Advanced Television

BPG awards winners revealed

March 21, 2024

By Colin Mann

The final season of Happy Valley won three major prizes at this year’s Broadcasting Press Guild Awards helf today (March 21st) as Guild members and leaders of the UK’s TV, streaming and audio industries celebrated the BPG’s 50th anniversary with a gala lunch in London.

The BBC One programme’s star Sarah Lancashire won the Best Actress Award, while Happy Valley was also commended for Best Drama Series and Best Writer for Sally Wainwright.

Other major winners were the ITV hit Mr Bates vs The Post Office starring Toby Jones and Monica Dolan which took home a BPG Jury Prize; and Andy Harries who was presented with the Harvey Lee Award for outstanding contribution to broadcasting in honour of his remarkable near-50 years of producing landmark TV programmes such as The Crown, The Royle Family and Cracker.

Elsewhere, Gary Oldman took the Best Actor trophy for his role in Slow Horses on Apple TV+ and the final series of Ghosts on BBC One was voted Best Comedy. In a very competitive category, Squid Game: The Challenge took the honours as Best Entertainment show, while season 2 of the BBC One series Time written by Jimmy McGovern and Helen Black won for Best Single Drama or Mini Series.

The two documentary trophies went to Channel 4’s Russell Brand: In Plain Sight – Dispatches as Best Documentary Mini Series and BBC One’s Once Upon A Time In Northern Ireland for Best Documentary Series (4+ episodes).

Manori Ravindran, the chair of the BPG, said: “To have such a list of worthy and talented winners to celebrate our 50th anniversary is very fitting because our members take great pride in honouring the very best programmes and people.”

The 50th BPG Television, Streaming & Audio Awards were given for work commissioned or produced in the UK and screened in 2023. These prizes are highly valued by programme-makers because they are chosen independently by TV and audio writers, correspondents and critics.

The Broadcasting Press Guild marks its 50th anniversary this year and the Guild is delighted that this special occasion is sponsored by some of the most influential names in the industry: BBC Studios, Netflix, Pact, Prime Video and Warner Bros Discovery.

The BPG began in 1974 and, as part of its celebrations, invited its members to select a list of the Top 50 Landmark TV Programmes of the last half century.

This year, the BPG Executive Committee handed out a pair of BPG Jury Prizes for the first time. Not just to ITV’s spectacular drama series about the worst miscarriage of justice in British legal history, Mr Bates vs The Post Office, but also to Goalhanger Podcasts for their unparalleled achievements in the world of podcasting. Also the gifts of the BPG Executive Committee, the BPG Breakthrough Award went to the gifted actor David Jonsson for his special performance in Agatha Christie’s Murder Is Easy and the BPG Emerging Creators Award was picked up by social media influencer and presenter GK Barry.

The three annual Audio Awards were for Radio Programme of the Year which went to David Aaronovitch’s The Briefing Room (BBC Radio 4 & BBC Sounds) for its deep dives into the big issues of the day; Best Podcast which was Movers and Shakers (Podot) in which six friends including Jeremy Paxman talked movingly about living with Parkinson’s disease; and to Ken Bruce who won Audio Presenter of the Year after his highly successful move to Greatest Hits Radio last year.

Simon O’Hagan, chair of the audio jury, said: “At a time when the audio industry bursts with intelligence and innovation, our winners managed to stand out from the rest last year and are all very deserving of their prizes.”

Categories: Articles, Business, Content, People, Production

Tags: , , , , ,