RTS Programme Awards 2014

Gabby Logan

Olivia Colman picked up the award for Female Actor for the second year running for her roles in Broadchurch (ITV) and Run (Channel 4), while Idris Elba won the Male Actor award for his role in Luther (BBC One). Broadchurch received the award for Drama Serial.

Other winners on the night included Brendan O'Carroll for Comedy Performance for Mrs Brown's Boys (BBC One); Peaky Blinders (BBC Two) for Drama Series; Dumping Ground (CBBC) for Children's Fiction; Gogglebox (Channel 4) for Popular, Factual and Features; Educating Yorkshire (Channel 4) for Documentary Series; and PLEBS (ITV2) for Scripted Comedy. Game Of Thrones took the International Award, while Alan Carr won the award for Entertainment Performance for Alan Carr: Chatty Man (Channel 4); