Winners announced for the RTS Programme Awards 2023

Winners announced for the RTS Programme Awards 2023

Twitter icon
Facebook icon
LinkedIn icon
e-mail icon
Tuesday, 28th March 2023
Kate Winslet wins for Leading Actor - Female at the RTS Programme Awards 2023
Kate Winslet wins for Leading Actor - Female (Credit: RTS/Richard Kendal)

The winners of the RTS Programme Awards 2023, in partnership with Audio Network, have been announced.

The winners were crowned at the prestigious awards ceremony hosted by comedian Tom Allen at London’s JW Marriott Grosvenor House.

Guests in attendance included Kate Winslet, Billie Piper, Sarah Lancashire, Martin Freeman, Charlie Brooker, Sharon Horgan, Daisy May Cooper, Huw Edwards, Gaby Roslin, Claudia Winkleman, Stephen Merchant, Susan Wokoma, Gabby Logan, Jack Thorne, Ade Adepitan, Kit Connor, Jordan Banjo, Adeel Akhtar and many other incredible names from the world of UK television.

Across the 30 categories, the BBC reigned with 17 wins, three of which were for the hit comedy series Am I Being Unreasonable? and Channel 4 followed with six wins, with Derry Girls recognised across two of the categories: Scripted Comedy and Writer - Comedy. Other series that received wins across multiple categories included BBC’s The Traitors for Entertainment and Entertainment Performance, BBC’s Sherwood for Drama Series and Adeel Akhtar for the brand-new Supporting Actor – Male category.

New for 2023, the Supporting Actor – Female award was presented to Ambika Mod for BBC and AMC’s This Is Going to Hurt, and the inaugural Comedy Drama award was given to Sky’s Brassic. In addition, BET UK celebrated its first ever RTS award, taking home the win in the Arts category for The Evolution of Black British Music.

In addition to the 30 competitive categories, Charlotte Moore, Chief Content Officer at the BBC was presented with the prestigious Judges’ Award, for leading the BBC through one of the most momentous years in history with what the judges described as, “an exceptional combination of steadfast level headedness, confidence and creative flair”. For the Outstanding Achievement Award, actor and producer Sarah Lancashire OBE (Happy Valley, Last Tango in Halifax) was celebrated this evening for not only her outstanding talent and intelligence, but her total commitment and dedication to the television industry.

Chair of the Awards, Kenton Allen, said: “2022 was a phenomenal year on and off screen. We introduced new categories for Comedy Drama and Supporting Actors to further reflect the incredible range and diversity in the scripted world and I'm thrilled to say that we saw a sensational response, with all of the nominees and winners reflecting an incredible range of creative excellence. As we come together to honour the genre-defining programming from the past year, I am also delighted to celebrate the outstanding achievements of the sensational Sarah Lancashire and reveal that the Judges’ Award goes to Charlotte Moore for the incredible leadership she has provided the BBC in a remarkable year for innovation, creativity and seismic current affairs. Congratulations to all of the nominees and winners this evening, you are the best of the best and we salute you.”

For more information please visit:

Please see below the full list of nominees and winners:


WINNER – The Evolution of Black British Music (Fan Studios & Motion Content Group for BET UK)

The winning production “captured the programme makers’ enthusiasm for the subject matter quite brilliantly. It felt so completely authentic,” said the judges.


·       The Ghost of Richard Harris (Bright Yellow Films, Samson Films & Groove International for Sky Arts)

·       This Is Joan Collins (Salon Pictures for BBC)


Breakthrough Award

WINNER – Lenny Rush – Am I Being Unreasonable? (Boffola Pictures & Lookout Point for BBC)

The judges described the winner as “an exhilarating new talent…we can’t wait to see what’s next for this exciting new star.”


·       Nicôle Lecky – Mood (Bonafide Films for BBC)

·       Eddie Kadi – Sorry, I Didn't Know (Triforce Productions for ITV1)


Children’s Programme

WINNER – Dodger (Universal International Studios for CBBC)

“Enjoyable and spectacularly well produced – in fact, a great all-round production,” said the judges.


