The Eco Show (Marlow FM 97.5), Uncanny with Danny Robins (BBC Radio 4), and Woman’s Hour (BBC Radio 4).

The UK Podcast of the Year was Things Fell Apart – Jon Ronson (BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds), in competition with Backlisted (Unbound), Finding Q: My Journey into QAnon (Audible), Sweet Bobby (Tortoise Media) and The Rest Is History (Goalhanger Films)

Scott Bryan, chair of the audio jury, said: “It has been another exceptional year for audio. For much of the time, many of us were apart and radio and podcasts continued to keep us together. It is notable that whilst the internet has continued to change the way we live our lives, the intimacy of radio and audio has been retained and even enhanced.”

As announced earlier this week, Jon Snow of Channel 4 News won the Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting.

The BPG Breakthrough Award went to the actor and writer of BBC Three’s Starstruck, Rose Matafeo. She was up against the creator of We Are Lady Parts (C4), Nida Manzoor, and the ‘Pink Palace’ cast members of C4’s It’s A Sin – Omari Douglas, Olly Alexander, Callum Scott Howells, Lydia West and Nathaniel Curtis.

A new award, the BPG Emerging Creators Award for video creativity on social media platforms, was given to Chunkz (YouTube), in competition with Francis Bourgeois (TikTok), Lucy Edwards (TikTok), Michael Dappah (YouTube) and Rosie Holt (Twitter).

The BPG Innovation in Broadcasting award went to Channel 4 for its Black to Front project and ongoing inclusion initiatives. Also on the shortlist were Albert, BAFTA’s sustainable production certificate, and Lights Up, the virtual theatre festival in lockdown (BBC Four).

Further information from Torin Douglas, BPG, 07860 422992 or torindouglas@aol.com.

Notes to editors:

  1. The awards are being announced at the 48th BPG Awards lunch at The Brewery in the City of London on Friday March 25th 2022 and simultaneously on Twitter @BPGPress #BPGAwards.
  2. The Broadcasting Press Guild was founded in 1974 and has more than 150 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.
  3. Harvey Lee (1950-1991) – after whom the award is named – was the media correspondent for the Daily Telegraph and a leading light in the BPG throughout the 1980s. Previous winners of the BPG’s Harvey Lee Award, for an outstanding contribution to broadcasting, include Sir Lenny Henry, Moira Stuart, John Humphrys, Nicholas Parsons, Sir Terry Wogan, Cilla Black, Melvyn Bragg, Andrew Davies, Sir David Frost, Michael Grade, Norma Percy, Biddy Baxter & Edward Barnes, Phil Redmond, Beryl Vertue, Tony Warren, Anne Wood, John Lloyd and Charles Wheeler. See more details at http://www.broadcastingpressguild.org/bpgawards/harvey-lee/
  4. The 48th BPG Awards are sponsored by YouTube, the world’s largest video-sharing platform, owned by Google. Launched in 2005, YouTube’s mission is to give everyone a voice and show them the world. They say: We believe that everyone deserves to have a voice, and that the world is a better place when we listen, share and build community through our stories. https://www.youtube.com

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

Best Documentary Series
Blair & Brown: The New Labour Revolution
A BBC Studios Documentary Unit Production for BBC Two

Best Documentary Mini-Series
The Beatles: Get Back
Apple Corps Ltd. & WingNut Films Productions Ltd. for Disney+

Best Drama Mini-Series
A Very British Scandal
A Blueprint Television production for BBC One

Best Drama Series
It’s a Sin
A RED Production Company production for Channel 4 and HBO Max in association with All3Media International

Best Entertainment
Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing Series 4
An Owl Power Television production for BBC Two

Best Comedy
Alma’s Not Normal
An Expectation production for BBC Two

Best Actor
Stephen Graham
For his roles as:
   Tony in Help
   The Forge Entertainment and One Shoe Films for Channel 4
and as
   Eric McNally in Time
   BBC Studios Drama Productions for BBC One

Best Actress
Claire Foy
For her role as Margaret Campbell, Duchess of Argyll, in A Very British Scandal
A Blueprint Television production for BBC One

