RTS Programme Awards 2011

Sanjeev Bhaskar

The Royal Television Society (RTS), Britain'ss leading forum for television and related media, has announced the winners of the RTS Programme Awards 2011. The ceremony, held at the Grosvenor House Hotel on Tuesday 15 March, was hosted by television presenter and comedian Dara O'Briain and the awards were presented by RTS Chair, David Liddiment.

The awards celebrate all genres of television programming, from children's fiction to comedy performance, history to soaps. Covering both national and regional output the RTS Programme Awards aim to recognise the work of exceptional actors, presenters, writers and production teams, as well honouring the programmes themselves.

The Winners


The X Factor A talkbackTHAMES and Syco TV Production for ITV1

'Undeniably a brilliant, genre-defining piece of television; the team behind this show never rest on their laurels and are determined to continually raise the bar and set new standards. Must-see television, which everyone talks about on a Monday morning.'


The Million Pound Drop Remarkable Television, an Endemol Company, for Channel 4

The Cube Objective Productions for ITV1

Scripted Comedy

Miranda BBC Productions for BBC Two

'The jury admired the way the winner had taken the traditional sitcom format, and on another level fashioned it into an original, clever and immensely enjoyable and laugh out loud comedy that lifted the spirits of its audience.'


The Inbetweeners A Bwark Production for E4

Rev Big Talk Productions for BBC Two


Alan Bennett and the Habit of Art A Lone Star/National Theatre Production in association with Arts Council England and More4

'This hugely impressive and contemporary film is beautifully crafted and multi layered, and explores both the extraordinary relationship between two great artists, and the writing and staging of Alan Bennett's new play about their lives.'


Genius of British Art (Episode 3: Howard Jacobson 'Flesh') Oxford Film and Television for Channel 4

A History of Horror with Mark Gatiss BBC Productions/BBC Bristol for BBC Four


The Secret Life of the National Grid BBC Productions for BBC Four

'An outstanding take on a potentially niche subject./ Beautifully told stories linking our lives to a national institution we see and use everyday but have previously never questioned or studied. It ticked every single box and was a joy to watch.'


Words of the Blitz ITV Studios for ITV1

At Home With The Georgians Matchlight for BBC Two

Science & Natural History

Wonders of the Solar System BBC/Science Channel co-production for BBC Two

'The winning series was filled with incredible facts and was a barrel load of fun. One of the breakout hits of the year that was brought alive by a stunning presenter whose enthusiasm, charm and wit catapulted him to the status of a national treasure.'


How Earth Made Us: Deep Earth BBC Productions for BBC Two

Lost Land of the Tiger BBC Natural History Unit for BBC One

Single Documentary

Between Life and Death BBC Productions/BBC Wales for BBC One

'The winning entry was a powerful and sensitively filmed portrayal of the most tragic human condition. The production team had secured astonishing personal access which they handled with great care and respect, delivering a subtle, moving and beautifully shot documentary.'


My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding Firecracker Films for Channel 4

The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan Clover Films for More4

Documentary Series

Welcome to Lagos KEO north for BBC Two

'A mind-blowing series that changed the way you see the world... The incredible access to this hidden community must have been hard to achieve and was clearly built on trust. It created an eye-opening, refreshing and unsentimental portrait of life in the slums that was a brilliantly compelling watch.'


Wormwood Scrubs Wild Pictures for ITV1

One Born Every Minute Dragonfly Productions for Channel 4

Features and Lifestyle Series

Pineapple Dance Studios Pulse Films for Sky1HD

'The jury thought the series was both innovative and entertaining, and were impressed by the confidence with which the programme embraced the popularity of reality television whilst moving the genre forward.'


Don't Tell the Bride Renegade Pictures for BBC Three

The Great British Bake-Off Love Productions for BBC Two

Nations and Regions Programme

Breaking the Silence Tern TV for BBC One Northern Ireland

'A beautifully shot and moving film with compelling testimony which stayed with you long after you finished watching. This [programme] highlighted a startling and tragic issue in Ireland.'


Taggart STV Productions for STV, ITV and Alibi

Snowdonia 1890 Indus Television for BBC One Wales

Children's Programme

Horrible Histories Lion Television in association with Citrus for CBBC

'An unpredictable show full of raw energy, with great comedy writing that makes you laugh out loud. Innovative, challenging, brave, bold and clever with outstanding acting.'