·       COP27: Six Ways to Save Our Planet (Fresh Start Media for Sky Kids and Sky News)

·       Corpse Talk (Tiger Aspect Kids & Family for YouTube Originals)


Comedy Drama

WINNER – Brassic (Calamity Films for Sky Max)

This show, said the judges, “manages to be both funny and moving, with great performances from a supremely authentic cast.”


·       Am I Being Unreasonable? (Boffola Pictures & Lookout Point for BBC)

·       Cheaters (Clerkenwell Films for BBC)


Comedy Entertainment

WINNER – Friday Night Live (Phil McIntyre Television & Boffola Pictures for Channel 4)

The judges called the winning show “bold, courageous, perfectly balanced and above all very funny.”


·       Joe Lycett vs David Beckham, A Got Your Back Special (Rumpus Media & My Options Were Limited for Channel 4)

·       Sorry, I Didn't Know (Triforce Productions for ITV1)


Comedy Performance (Female)

WINNER – Daisy May Cooper – Am I Being Unreasonable? (Boffola Pictures & Lookout Point for BBC)

The judges described the performance as “exceptionally funny. No doubt about it, she’s got funny bones.”


·       Leah Brotherhead – Hullraisers (Fable Pictures for Channel 4)

·       Rose Matafeo – Starstruck (Avalon Television for BBC)


Comedy Performance (Male)

WINNER – Lenny Rush – Am I Being Unreasonable? (Boffola Pictures & Lookout Point for BBC)

“A standout talent with comedic timing and style that’s spot on in this piece,” said the judges.


·       Samson Kayo – Bloods (Roughcut Television for Sky Comedy)

·       Jon Pointing – Big Boys (Roughcut Television for Channel 4)


Daytime Programme

WINNER – Loose Men (ITV Studios Daytime for ITV1)

The winning programme, “felt brave, groundbreaking and truly refreshing in so many different ways,” said the judges.


·       Come Dine With Me: The Professionals (Multistory Media for Channel 4)

·       Scam Interceptors (BBC Studios Documentary Unit for BBC)


Documentary Series

WINNER – Gazza (A Haviland Digital, Mark Stewart Productions & Western Edge Pictures production for BBC)

“What an amazing piece of work, which brought in layers and textures to deliver depth and intrigue,” said the judges.


·       Big Oil vs The World (Mongoose Pictures / PBS Frontline for BBC)

·       Jeremy Kyle Show: Death On Daytime (Blast! Films for Channel 4)


Drama Series

WINNER – Sherwood (House Productions for BBC)

Of the winning series, the judges said, “It had a dream cast and a beautifully elegant script…it felt incredibly original.”


·       The Responder (Dancing Ledge Productions for BBC)

·       Top Boy (Cowboy Films, Easter Partisan Films, Dream Crew and SpringHill Entertainment for Netflix)


Entertainment Programme

WINNER – The Traitors (Studio Lambert Scotland for BBC)

“Authentic and compelling – the producers captured lightning in a bottle,” said the judges.


·       Joe Lycett's Big Pride Party (Rumpus Media & My Options Were Limited for Channel 4)

·       The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan (Expectation TV & Momo G for Channel 4)


Entertainment Performance

WINNER – Claudia Winkleman – The Traitors (Studio Lambert Scotland for BBC)

The judges said, “Outstanding. This was a performance of absolute mastery.”


·       Jordan Stephens – Don't Hate The Playaz (Monkey Kingdom for ITV2)

·       Mo Gilligan – The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan (Expectation TV & Momo G for Channel 4)


Formatted Popular Factual

WINNER – Gogglebox (Studio Lambert for Channel 4)

“It’s endlessly compelling, creating talking points in every edition,” commented the judges on the winning programme.


·       Idris Elba’s Fight School (Workerbee & Green Door for BBC)

·       The Repair Shop: A Royal Visit (Ricochet for BBC)



WINNER – Our Falklands War: A Frontline Story (The Garden Productions for BBC)

The judges described the winning programme as “a story extremely well told and with a unique voice that made for brilliant film-making.”