Best Writer
Russell T Davies
It’s a Sin
A RED Production Company production for Channel 4 and HBO Max in association with All3Media International

Audio Presenter of the Year
Aasmah Mir
Times Radio Breakfast, a Times Radio production

Radio Programme of the Year
Jamz Supernova on 6
A BBC Audio production for BBC Radio 6 Music

Podcast of the Year
Things Fell Apart – written and presented by Jon Ronson
A BBC Audio production for BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds

BPG Innovation in Broadcasting Award
Channel 4’s Black to Front Project and ongoing inclusion initiatives

BPG Breakthrough Award
Rose Matafeo
Writer and Actor, Starstruck
An Avalon production for BBC Three and HBO Max

BPG Emerging Creators Award
Amin Mohamed aka Chunkz
for YouTube

Harvey Lee Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting Award
Jon Snow
Channel 4 News

Jon Snow to be honoured by TV and radio writers at Broadcasting Press Guild Awards lunch

Jon Snow to be honoured by TV and radio writers at Broadcasting Press Guild Awards lunch
www.broadcastingpressguild.org

The journalist and broadcaster, Jon Snow, is to be honoured later this week at the 48th annual Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, chosen by journalists who write about television, streaming and audio, sponsored by YouTube.

On Friday March 25th, he will receive the Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting at the awards lunch at The Brewery, Chiswell Street, in the City of London. The award celebrates his 48 years of reporting and presenting the news, most notably as the face of Channel 4 News from 1989 to 2021.

It recognises a career of remarkable broadcasting, in which he has covered elections, wars, earthquakes and many of the world’s most memorable events, including the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, the fall of the Berlin Wall, the release of Nelson Mandela, earthquakes in Haiti and Japan, and the elections of Margaret Thatcher, Ronald Reagan, Tony Blair and Barack Obama.

Jon Snow began his career at LBC Radio in 1973, where he established his reputation for getting quickly to the story (often on his bicycle) and securing interviews with those at the centre of it. He joined ITN in 1978, serving as its Washington correspondent in the mid 1980s; as diplomatic editor in the second half of the eighties and, in 1992 as the main anchor for ITN’s election night programme on ITV. He also presented the award-winning documentary Sri Lanka’s Killing Fields, as well as reaching out to audiences through his daily news email ‘Snowmail’ from 2000 to 2021.

The BPG also recognises him for being outspoken and idealistic – even declining to accept an OBE, believing journalists should not receive honours from the people on whom they report – and, on a lighter note, for his sartorially famous collection of brightly coloured ties that underline his irreplaceable on-air style.

The BPG’s chairman Grant Tucker, said: “A fearless journalist, Jon Snow has spent his life holding the powerful to account and in doing so has earnt his place among Britain’s greatest news presenters. As war once again dominates headlines around the world, we are also reminded of Snow’s tenacious reporting from countless conflicts to ensure audiences witnessed the horrors of war.”

The BPG Television, Streaming and Audio Awards are highly prized by programme-makers because they are selected independently by journalists who write about TV, radio, streaming and podcasts – correspondents, critics and previewers. The awards lunch, sponsored by YouTube, will be attended by the winners, BPG members and leading broadcasting executives.
www.broadcastingpressguild.org

For more information about the Broadcasting Press Guild, including a full list of winners over the past 47 years, and see pictures and videos from previous BPG awards ceremonies at:
http://www.broadcastingpressguild.org/2014/03/25/history-of-the-broadcasting-press-guild

Notes to editors:

