turner-reverse-2007Kenneth Branagh and Sir David Frost will pick up top awards later today when they attend the 35th annual Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, voted for by those who write about TV and radio. (Full list of winners below.)

View the Gallery

Branagh has been named best actor for his performance as the Swedish detective Kurt Wallander in the three-part Wallander series on BBC One.  An Emmy-award winner, it’s his first major TV acting award in the UK. He follows in the footsteps of Sir Alec Guinness, Alan Bates, Michael Gambon, Albert Finney, Colin Firth, Charles Dance, David Suchet, Bill Nighy, Robert Lindsay and Christopher Ecclestone as winners of the BPG best actor award.

Sir David Frost – who celebrates his 70th birthday next month – will receive the Harvey Lee award for outstanding achievement, for his career on and off the screen. The BPG said the film version of one of his greatest encounters – Frost/Nixon – “served as a reminder just how much he has brought to the television business. First as a presenter and interviewer, who managed to combine entertainment with hard-hitting exposes, and later interviewing any world leader who is anybody….. and also as one of the founders of two ground-breaking commercial TV companies, London Weekend and TV-am.”

The BPG awards are being presented at a lunch today (Friday) at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The event is sponsored for the third year running by Turner Broadcasting, which delivers some of the world’s most successful news and entertainment brands – CNN, Cartoon Network, CN Too, Boomerang, Cartoonito, TCM (Turner Classic Movies), and Adult Swim.

Andrea Riseborough will be at the lunch to receive her award as best actress, for her lead roles in two productions – Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley on BBC4 and The Devil’s Whore on Channel 4. The Margaret Thatcher drama has also won two other awards – best single drama and the multichannel award, for the best programme shown on a digital channel. The Devil’s Whore has been named best drama series.

The historian Simon Schama will pick up the award for best documentary series, for The American Future: A History by Simon Schama – he won the same award in 2001 for A History of Britain. The award for best single documentary goes to Arena: The Agony and Ecstasy of Phil Spector.

In a year dominated by the economy, there are awards for Robert Peston, the BBC business editor; Evan Davis, its former economics editor, who is named radio presenter of the year for Today and The Bottom Line on Radio 4; and The Apprentice, which has won the factual entertainment award, at the start of its fifth series.

The ground-breaking BBC One comedy Outnumbered has won two awards – for best comedy/entertainment programme and best writer, to be picked up at the lunch by co-authors Andy Hamilton and Guy Jenkin.

Radio 2 has won the award for radio programme of the year – The Radcliffe & Maconie Show, starring Stuart Maconie and Mark Radcliffe.  And the Innovation Award has gone to the BBC iPlayer, which the BPG said was “a breakthrough service that has brought online catch-up TV to a mass audience “.

BBC programmes dominated this year’s BPG awards, winning 12 of the 15 prizes.

The awards are sponsored by Turner Broadcasting. “Turner is proud to support the recognition of quality programming across all genres,” said Jeff Kupsky, President TBS Europe.  “As an established provider of programming in the UK in the kids, movie  and news genres we are delighted to play a part in acknowledging the very best in the UK entertainment business.”

The company now broadcasts 21 entertainment channels in 17 languages across approximately 100 countries in Europe, Africa and the Middle East. With a rich history of innovation, Turner Broadcasting is continuing to push the boundaries of media with its brands, via the web, VOD, DVD, gaming, mobile, merchandising, publishing and emerging platforms.
For more information, or to send a photographer, reporter or crew, please 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, Turner Broadcasting, can be found at: http://www.broadcastingpressguild.org/ <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.

The full list of winners is:
Best Single Drama
Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley (Great Meadow Productions for BBC Four)

Best Drama Series
The Devil’s Whore
(Company Pictures/Power Corp for Channel 4)

Best Single Documentary
Arena: The Agony and the Ecstasy of Phil Spector (BBC Productions/Vixpix for BBC Two)

Best Documentary Series
The American Future: A History by Simon Schama (Oxford Fim and Television for BBC Two)

Best Comedy/Entertainment
(Hat Trick Productions for BBC One)

Best Factual Entertainment
The Apprentice
(TalkbackThames for BBC One)

Best Multichannel Programme
Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley (Great Meadow Productions for BBC Four)

Best Actor
Kenneth Branagh
(Kurt Wallender, in Wallender for BBC One)

Best Actress
Andrea Riseborough
(Margaret Thatcher, in Margaret Thatcher: The Long Walk to Finchley for BBC Four; Angelica Fanshawe, in The Devil’s Whore for Channel 4)

Best TV Performer in a Non-acting Role
Robert Peston, BBC News, on BBC TV, Radio and Online

Writer’s Award
Andy Hamilton & Guy Jenkin
(Outnumbered, Hat Trick Productions for BBC One)

Radio Broadcaster of the Year
Evan Davis
(The Today Programme and The Bottom Line, BBC News for BBC Radio 4)

Radio Programme of the Year
The Radcliffe & Maconie Show
(Smooth Operations for BBC Radio 2)

Innovation Award
BBC iPlayer
(BBC Future Media & Technology, for bringing online catch-up TV to a mass audience)

Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting
Sir David Frost
(Journalist, satirist, TV presenter, co-founder London Weekend Television, TV-am)

Comment Box