·       Aids: The Unheard Tapes (Wall to Wall Media for BBC)

·       Italia 90: Four Weeks that Changed the World (Blast! Films for Sky Documentaries)


Leading Actor (Female)

WINNER – Kate Winslet – I Am Ruth (Me+You Productions in association with Juggle Productions for Channel 4)

The judges described this performance as “astonishing, affecting and underpinned by raw truth and painful honesty. A tour-de-force.”


·       Billie Piper – I Hate Suzie Too (Bad Wolf for Sky Atlantic)

·       Monica Dolan – The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe (Story Films for ITV1)


Leading Actor (Male)

WINNER – Kit Connor – Heartstopper (A See-Saw Films Production for Netflix)

The judges called this actor’s performance “profoundly affecting and impactful – a really big moment.”


·       Kane Robinson – Top Boy (Cowboy Films, Easter Partisan Films, Dream Crew and SpringHill Entertainment for Netflix)

·       Chaske Spencer – The English (Drama Republic for BBC)



WINNER – Mood (Bonafide Films for BBC)

The judges described this series as “thoroughly original, exciting and with so much to say.”


·       Anne (World Productions for ITV1)

·       Chloe (Mam Tor Productions for BBC)


Live Event

WINNER – The State Funeral of HM The Queen Elizabeth II (BBC Studios Events Productions for BBC)

The judges said, “There was really only one word to sum it up: perfect.”


·       Glastonbury 2022 (BBC Studios Music Productions for BBC)

·       Platinum Party at the Palace (BBC Studios Events Productions for BBC)



WINNER – Ramita Navai – Afghanistan: No Country for Women (Quicksilver Media for ITV1)

The winning presenter, said the judges, “delivered truly compelling television, drawing viewers in with an astonishing depth of knowledge on the subject.”


·       Huw Edwards – The State Funeral of HM The Queen Elizabeth II (BBC Studios Events Productions for BBC)

·       Martin Lewis – The Martin Lewis Money Show Live (MultiStory Media for ITV1)


Science & The Natural World

WINNER – The Green Planet (BBC Studios Natural History Unit with PBS, bilibili, ZDF, China Media Group, CCTV9, France Télévisions & The Open University for BBC and iPlayer)

The judges said, “It was mind-blowingly good – hugely ambitious editorially and technologically ground breaking.”


·       My Garden of a Thousand Bees (Passion Planet; WNET Group; HHMI Tangled Bank Studios & Ammonite Films for Sky Nature)

·       My Dead Body (141 Productions for Channel 4)


Scripted Comedy

WINNER – Derry Girls (Hat Trick Productions for Channel 4)

In choosing the winner the judges said, “What an incredible show, so brilliantly done. It was thrilling to see it produced so perfectly.”


·       Big Boys (Roughcut Television for Channel 4)

·       Cunk On Earth (Broke and Bones for BBC/Netflix)


Single Documentary

WINNER – The Tinder Swindler (A Raw Production with Gaspin Media and AGC Studios in association with VG for Netflix)

“The programme makers made a stunning documentary feel like a great drama,” said the judges in commendation of the winning title.


·       Dying to Divorce (Dying to Divorce for Sky Documentaries)

·       Will Young: Losing My Twin Rupert (Wall to Wall Media for Channel 4)


Single Drama

WINNER – Life and Death in the Warehouse (BBC Studios Drama Productions for BBC)

The judges remarked upon this drama’s “fast paced storytelling matched with terrific performances, an exceptional piece of television.”


·       The House (Nexus Studios for Netflix)

·       Then Barbara Met Alan (Dragonfly Film and Television & One Shoe Films for BBC)


Soap and Continuing Drama

WINNER – Casualty (BBC Studios Continuing Drama for BBC)

“A new perspective from a long-established show” said the judges of the winning programme, adding, “This was powerful work, supremely well realised.”


·       EastEnders (BBC Studios Continuing Drama for BBC)

·       Hollyoaks (Lime Pictures for Channel 4)


Sports Presenter, Commentator or Pundit

WINNER – Ade Adepitan – Winter Paralympics 2022 (Whisper for Channel 4)

The judges described the winner as “a broadcaster of genuine insight and charisma.”


·       Gabby Logan – Women’s Euro 2022 (BBC Sport)

·       Roy Keane – FIFA World Cup 2022 (ITV Sport for ITV1 & ITV4)


Sports Programme

WINNER – Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games (BBC Sport / Sunset+Vine for BBC)

The judges described the winning coverage as “vibrant, authentic and fantastically diverse.”