  1. The remaining award winners will be announced at the 48th BPG Awards lunch at The Brewery in the City of London on Friday March 25th 2022 and simultaneously on Twitter @BPGPress #BPGAwards. Winners have been informed in advance and places at the lunch are by invitation only. A full news release about the winners, embargoed till 2pm on Friday, will be available on our website: www.broadcastingpressguild.org
  2. The Broadcasting Press Guild was founded in 1974 and has more than 130 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.
  3. Harvey Lee (1950-1991) – after whom the award is named – was the media correspondent for the Daily Telegraph and a leading light in the BPG throughout the 1980s. Previous winners of the BPG’s Harvey Lee Award, for an outstanding contribution to broadcasting, include Sir Lenny Henry, Moira
    Stuart, John Humphrys, Nicholas Parsons, Sir Terry Wogan, Cilla Black, Melvyn Bragg, Andrew Davies, Sir David Frost, Michael Grade, Norma Percy, Biddy Baxter & Edward Barnes, Phil Redmond, Beryl Vertue, Tony Warren, Anne Wood, John Lloyd and Charles Wheeler. See more details at
    http://www.broadcastingpressguild.org/bpgawards/harvey-lee/
  4. The 48th BPG Awards are sponsored by YouTube, the world’s largest video-sharing platform, owned by Google. Launched in 2005, YouTube’s mission is to give everyone a voice and show them the world. It says: We believe that everyone deserves to have a voice, and that the world is a better place when we listen, share and build community through our stories. https://www.youtube.com

Further information: Torin Douglas, BPG: torindouglas@aol.com or 07860 422992

BPG Awards 2022: Television And Streaming Nominations

 

Jeremy Clarkson will go head-to-head with David Attenborough and Grayson Perry in this year’s Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, to be presented next month in London.

Clarkson’s Farm (Prime Video) has been shortlisted for best TV and streaming documentary series, alongside Attenborough’s A Perfect Planet (BBC One), Grayson’s Art Club (Channel 4) and two BBC Two series – Life In Ten Pictures and Blair & Brown: The New Labour Revolution.

Olivia Colman, Jodie Comer, Claire Foy and Lydia West will compete for the best actress award. Colman is nominated for her role in Landscapers (HBO/Sky), Comer for Help (Channel 4), Foy for A Very British Scandal (BBC One) and West for It’s a Sin (Channel 4)

Shortlisted as best actor are Sean Bean and Stephen Graham for Time (BBC One), Sanjeev Bhaskar for Unforgotten (ITV) and Olly Alexander and Callum Scott Howells for It’s a Sin. Graham is also nominated for his role in Help.

The BPG Television, Streaming and Audio Awards – for work commissioned or premiered in the UK and screened in 2021 – are prized by programme-makers because they are chosen independently by TV and radio correspondents, critics and previewers. The 48th annual BPG Awards ceremony – attended by the winners, BPG members and guests – will take place at lunchtime on Friday March 25th 2022 at The Brewery in the City of London. It will be supported for the first time by YouTube, the video sharing and social media platform owned by Google.

The Best Writer award will be contested by Jimmy McGovern (Time), Russell T Davies (It’s a Sin), Chris Lang (Unforgotten), Sarah Phelps (A Very British Scandal) and Neil Forsyth for Guilt, screened on BBC Scotland and BBC Two.

Guilt is also nominated for best drama series, alongside It’s a Sin, Landscapers, Line of Duty (BBC One) and The Serpent (BBC One). Help, Time and A Very British Scandal are shortlisted for best drama mini-series (1-3 episodes) along with Stephen (ITV) and Romeo and Juliet (the National Theatre production on Sky Arts).

Alma’s Not Normal on BBC Two is nominated as best comedy, with Sex Education (Netflix), Stath Lets Flats (Channel 4) and Starstruck (BBC Three). Mel Giedroyc: Unforgivable (Dave) will compete for the best entertainment award against Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel (BBC One), Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing (BBC Two), Strictly Come Dancing (BBC One) and The Masked Singer (ITV).

Two BBC Two series – Four Hours at the Capitol and Gods of Snooker – are shortlisted for best documentary mini-series against Grenfell: The Untold Story (Channel 4) and The Beatles: Get Back (Disney+).

Two Channel Four shows are acknowledged in the lineup for the BPG Breakthrough Award. The creator of We Are Lady Parts, Nida Manzoor, is up against the ‘Pink Palace’ cast members of It’s a Sin – Omari Douglas, Olly Alexander, Callum Scott Howells, Lydia West and Nathaniel Curtis – and also BBC Three’s Starstruck writer and actor, Rose Matafeo.

Other newcomers are recognised in a new award, the BPG Emerging Creators Award for video creativity on social media platforms. The nominees are Chunkz (YouTube), Francis Bourgeois (TikTok), Lucy Edwards (TikTok), Michael Dappah (YouTube) and Rosie Holt (Twitter).

