Media Stars Shine at RTS Midlands Awards 2009

"Robert Lindsay and Others"

The region’s top media talent were out in force at the annual Royal Television Society (RTS) Midlands Awards, held in partnership with Screen WM and Advantage West Midlands.

Celebrity hosts Myleene Klass and Krishnan Guru-Murthy were joined by over 300 VIP guests at Birmingham’s Town Hall. Recognising talent across the East and West Midlands, the event saw 19 awards given out, including five student awards and the special Baird Medal.

The awards followed a brand new format for 2009, with new categories such as Best Digital Innovation introduced alongside categories for entertainment, news, craft skills, new talent and on-screen personality.

The entry fee and ticket price were also reduced to encourage more individuals and independent media companies to apply.

This year’s Baird Medal, which recognises outstanding contribution to television in the region, went to Robert Lindsay, who collected his award in person. Originally from Ilkeston in Derbyshire, Lindsay’s career began in the early seventies when he appeared as Wolfie Smith in the BBC sitcom ‘Citizen Smith’. Since then he has continued to grace the stage and screen. He is now known by a new generation of viewers as Ben Harper in ‘My Family’.

Birmingham-based Maverick Television picked up two awards, Best Entertainment and Best Independent Programme for Embarrassing Bodies, produced for Channel 4.

ITV Central Tonight won Best Regional Programme for Armistice, it’s coverage from the National War Memorial on 11 November 2008. Armistice was also awarded Best News Programme.

The award for Best Acting Performance was picked up by Doctor’s Selina Chiltern for BBC 1 Television Drama, and Best New Talent went to Katy Fawcett at ITV Central.

University of Lincoln picked up three of the four Student category awards, along with the Midlands Centre Best Student Publication for Flashmobs.

Speaking at the Awards Evening, Chair of the RTS Midlands Centre, Janet Wooton, said:
“The media industry is evolving, and we’re seeing a rapid pace of change. Change brings opportunity, and the RTS is here to support its members through this transition.

“Through RTS Futures we’ve started to introduce a number of new events into our annual calendar which look at the future of our industry, to provide training, advice and new contacts. As the flagship event in our annual calendar, the RTS Midlands Awards ceremony has also been developed to celebrate the evolution of media.”

The evening’s entertainment included the Electric Film Orchestra, members of Birmingham Conservatoire, and two piano performances by Myleene Klass. Headline sponsors included BBC Birmingham, Birmingham City Council, Birmingham City University School of Media and Fullrange.

The Winners of RTS Midlands Awards 2009:
Best Promotional Programme – ‘Making A Difference to Children in Care’, Iceni Productions
Best Fictional Programme – ‘Caterpillar’, Infinite Wisdom and Angelfish Productions for Screen WM and the UK Film Council
Best On Screen Personality – Des Coleman, BBC East Midlands Today
Best Acting Performance – Selina Chilton, ‘Doctors’, BBC 1 Television Drama
Best Digital Innovation – ‘Speed Dating’, ST16 for Anderson PR and the UK Road Safety Organisations
Best Entertainment – ‘Embarrassing Bodies’, Maverick Television for Channel 4
Best News Programme – ‘Armistice’, ITV Central Tonight
Best New Talent – Katy Fawcett, ITV Central
Best Production Craft Skills – Rachel Carter, Producer, ‘Caterpillar’ for Infinite Wisdom and Angelfish Productions
Best Current Affairs Feature – ‘Suffolk Strangler’. Hanrahan Media for Sky Crime
Best Documentary – ‘The Satanic Verses Affair’, BBC Vision Production Birmingham for BBC2
Best Independent Programme – ‘Embarrassing Bodies’, Maverick Television for Channel 4
Best Regional Programme – ‘Armistice’, ITV Central Tonight

Winners of the Student Awards:
Best Animation – ‘Eden’, University of Lincoln
Best Entertainment – ‘Best Friends That Love Each Other’, University of Lincoln
Best Factual Programme – ‘Flashmobs’, University of Lincoln
Best Fictional Programme – ‘Olivia’, Staffordshire University
Midlands Centre Best Student Production – ‘Flashmobs’, University of Lincoln

Developed in partnership with regional screen agency, Screen WM, and Advantage West Midlands, the RTS Midlands Awards 2009 celebrated the evolution of media.