·       Winter Paralympics: Today in Beijing (Whisper for Channel 4)

·       Women's Euro 2022 (Whisper and BBC Sport for BBC)


Supporting Actor – Female

WINNER – Ambika Mod – This Is Going to Hurt (SISTER in Association with Terrible Productions for BBC One and AMC)

Commenting on the winning performance, the judges said, “it was pitch perfect, a study of a woman operating under extraordinary strain laced with humour and charm.”


·       Saffron Hocking – Top Boy (Cowboy Films, Easter Partisan Films, Dream Crew and SpringHill Entertainment for Netflix)

·       Adelayo Adedayo – The Responder (Dancing Ledge Productions for BBC)


Supporting Actor – Male

WINNER – Adeel Akhtar – Sherwood (House Productions for BBC)

The judges said, “this actor gave a brilliantly elevated performance with a real lightness of touch…he is evolving and growing all the time.”


·       Stephen Walters – Anne (World Productions for ITV1)

·       Stephen Merchant – Four Lives (ITV Studios for BBC)


Writer – Comedy

WINNER – Lisa McGee – Derry Girls (Hat Trick Productions for Channel 4)

The judges remarked on writing that was “absolutely extraordinary – laugh out loud funny, but awe-inspiring too.”


·       Jack Rooke – Big Boys (Roughcut Television for Channel 4)

·       Sam Leifer and Tom Basden – Plebs: Soldiers of Rome (Rise Films for ITVX)


Writer – Drama

WINNER – Lucy Prebble - I Hate Suzie Too (Bad Wolf for Sky Atlantic)

Commenting on the writer’s work on this piece, the judges said, “the script dazzles with energy and vibrancy – an exhilarating piece of work.”


·       Sharon Horgan Bad Sisters (Merman / ABC Signature in association with Apple for Apple TV+)

·       Will Smith Slow Horses (See-Saw Films in association with Apple for Apple TV+)


Judges’ Award

WINNER – Charlotte Moore

The Judges’ Award is presented to an executive who has led our national broadcaster through one of the most momentous years in its history…and who has done so with an exceptional combination of steadfast level-headedness, confidence and creative flair.

In the BBC’s centenary year, its Chief Content Officer Charlotte Moore navigated the Corporation’s television output through a particularly difficult time for our nation. It was the year we began to emerge from the pandemic, there was unprecedented political turmoil in Downing Street and in the Autumn came the death of Her Majesty. Add to all that, the war in Ukraine and a cost-of-living crisis, and it was a year few of us will forget. It’s said that in times of national upheaval viewers turn to the BBC – and so it proved in 2022. At the helm, Charlotte tore up the regular schedules to make way for programming to cover every unfolding story as it happened, responding immediately and appropriately to the nation’s need to be informed as well as entertained.

It was also a year of great triumphs for BBC Television, as we’ve seen tonight. There was thrilling sporting coverage with the World Cup, the Women’s Euros and the Birmingham Commonwealth Games; there was The Responder and Sherwood, an improvised episode of Casualty, a second Frozen Planet with Attenborough, and breakout new hit The Traitors; there was the BBC Three relaunch, the casting of a diverse Doctor Who, the Platinum Jubilee Party at The Palace and the fiftieth year of Newsround. And important to remember that all of this was planned, commissioned, and produced under the challenging conditions of the pandemic.

It was the year too in which Charlotte showed the BBC’s commitment to television from the regions was real - Morning Live relocated to Manchester, the first BBC Comedy Festival landed in Newcastle, Masterchef announced a move to Birmingham, and Eurovision is heading for Liverpool. Programmes made in all corners of Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales as well as England all filled the schedules.

But it was during the events which began on September 8th that most of us turned to the BBC. From the ominous sign of Huw Edwards wearing a black tie on that dark Thursday afternoon, to Kirsty Young’s personal reflections at the end of the funeral coverage…they were twelve days that BBC Television had of course anticipated for many years – but when the moment came, the plan was carried out to utter perfection.