And three broadcasting initiatives are shortlisted for the BPG Innovation in Broadcasting award: Albert, BAFTA’s sustainable production certificate; Channel 4’s Black to Front project and ongoing inclusion initiatives; and Lights Up, the virtual theatre festival in lockdown (BBC Four).

Further information from Torin Douglas, BPG, 07860 422992

Notes to editors

  1. The winners will be announced at the 48th BPG Awards lunch on Friday March 25th 2022, at The Brewery in the City of London, sponsored by YouTube. The Harvey Lee Award for outstanding contribution to broadcasting is in the gift of the BPG Executive Committee and will be presented as well.
  2. The BPG Twitter handle for the Awards is #BPGAwards @BPGPressGuild.
  3. Launched in 2005, YouTube’s mission is to give everyone a voice and show them the world. We believe that everyone deserves to have a voice, and that the world is a better place when we listen, share and build community through our stories. YouTube is a Google company.
  4. The BPG Television, Streaming and Audio Awards are presented for work commissioned or premiered in the UK and screened in 2021. Programmes which were first streamed online are nominated and voted for alongside broadcast channel commissions originating in the UK.
  5. The shortlists for Audio Broadcaster of the Year, UK Podcast of the Year and Radio Programme of the Year will be announced in a week’s time on March 3rd 2022.
  6. The Broadcasting Press Guild was founded in 1974 and has more than 175 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.
  7. Past BPG Best Actress winners include Glenda Jackson, Dame Eileen Atkins, Dame Helen Mirren, Dame Peggy Ashcroft, Gillian Anderson, Vanessa Redgrave, Maxine Peake, Anne-Marie Duff, Dame Diana Rigg, Zoe Wanamaker, Gina McKee, Dame Julie Walters, Olivia Colman, Keeley Hawes, Sheridan Smith, Juliet Stevenson and Jodie Comer.
  8. The BPG Best Actor award has been awarded in previous years to Sir Mark Rylance, Sir Kenneth Branagh, Hugh Grant, Colin Firth, Sir Alec Guinness, Albert Finney, Charles Dance, Robert Hardy, Jim Broadbent, Christopher Ecclestone, Benedict Cumberbatch, Toby Jones and Dominic West among others (see more details and photos at http://www.broadcastingpressguild.org/.)

The full list of nominations is:

 

Best Drama Mini Series, 1-3 episodes

A Very British Scandal (BBC One)

Help (C4)

Romeo and Juliet (Sky Arts)

Stephen (ITV)

Time (BBC One)

Best Drama Series, 4+ episodes

Guilt (BBC Scotland)

It’s a Sin (C4)

Landscapers (HBO/Sky)

Line of Duty S6 (BBC One)

The Serpent (BBC One)

Best Documentary Mini Series, 1-3 episodes

Four Hours at the Capitol (BBC Two)

Gods of Snooker (BBC Two)

Grenfell: The Untold Story (C4)

The Beatles: Get Back (Disney+)

Best Documentary Series, 4+ episodes

A Perfect Planet (BBC One)

Blair & Brown: The New Labour Revolution (BBC Two)

Clarkson’s Farm (Prime Video)

Grayson Art Club (C4)

Life in Ten Pictures (BBC Two)

Best Comedy

Alma’s Not Normal (BBC Two)

Sex Education S3 (Netflix)

Stath Lets Flats S3 (C4)

Starstruck (BBC Three)

Best Entertainment

Mel Giedroyc: Unforgivable (Dave)

Michael McIntyre’s The Wheel S2 (BBC One)

Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing S4 (BBC Two)

Strictly Come Dancing S19 (BBC One)

The Masked Singer S2 (ITV)

Best Actor

Olly Alexander, It’s a Sin

Sanjeev Bhaskar, Unforgotten

Sean Bean, Time

Stephen Graham, Help, Time

Callum Scott Howells, It’s a Sin

Best Actress

Olivia Colman, Landscapers

Jodie Comer, Help

Claire Foy, A Very British Scandal

Lydia West, It’s a Sin

Best Writer

Russell T Davies, It’s a Sin

Neil Forsyth, Guilt

Chris Lang, Unforgotten

Jimmy McGovern, Time

Sarah Phelps, A Very British Scandal 

BPG Innovation in Broadcasting Award

Albert, BAFTA’s sustainable production certificate

Channel 4’s Black to Front project and ongoing inclusion initiatives

Lights Up, virtual theatre festival in lockdown (BBC Four)

