RTS Programme Awards 2022
The winners of the RTS Programme Awards 2022, in partnership with Audio Network, have been announced.
Comedian Tom Allen revealed the winners of the prestigious Royal Television Society Programme Awards 2022 this evening from London’s Grosvenor House Hotel.
Guests in attendance included Graham Norton, Callum Scott Howells, Russell T Davies OBE, Huw Edwards, Gaby Roslin, Matthew McFadyen, Keeley Hawes, Gabby Logan, Jack Thorne, Tahar Rahim, Samson Kayo, Claudia Winkleman, Mo Gilligan, Andy Serkis, Victoria Coren Mitchell, Rose Ayling-Ellis and many other fantastic names from the world of British television.
Chair of the RTS Programme Awards Kenton Allen said: “To be reunited in person this evening at the RTS Programme Awards, amongst the incredible community of talent from the television industry, is a truly remarkable moment. All of tonight’s winners are fantastic examples of the outstanding content that has been produced in the UK and has resonated with audiences not only here but globally. A huge congratulations to all of tonight’s winners and nominees; it's a wonderful chance to recognise the creative and hardworking people behind British television.”
The RTS proudly presented their prestigious Judges’ Award to Strictly Come Dancing’s 2021 edition.
This year, two remarkable figures were presented with Outstanding Contribution Awards. Having been unable to collect his Outstanding Contribution Award in 2020 due to COVID, Graham Norton was honoured for helping to pave the way for TV entertainment over his extraordinary 30 year career, while the Outstanding Contribution Award for 2022 went to celebrated screenwriter Jack Thorne, who has created some of the most compelling and important pieces of television of the past few years.
The RTS Programme Awards seeks to recognise programmes which have made a positive contribution to their genre that year, worthy of acclaim by the industry and UK viewers.
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Actor (Female): Gabrielle Creevy
Actor (Male): Callum Scott Howells
Arts: Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story
Breakthrough Award: Adjani Salmon
Children’s Programme: The Rubbish World of Dave Spud
Comedy Entertainment: The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan
Comedy Performance (Female): Anjana Vasan
Comedy Performance (Male): Samson Kayo
Daytime Programme: The Great House Giveaway
Documentary Series: 9/11: One Day in America
Drama Series: In My Skin
Entertainment: The Big Breakfast
Entertainment Performance: AJ Odudu and Mo Gilligan
Formatted Popular Factual: The Dog House
Live Event: The Earthshot Prize 2021
Limited Series: It's A Sin
Presenter: Munya Chawawa
RTS Channel of the Year: BBC One
Science & Natural History: David Harewood - Why Is Covid Killing People of Colour?
Scripted Comedy: Alma's Not Normal
Single Documentary: Rape: Who's on Trial?
Single Drama: Help
Soap and Continuing Drama: Hollyoaks
Sports Presenter, Commentator or Pundit: Gary Neville
Sports Programme: Tokyo 2020 Olympics
Writer – Comedy: Nida Manzoor
Writer – Drama: Russell T Davies
Judges’ Award: Strictly Come Dancing 2021
“This year the recipient of this prestigious honour is a television series which broke new ground in 2021. That’s an extraordinary achievement in itself, given that it’s by far the most popular entertainment show on British television, and now in its nineteenth season. But in the series last Autumn, Strictly Come Dancing’s producers created two new milestones - both of them as a consequence of the inclusive casting policy that’s become one of the show’s many defining hallmarks.
Strictly’s first Deaf contestant appeared in 2021 - Rose Ayling-Ellis, of course, and the nation was enchanted by her. Rose’s silent dance with her partner Giovanni Pernice was a genuine moment of landmark television: we looked on in awe at her skill, grace and determination. In dancing her way to becoming the first ever disabled winner of the glitterball trophy, Rose demonstrated just what’s possible when the barriers to opportunity are removed - and talent is allowed to flourish and shine.
Similarly, the casting of the show’s first male dance couple in John Whaite and Johannes Radebe, coming a year after the first same sex couple in Nicola Adams and Katja Jones, showed just how hard the producers strive to keep Strictly Come Dancing fresh, modern, and ultimately reflective of its vast, diverse and appreciative audience.
What a tremendous series it was…”
Outstanding Contribution to British Television 2022: Jack Thorne
“[This award] is for someone whose combination of a voracious work ethic and dazzling talent has made him one of the most sought-after writers in television today…and what an incredible body of work he’s built already. It was just fifteen years ago that he made his first foray into television writing with an episode of Shameless for Channel 4, followed by numerous episodes of the teenage drama Skins. Two years later he created Cast Offs, a comedy drama following six disabled people sent to a remote island for a reality television show – exploring themes around disability he’d develop further later on.
Jack began collaborating with Shane Meadows on This Is England in 2010, together writing three series of it over the next five years. This Is England was raw and visceral, showing the bleakness and boredom of provincial life in the second half of Thatcher’s decade – while at the same time celebrating the infectious spirit of belonging to a teenage tribe. From that point on, Jack’s output became prolific – one or two big projects a year, all with something new and interesting to say…and across the dramatic genres: there was a supernatural narrative in The Fades; an action-adventure in Sinbad; a murder mystery in Glue; a crime thriller in The Last Panthers.