Through it all, Charlotte’s been an outstanding leader for the BBC’s content. She’s championed it, defended it, pushed it to be the best it can be. And while doing all that, she’s remained approachable and accessible…always keen to find the next show that will resonate with viewers, always determined to make the next turn of the wheel.

Outstanding Achievement Award

WINNER – Sarah Lancashire OBE

Sarah Lancashire first caught the nation’s attention on the evening of 25th January 1991, the night that Raquel Wolstenhulme made her earliest appearance in Coronation Street. Raquel was a checkout assistant in Weatherfield’s local supermarket, but such was her impact in the show that before long Raquel had become a barmaid and was pulling pints of Newton and Ridleys in the legendary Rovers Return.

In many ways Coronation Street was the perfect beginning for Sarah’s career on television. She grew up just a few miles away from Granada’s studios, and after training at London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama she returned to live and work in the North, teaching at Salford University between theatre jobs. She knew the North – she knew its people, its speech rhythms. And she brought all of that to Raquel. As a foretaste of what was to come later in Sarah’s career, in Raquel she created a character that transcended the image of the bottle-blonde barmaid – she gave the audience someone they really believed in, had empathy with, and felt they knew. She made Raquel complex. She made her a real person.

Little wonder then that on the night of Raquel’s last appearance in Coronation Street, twenty million viewers tuned in. They’d fallen in love with Sarah’s performance. It was the

first sign of a special relationship that would develop between Sarah and the viewing audience – one in which they felt deep affection and respect for her work. Three decades on, it’s stronger than ever.

Sarah has said to me on a number of occasions that she never ever watches her own performances. She must be the only person left in the country who doesn’t!

Sarah followed Coronation Street with three seasons of the Sunday night series Where The Heart Is, and then took on a great variety of roles in some of the most popular dramas on television. She starred opposite John Thaw in The Glass, and alongside Billy Connolly in Gentleman’s Relish; there was Clocking Off, Seeing Red, The Rotters’ Club, and Rose and Maloney. There was classic period drama too – Sons and Lovers, Oliver Twist and Wuthering Heights.

Sarah was strongly attracted to contemporary roles that really challenged her as an actor, parts which pushed her into difficult places – including real life roles, like that of Rosemary Nicholls, mother of one of the Ipswich serial murder victims…or Angela Cannings, who was wrongfully convicted of killing her two baby sons. Another challenging role came in 2018 in Jack Thorne’s Kiri, in which Sarah played Miriam, the disorganised social worker for a girl who is abducted and murdered. Difficult characters to play, difficult places to inhabit.

In 2012 came the first series of Last Tango In Halifax, in which Sarah played Caroline – the school headteacher in a same-sex relationship with fellow teacher Kate, and a role for which Sarah won major critical acclaim. Her performance was all about Caroline’s humanity which ensured the character truly resonated with viewers. Last Tango was also Sarah’s first work to be written by Sally Wainwright. They would go on to collaborate on the amazing Happy Valley, which Sally wrote specifically for her…the perfect alchemy of the right character for the right actor from the right creator.

Happy Valley has gone on to become a colossal hit and that rarest of beasts these days – a show we wait for so eagerly we actually watch it at the time it transmits. In police sergeant Catherine Cawood, Sarah’s given us one of the defining characters of contradictory psychological complexity for our times. Love and guilt, despair and pain, weakness and courage – it’s all there in Catherine’s character, all beautifully realised in Sarah’s performance.

And then most recently came Julia, HBO’s mini-series about America’s pioneering TV chef Julia Child, and a world as far away from Happy Valley as it’s possible to get. So total was Sarah’s transformation into Julia Child, it was impossible to believe this was the same actor we’d just watched laying down the law in the bleak landscapes of West Yorkshire. But that’s what Sarah does. She inhabits each character she plays with utter integrity. She takes the audience into that character’s reality and shows them the world from the character’s point of view.

And she does it supremely well, not only with outstanding talent and intelligence, but also with total commitment and dedication. She’s the consummate screen actor, the real deal. What a privilege it’s been for us all to watch her performances on television over the decades.

You are here

The winners of the RTS Programme Awards 2023, in partnership with Audio Network, have been announced.