BPG Emerging Creators Award

Chunkz (YouTube)

Francis Bourgeois (TikTok)

Lucy Edwards (TikTok)

Michael Dappah (YouTube)

Rosie Holt (Twitter)

BPG Breakthrough Award

Rose Matafeo, writer and actor, Starstruck (BBC Three)

The ‘Pink Palace’ cast members of It’s a Sin (C4)

(Omari Douglas, Olly Alexander, Callum Scott Howells, Lydia West and Nathaniel Curtis)

Nida Manzoor, creator & director, We Are Lady Parts (C4)

BPG Awards 2022: Audio Nominations Revealed

Historians Tom Holland and Dominic Sandbrook; music presenters Petroc Trelawney, Vick Hope and Jamz Supernova; and journalists Amol Rajan, Aasmah Mir, Iain Dale and Jon Ronson are among the nominees for this year’s Broadcasting Press Guild (BPG) audio awards, encompassing radio and podcasts.

Holland and Sandbrook’s podcast The Rest Is History has been shortlisted as UK Podcast of the Year, alongside the literary podcast Backlisted, with John Mitchinson and Andy Miller; Nicky Woolf’s Finding Q: My Journey into QAnon; Tortoise Media’s Sweet Bobby; and Things Fell Apart, presented by Jon Ronson.

Amol Rajan from BBC Radio 4 has been nominated as Audio Presenter of the Year, alongside Aasmah Mir who presents Times Radio Breakfast with Stig Abell, Iain Dale of LBC, Petroc Trelawny of BBC Radio 3 and Vick Hope of BBC Radio 1.

Aasmah Mir and Stig Abell with Times Radio Breakfast is also nominated as Radio Programme of the Year, alongside Jamz Supernova on 6 (BBC 6 Music), The Eco Show (Marlow FM 97.5) Uncanny with Danny Robins (BBC Radio 4) and Woman’s Hour (BBC Radio 4).

The chair of the BPG audio jury, journalist and broadcaster Scott Bryan, said: “Once again the jury, consisting of many of the best critics and writers in the country, were blown away with the quality and variety of audio on offer. Whittling down our longlist of entries to our eventual shortlist and winner in each category was a bit of a nightmare, but it just goes to show the strength of British audio at the moment.”

The BPG Television, Streaming and Audio Awards – for work commissioned or premiered in the UK and screened in 2021 – are prized by programme-makers because they are chosen independently by radio and TV correspondents, critics and previewers.

The 48th annual BPG Awards ceremony – attended by the winners, BPG members and guests – will take place at lunchtime on Friday March 25th 2022 at The Brewery in the City of London. It will be supported for the first time by YouTube, the video sharing and social media platform owned by Google.

Further information from Torin Douglas, BPG, 07860 422992

Notes to editors

  1. The winners will be announced at the 48th BPG Awards lunch on Friday March 25th 2022, at The Brewery in the City of London, sponsored by YouTube. The Harvey Lee Award for outstanding contribution to broadcasting is in the gift of the BPG Executive Committee and will be presented as well.
  2. The BPG Twitter handle for the Awards is @BPGPressGuild and the hashtag is #BPGAwards.
  3. Launched in 2005, YouTube’s mission is to give everyone a voice and show them the world. It says: “We believe that everyone deserves to have a voice, and that the world is a better place when we listen, share and build community through our stories.” YouTube is a Google company.
  4. The BPG Television, Streaming and Audio Awards are presented for work commissioned or premiered in the UK and screened in 2021. Programmes which were first streamed online are nominated and voted for alongside broadcast channel commissions originating in the UK.
  5. The Television and Streaming shortlists were announced on February 24th 2022: http://www.broadcastingpressguild.org/2022/02/bpg-awards-2022-television-and-streaming-nominations/
  6. The Broadcasting Press Guild was founded in 1974 and has more than 175 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.
  7. Previous winners of the BPG Radio/Audio Broadcaster award include Alistair Cooke, Sir Terry Wogan, Sue Lawley, Samira Ahmed, James O’Brien, Jane Garvey, Emma Barnett, Nick Ferrari, Eddie Mair, Lauren Laverne, Jonathan Ross, Evan Davis, Charlotte Green, Simon Mayo, Sean Rafferty, Kirsty Young, Brian Redhead, Sir Mark Tully, Sandy Toksvig, John Finnemore, Michael Buerk, Susannah Simons and Clara Amfo.