Y Diwrnod Mawr - Sion Pyrs (My Big Day - Sion Pyrs) Ceidiog for S4C

Something Special CBeebies for CBeebies

Children's Drama

Sarah Jane Adventures BBC Productions/BBC Wales for CBBC

'The winner was emotional and incredibly engaging Ð a wonderful drama that stands on its own as a terrific piece of storytelling. The cultural diversity of the cast, its high production values and creative storyline made it a joy to watch and kept you intrigued.'


Tracy Beaker Returns CBBC for CBBC

International Award

True Stories: The Cove Vertigo Films for More4

'A brilliantly executed piece of investigative journalism, campaigning and documentary film-making which follows a group of activists and film-makers as they expose the slaughter of dolphins in the waters of a small Cove in Japan.'


Mad Men Lionsgate for BBC Four

Justified Sony Pictures Television for 5USA

Daytime and Early-Peak Programme

The Indian Doctor Rondo Media and Avatar Films for BBC One

'A well told and brave choice of story Ð an impressive production that wouldn't have looked out of place on a Sunday night.'


Deal or No Deal An Endemol West production for Channel 4

Moving On - Sauce For The Goose LA Productions for BBC One

Soap and Continuing Drama

EastEnders BBC Productions for BBC One

'Economically written, beautifully executed, a real class above the rest with a stunning central performance from Lindsay Coulson.'


Coronation Street ITV Studios for ITV1

Casualty BBC Productions for BBC One


Professor Brian Cox - Wonders of the Solar System BBC/Science Channel co-production for BBC Two

'The jury said the winning presenter has something genuinely rare - a real ability to make scientific complexity simple, engaging and interesting. He is so compelling one jury member said "frankly, I could watch him read the phone book!"'


Piers Morgan - Piers Morgan's Life Stories ITV Studios for ITV1

Reggie Yates - Autistic Superstars Prospect Cymru Wales for BBC Three

Actor (Male)

Jim Broadbent - Any Human Heart Carnival Films for Channel 4

'An actor who is at the very peak of his considerable talent - an intimate yet epic performance which encapsulated all of life's sweep of joy and sadness.'


Johnny Harris - This is England '86 A Warp Film for Channel 4

David Tennant - Single Father Red Production Company for BBC One

Actor (Female)

Vicky McClure - This is England '86 A Warp Film for Channel 4

'With a totally compelling, brilliant and supercharged performance, the winner drew you in and never let you go even when committing the act of murder.'


Natalie Press - Five Daughters BBC Productions for BBC One

Julie Walters - Mo ITV Studios for Channel 4

Single Drama

The Road to Coronation Street ITV Studios for BBC Four

'This year's winner received unanimous praise from the jury for its authentic evocation of period, its inspired casting, sharp writing and directing but most of all for the sheer enjoyment of watching it. And it tells an amazing story of our own industry with wit, affection and great style.'


The Song of Lunch BBC Productions/Masterpiece for BBC Two

Mo ITV Studios for Channel 4

Drama Series

Sherlock Hartswood Films for BBC One

'Updating a classic was a daunting task but the bravura of this production's writing and directing successfully made it feel new and modern. This was one of the most original and entertaining new series for years.'


Downton Abbey Carnival Films for ITV1

Misfits Clerkenwell Films for E4

Drama Serial

Five Daughters BBC Productions for BBC One

'This sensitive, skillfully acted dramatisation of an appalling true story made for ground breaking television. By concentrating on the victims of this terrible crime, the drama succeeded in giving the five women back some dignity and humanity. Powerful and important, this is TV drama at its very best.'


Any Human Heart Carnival Films for Channel 4

This is England '86 A Warp Film for Channel 4

Writer - Drama

Jack Thorne and Shane Meadows - This is England 86' A Warp Film for Channel 4

'The jury felt this powerful and gripping drama took us unflinchingly into the lives of these compelling characters to tell believable and haunting stories.'


Stephen Butchard - Five Daughters BBC Productions for BBC One

Neil McKay - Mo ITV Studios for Channel 4

Writer - Comedy

Jo Brand, Vicki Pepperdine & Joanna Scanlan - Getting On Vera Productions for BBC Four

'Despite tackling the grim subjects of old age and terminal illness, the writers have come up with a profound, poignant and bleakly funny series that elicits guilty laughs and packs a powerful emotional punch.'


