One of Britain’s biggest nights, the 61st annual House of Fraser BAFTA TV awards, were held at the Theatre Royal in London yesterday evening.
The show was hosted by Irish actor Graham Norton. He was nominated for two awards for his BBC One-produced talk show, “The Graham Norton Show.”
He was victorious in one of the night’s top honours in the Comedy and Entertainment Programme, but lost in the Entertainment Performance to Ant and Dec for “Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.”
Ant and Dec also won for Entertainment Performance, gaining a perfect record by winning both of their nominations.
In leading roles, Jason Watkins won for leading role in mini-series drama “The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies.” In Watkins’ acceptance speech, he recognized his fellow nominees, hoping that they could all still be friends – to which James Nesbitt, nominated for the TV mini-series “The Missing,” jokingly mouthed “No.”
His speech was filled with humour and poignancy when he dedicated his speech to his own daughter, Maude, who died on New Year’s Day 2011. It was a few weeks after the death of Joanna Yeates in December 2010, the emotional centre of the “Christopher Jefferies” television show, for which he was nominated. “Jefferies” also received the award honouring the best mini-series. The real-life story follows Jefferies, once a murder suspect for the death of Joanna Yeates.
“I’d like to thank Christopher himself,” Watkins said in his acceptance speech. “I’m sorry for invading your life again. Christopher: This time we came with a warm embrace, and not a bitter quill.”
For the female category, Georgina Campbell won for her work in the TV movie “Murdered by My Boyfriend.” The competition didn’t make the win overtly easy for either victor. In the female category, Sheridan Smith was a strong contender for her work portraying Cilla Black in the biographical TV mini-series “Cilla.” Sarah Lancashire was nominated for her work on the original crime-drama, “Happy Valley,” which won for Drama Series.
The competition for the male category included the aforementioned James Nesbitt, Toby Jones for the TV movie “Marvellous,” as well as Benedict Cumberbatch for the popular “Sherlock,” about the titular Sherlock Holmes. While Cumberbatch didn’t win for his performance, the program won for the night’s only publicly voted award, the Radio Times Audience Award.
While the British Academy of Film and Television have been recognizing television since 1955 and are on their 61st year; it has been awarding films since 1949, and the film awards were presented earlier this year in February. Benedict Cumberbatch was a mutual nominee for the film awards, but also lost – that time to Eddie Redmayne for “The Theory of Everything.”
In one of the night’s more unique awards, it honoured BBC Productions’ “WW1 Remembered – From the Battlefield & Westminster Abbey” for the Sport and Live Event category, which aired last August to commemorate the moment the war began 100 years ago.
Accepting special awards last evening for broadcasting included Jon Snow and Clive James. James, 75, was given the award to recognize his prolific 50-year career. He was unable to accept the award in person because of his health, but made a speech from home and liked to think that he was at the show in spirit.
For the complete list of winners, follow this link.