The full list of nominations is:

 

Radio Programme of the Year

Jamz Supernova on 6 (BBC Radio 6 Music)

Aasmah Mir and Stig Abell with Times Radio Breakfast (Times Radio)

The Eco Show (Marlow FM 97.5)

Uncanny, with Danny Robins (BBC Radio 4)

Woman’s Hour (BBC Radio 4)

 

UK Podcast of the Year

Backlisted (Unbound)

Finding Q: My Journey into QAnon (Audible)

Sweet Bobby (Tortoise Media)
The Rest Is History (Goalhanger Films)
Things Fell Apart – Jon Ronson (BBC Radio 4 and BBC Sounds)

Audio Presenter of the Year

Aasmah Mir (Times Radio)

Amol Rajan (BBC Radio 4)

Iain Dale (LBC)

Petroc Trelawny (BBC Radio 3)

Vick Hope (BBC Radio 1)

BPG Awards 2021: winners revealed

Michaela Coel and David Tennant have dominated this year’s Broadcasting Press Guild Awards with both of them winning multiple prizes.

I May Destroy You – the ground-breaking and original drama which Coel created, starred in and wrote – took three of the BPG’s top awards: for Best Actress, Best Writer and Best Drama Series. The 12-part series was made for BBC One and HBO. Accepting her award, she said: “Receiving this from the Broadcasting Press Guild is particularly meaningful to me, because this is awarded by journalists, the best of which scrutinize the topic, their opinion of it, and interrogate both the world and themselves, as writers within it. I can identify with this, particularly because I May Destroy You was inspired by my own experiences of sexual assault.”

Tennant won the award for Best Actor, for his performances in Des (ITV) and Staged (BBC One). In his video acceptance speech, he said: “I’m very aware that I’m piggybacking on the back of the brilliant people I work with … working with great people makes you look better. I’m very aware of that.” Staged was also named Best Comedy.

The BPG Jury Prize was awarded to Joe Wicks for his PE With Joe fitness sessions on YouTube during lockdown. He said: “What a wonderful honour it is to receive this award … we have now streamed 115 live workouts, with a total of 100 million views globally.”

The BPG Innovation in Broadcasting Award went to the BBC for its Lockdown Learning initiative and the Harvey Lee Award, for an outstanding contribution to broadcasting, was given to John McVay of PACT on behalf of all who created the Film & TV Production Restart Scheme, to help the industry open up again during the pandemic.

Jake Kanter, the chair of the BPG, said: “2020 was a challenging year for British television. Coronavirus shuttered production for months, ripped a near-fatal hole in the ad market, and ravaged a brilliant freelance community that actually makes the stuff we love to watch. But amid the rubble, industry ingenuity prospered and what crumbled was quickly rebuilt.

“It was a year when television and radio provided comfort, distraction and a friendy embrace in an ugly world. Our winners are testament to that.”

The BPG Television, Streaming and Audio Awards are prized by programme-makers because they are chosen independently by TV and radio correspondents, critics and previewers. Instead of the usual BPG Awards lunch, the 47th Awards was held as a virtual event for the first time, with the winners announced – and prizes accepted – via the BPG Twitter account, @BPGPressAwards.

Clara Amfo of BBC Radio 1 was named as Audio Presenter of the Year. Accepting her award on Twitter, she said: “We’ve all experienced a fervoured relationship with our audience. That’s not to be taken for granted at all. It would be remiss of me not to accept this award and not big up all of my colleagues. I accept this award alongside them.”