Sam Bain and Jesse Armstrong - Peep Show Objective Productions for Channel 4

Graham Linehan - The I.T. Crowd talkbackTHAMES for Channel 4

Entertainment Performance

Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly - I'm a CelebrityÉGet Me Out of Here! / Britain's Got Talent ITV Studios for ITV1 / a talkbackTHAMES and Syco TV Production for ITV1

'[Ant and Dec] continue to personify warmth, charm and consummate professionalism in everything they do. Their supreme confidence allows them to bring a sense of cheekiness and spontaneity to proceedings, without ever undermining the programmes or their audiences. They have, remarkably, continued to push at the boundaries of this genre and set an even higher standard.'


Charlie Brooker - Newswipe Zeppotron for BBC Four

Graham Norton - The Graham Norton Show So Television for BBC One

Comedy Performance

Miranda Hart - Miranda BBC Productions for BBC Two

'[Miranda Hart] has somehow reinvented and breathed new life into the sitcom format by being brave enough to look backwards. Her show is defiantly old fashioned, but works because the writing is immaculate, and she is an inherently funny, brave performer who just knows where the laughs are.'


James Buckley - The Inbetweeners A Bwark Production for E4

Tom Hollander - Rev Big Talk Productions for BBC Two

Judges' Award

Steven Moffat

'The Judges' Award is given for an outstanding contribution to television, and there are few screenwriters in the world whose work boasts the same incredible range as tonight's recipient. Equally at home with horror, detective stories, situation comedy, action adventure and sci-fi, this year's winner is an author in the truest sense of the word. With a vocation encouraged by his father, his first foray into television arrived in the form of the awarded and still iconic children's drama series Press Gang. (The first and last time he needed a leg-up from anyone but not the last time he would call on a family member for help). With a clear comic ability and an already-proven knack for seeing the insane and ironic in ordinary life, tonight's winner forged a highly accomplished career in situation comedy during the 90s, paving the way for his most successful original comedy to date, Coupling Ð regarded by many as a paradigm for near-perfect comic writing and storytelling. Sitcom, it would turn out, was the perfect warm up for tackling two of the biggest icons in British fiction in his most recent works: Sherlock and Doctor Who. Channeling all that he had learned about structure into shaping mind-bendingly brilliant sci-fi and thriller plots, as well as placing a funny man/straight man pairing at the centre of extraordinary and impossible circumstances, with his friend Mark Gatiss he invited an entirely new audience to claim Holmes and Watson as their own. And in his downtime reinventing Doctor Who to overwhelming critical and ratings success from the get-go. There are few writers who would trade Steven Spielberg and Hollywood to work with the Daleks in Wales but this man did. Indeed, with a seemingly inexhaustible resource of utterly distinctive plots and the ability to use comedy liberally to form a devoted connection with the audience, our winner is living, typing proof of why television remains THE writer's medium.'

Lifetime Achievement Award

Peter Bennett-Jones

"The recipient of this award left Cambridge with a law degree and a bunch of like-minded friends, and having completely failed to fulfil his legal potential was drawn to the world of bright lights and greasepaint. In 1989 he set up a talent agency, PBJ Management, and with Rowan Atkinson he formed a television company, Tiger Ð recognising the importance of having a creative heart to the business. He imbued the philosophy of trusting in the instincts and talents of artists into the production company he founded and finally Chaired Ð which was to become Tiger Aspect. A company which is synonymous with the very best of British television. In the 21 years they have made over 500 different titles, winning every achievable award in almost every genre. We all know that hit programmes are difficult to achieve and yet in Tiger Aspect PBJ made it seem effortless. Mr Bean, Harry Enfield and Chums, Vicar of Dibley, Catherine Tate and now Benidorm. In comedy alone they could have rested on their laurels. However, they have achieved excellence in drama, film, arts, entertainment, animation and factual programming. He helped Richard Curtis get Comic Relief started and has been their Chairman since 1998. During this time they have raised an amazing amount of money for charities in the UK and Africa Ð and last year raised their biggest total to date Ð an incredible £82 million. Everything this man has achieved he has done so with integrity and honesty Ð he has garnered the respect of colleagues, clients, and broadcasters, all of whom turn to him for advice, good counsel and lunch. No one is more deserving of this Award."