The television community of the West of England turned out in force tonight to celebrate their work over the last twelve months.
The Royal Television Society West of England Awards in association with Evolutions Bristol took place at the Bristol Old Vic on Sunday 19th March with a gala ceremony hosted by Countryfile’s Anita Rani.
Guests included Nick Knowles and Mark Millar from DIY SOS, writer, chef and broadcaster Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, CBBC favourites Andy Day and Naomi Wilkinson, broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby and actor Susan Wokoma (Crazyhead).
The drama categories were dominated by Sherlock: The Abominable Bride (Hartswood Films) which took home four awards including Best Drama, Cinematography, Director and Composer - David Arnold and Michael Price were on hand to receive their award.
BBC Studios Natural History Unit had a successful evening, scooping three awards for the landmark series Planet Earth II, which won best Natural History, Editing and for Fredi Devas,
Best Director for the stunning ‘Cities’ episode.
Jago: A Life Underwater, a film about an 80 year old sea nomad called Rohani, against the spectacular backdrop of the Togian Islands, won four awards including Documentary and Cinematography.
Wildlife cameraman Vianet Djenguet won the On-Screen Talent award for his personal film for BBC’s Natural World: My Congo and Susan Wokoma won in On Screen Performance for Crazyhead (E4/Netflix)
In Factual, Heroes of Helmand: The British Army’s Great Escape (Testimony Films) triumphed against Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall’s Saving Africa’s Elephants: Hugh and the Ivory War (Keo Films), The Somme 1916: From Both Sides of the Wire (BBC Studios) and Yeti: Myth, Man or Beast (Icon Films).
DIY SOS: Million Pound Build for Children in Need won in Factual Entertainment - the programme had delivered a centre for young carers in Blackpool and the judges cited the programme’s ‘strength in finding great stories and delivering high octane emotion.’
In News, Caron Bell (ITV News West Country) was hailed a fresh and original voice for the News Reporter award and Inside Out (BBC West) won for News Coverage for its Inside Amazon report, described as ‘gutsy journalism against a household name.’
BBC Bristol received a special award in recognition of its impact and inﬂuence in the region. Mark Linsey, the new Director of BBC Studios and Teresa Wise, CEO of the RTS, presented the award, outlining BBC Bristol’s pivotal role in the economy and culture of the city and beyond.
With a raft of BBC anniversaries to celebrate this year - the Natural History Unit is 60, Points West is 60, Gardeners’ World is 50 and Antiques Roadshow is 40 - there was applause for ‘ a combined 210 years of Bristol brilliance’.
Chair of the RTS Bristol centre Lynn Barlow said: “This year’s awards prove Bristol’s film, animation and television companies are producing some of the world’s most popular programmes and leading the way in digital innovation in a rapidly changing environment.
She added, “We have more than 131 independent production and post-production companies in the city and last year they brought in £140 million to the local economy. Almost 4000 people now work in the business. We have never been stronger.”