Seani B and DJ Ace won the Radio Programme of the Year award, for their BBC 1Xtra Talks Special on George Floyd and Black Lives Matter. The Podcast of the Year was How Do You Cope? With Elis James and John Robins, produced by Audio Always for BBC Radio 5 Live.

Scott Bryan, chair of the audio jury, said: “This has been such an important year for radio, connecting us at a time when we’ve all been apart. The winners have all provided thoughtful, powerful conversations and moments that listeners will remember for a long time to come.”

Quiz (ITV), from James Graham’s stage play about Who Wants to Be a Millionaire?, was named Best Drama Mini-Series, and Emma Corrin won the BPG Breakthrough Award for her performance as Princess Diana in The Crown (Netflix). Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing (BBC Two) won the Best Entertainment award, for the second time in three years.

Once Upon a Time in Iraq (BBC Two) won the award for Best Documentary Series and The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty (BBC Two) was named Best Documentary Mini-Series.

Further information from Torin Douglas, BPG, 07860 422992 or torindouglas@aol.com.

Notes to editors

  1. The Broadcasting Press Guild was founded in 1974 and has more than 145 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 an online publishers.
  2. Instead of the usual invitation-only lunch, attended by the winners, BPG members and leading broadcasting executives, the awards were announced in a virtual ceremony on Twitter @BPGPressGuild #BPGAwards at lunchtime on Friday March 12th2021. Details of the nominations, previous BPG awards can be found at http://broadcastingpressguild.org, together with pictures, videos and a history of the Guild.
  3. 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: http://www.broadcastingpressguild.org/bpgawards/harvey-lee/
  4. While 12 of the BPG awards were voted for by Guild members, the following prizes were decided by the BPG’s Executive Committee: the BPG Jury Prize to Joe Wicks for PE With Joeon YouTube; the BPG Innovation Award to the BBC for Lockdown Learning, which was accepted by the BBC’s head of education Helen Foulkes; the BPG Breakthrough Award to Emma Corrin for her role as Princess Diana in The Crown(Netflix); and the Harvey Lee Award, in honour of a former leading light of the BPG for an outstanding contribution to broadcasting, to John McVay of PACT on behalf of all who created the Film & TV Production Restart Scheme, to help the industry open up again during the pandemic. 

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

Audio Presenter of the Year
Clara Amfo
BBC Radio 1 production for BBC Radio 1

Radio Programme of the Year
1Xtra Talks Special: George Floyd and Black Lives Matter with
Seani B and DJ Ace
BBC Audio for BBC 1Xtra

Podcast of the Year
How Do You Cope?…With Elis James and John Robins
Audio Always for BBC Radio 5 Live

Best Documentary Mini-Series
The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty
72 Films for BBC Two

Best Documentary Series 
Once Upon a Time in Iraq
KEO films for BBC Two / PBS Frontline

Best Drama Mini-Series
Quiz
Left Bank Pictures for ITV /AMC

Best Drama Series 
I May Destroy You
Various Artists Ltd /FALKNA for BBC One / HBO

Best Entertainment 
Mortimer and Whitehouse: Gone Fishing, Series 3
Owl Power TV for BBC Two

Best Comedy
Staged, Series 1
Infinity Hill / GCB Films for BBC One

Best Actor
David Tennant, for his roles as:
– Dennis (Des) Nilsen in
Des
New Pictures for ITV, and
– Himself in
Staged, Series 1
Infinity Hill / GCB Films for BBC

Best Actress
Michaela Coel
For her role as Arabella Essiuedu in
I May Destroy You
Various Artists Ltd /FALKNA for BBC One / HBO

Best Writer
Michaela Coel
I May Destroy You
Various Artists Ltd /FALKNA for BBC One / HBO

BPG Innovation in Broadcasting Award
BBC for its Lockdown Learning initiative
BBC Education and Children’s Department for BBC TV / Online / Social Media

BPG Breakthrough Award 
Emma Corrin
For her role as Diana, Princess of Wales in
The Crown, Series 4
Left Bank Pictures / Sony Pictures Television for Netflix

BPG Jury Prize
PE With Joe
Body Coach TV and Joe Wicks for YouTube

Harvey Lee Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting Award
John McVay, PACT
On behalf of all who created the Film & TV Production Restart Scheme