The real events of Operation Yewtree inspired him to write National Treasure in 2016, where Robbie Coltrane gave a tour-de-force performance as a once-celebrated TV comedian now accused of sexual assault. In 2018 came Kiri starring Sarah Lancashire, and the following year he collaborated again with Shane Meadows, this time on The Virtues starring Stephen Graham. Incredibly, in the same year he also brought to the screen both The Accident for Channel 4 AND a major Sunday night series for BBC One with Philip Pullman’s opus His Dark Materials.
In 2021, with the pandemic raging, Jack Thorne wrote Help – I’m pleased to say, one of the winners tonight. It was a blistering piece…not only confronting the challenge of living with early-onset Alzheimer’s Disease, but a scorching indictment too of the reality unfolding in Britain’s care homes as COVID ripped through them. Severely underpaid care workers, denied the most basic protection to care for their patients safely, were abandoned by a Government that simply looked the other way. When care worker Sarah, played by Jodie Comer, broke the fourth wall and addressed viewers directly about living in a country where foodbanks had become the norm for people like her – it was a cry from the heart and soul.
Last August Jack gave the MacTaggart Lecture at Edinburgh and addressed how disabled people have been woefully let down by television. He spoke of how as an industry, we’ve abjectly failed to tell disabled stories and employ disabled talent. His words were a real wake up call – and one that’s still to be fully acted upon. It’s a subject Jack expounded on just last week, when BBC Two aired his latest project, Then Barbara Met Alan, a piece co-written with Genevieve Barr. It told the moving story of two founders of the campaigning group the Disabled People’s Direct Action Network, who fall in love while fighting for disability rights through civil disobedience. It was a story in which the personal and political were inextricably entwined – a characteristic of much of Jack’s work.
In his MacTaggart, Jack said that watching Alan Bleasdale’s drama The Boys from the Blackstuff was the most important cultural event of his life – but it’s clearly now true that Jack’s own writing can be seen to be part of the same great tradition: work which reflects the real impact that distant political decisions have on ordinary lives. As Bleasdale did before him, he writes human stories about the issues that stalk the times we live through – stories about class, race, sex, guilt, innocence and justice. And he does so with a passion, an intensity and a searing honesty that makes his work so compelling, relevant and vital.”
Outstanding Contribution to British Television 2020: Graham Norton
“The Special Award for an Outstanding Contribution to British Television 2020 is presented to a performer who over the last few years has become more than any other THE face of entertainment on BBC One.
Graham Norton grew up in West Cork in Ireland and moved to London in the late Eighties to train as an actor. His ability to make people laugh with his infectious sense of irreverence was evident early. Graham made his debut at the Edinburgh Fringe in 1991, where his show was called Mother Teresa of Calcutta’s Farewell Tour. In it, he appeared as the sainted nun reciting the words of Madonna’s song Like A Virgin.
In 1996 he was cast in Channel 4’s breakout comedy Father Ted, playing the young Father Noel Furlong, and television began to sit up and take notice of Graham’s comedic talents. He was one of the first faces to make an impact on the new Channel 5, where he hosted the panel show Bring Me The Head of Light Entertainment. It was here too that when standing in one night for Jack Docherty, Graham demonstrated that more than anything he was a talk show host just waiting for a talk show.
And so it came to be the following year, when So Graham Norton debuted on Channel 4. Graham showed himself to be the most perfect host for a talk show – welcoming, unstuffy and above all, funny. Word went around the talent community quickly – Graham’s show was a blast to be a guest on, and the show became a hot ticket. So hot in fact, that in 2002 Graham switched to thrice-nightly for a show called V Graham Norton; only one host had ever made a three-times-a-week show succeed in the past – and that was Terry Wogan…more of whom later.
For the last couple of decades Graham has made the BBC his television home, where he seamlessly transitioned from late night Channel 4 comedian to the primetime ringmaster of the nation’s biggest entertainment events. He established himself as Mr Saturday Night when he hosted Andrew Lloyd Webber’s search for the next generation of stage stars with How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria, Any Dream Will Do and I’d Do Anything! and did the same for Cameron Mackintosh with Over The Rainbow and then again with Take That for Let It Shine.
When his fellow Irishman Sir Terry Wogan announced in 2008 that he was stepping down as the UK’s voice – of The Eurovision Song Contest…well, Graham’s time had come. Receiving the the Eurovision microphone from Sir Terry after his thirty five years of being synonymous with the event may have daunted any other broadcaster – but it’s a true mark of Graham’s talent how quickly and completely he made Eurovision his own. After Sir Terry died in 2015, Graham was also the natural choice to take up the baton on the other event with which he was so closely involved, the Children In Need telethon.
Alongside the big events like hosting the BAFTA Awards, the Saturday night successes and his adventures with RuPaul on BBC Three, one constant has been the hit with which Graham’s most strongly associated, his Friday night talk show. Superbly produced, fantastically booked, but more than anything, brilliantly hosted – it’s Graham in his natural habitat, surrounded by star names he disarmingly persuades to park their egos at the door for an unrestrained hour of laughs. Now in its fifteenth year, the show feels as fresh as ever, the perfect Friday night treat.
It works because at its heart the show mirrors Graham’s own personality: warm, cheeky, mischievous – but at the same time, gracious, kind and fun. And always very, very funny. It’s an alchemy that makes him so loved by audiences, one of the most popular and beloved broadcasters in television today.”