Staged scores hat-trick at the RTS Midlands Awards 2021

Staged scores hat-trick at the RTS Midlands Awards 2021

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BBC One lockdown drama Staged, which starred David Tennant and Michael Sheen as bickering actors, landed a hat-trick of wins at the RTS Midlands Television Awards.

Writer and co-creator Simon Evans took the Writer prize, and the GCB Films/ Infinity Hill production – which was filmed largely with video conferencing technology and mobile phones – won a Professional Excellence: Craft Post-production award.

Staged, together with First- LookTV’s Crime+Investigation series Meet, Marry, Murder, also received a new prize: the Committee Award for Innovation During Lockdown. “It was a really inspiring display of collaborative, creative problem-solving, and I hope our quickness off the mark brought a little bit of light into those early days,” said Evans.

FirstLookTV founder Will Hanrahan recalled the difficult early days of the Covid-19 pandemic: “We were commissioned for 52 hours on the Monday, [then] Covid lockdowns throughout the world kicked in [during] the following few days.

“One major broadcaster pulled out... but the other didn’t, so we were contractually bound to do 52 hours and, overnight, lost half of the money, and [we] faced the problems of filming during a pandemic.”

Another hat-trick was chalked up by regional news programme ITV News Central, which won awards for: Journalist of the Year, for Jane Hesketh; Breakthrough (On- screen), for journalist Amrit Gahir; and News Programme of the Year for Double Delight: Leicester FA Cup Win and Opening Up.

The long-running BBC One daytime soap Doctors, which is made by BBC Studios at the BBC Drama Village in Birmingham, nabbed the Scripted award for the episode Three Consultations and a Funeral, and Acting Performance for Lucy Benjamin.

Optomen Television was another double winner, with Channel 4 series Snackmasters triumphing in the Factual Entertainment/Popular Factual Series and On-screen Personality (Fred Sirieix) categories.

Two BBC Two series picked up awards: Label1 Television’s Hospital won the Documentary prize; while Blast! Films show Forensics: The Real CSI took first place in the Factual and Specialist Factual category.

The RTS Midlands Television Awards were celebrated at a virtual ceremony in early December, hosted by TV stars who included Joe Lycett, Adil Ray, Clive Myrie and Sandi Toksvig.

“This year’s awards demonstrate that the Midlands region is home to some truly exceptional talent and, while the past year has certainly seen a myriad of challenges for the industry, the region has shown remarkable creativity in the face of adversity,” said RTS Midlands Chair Kully Khaila.

Channel 4, Create Central, Film Birmingham, North One and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain sponsored the awards, which were directed and edited by Simon Prentice and produced by Jayne Greene.

Photo credit: BBC/Staged Films Ltd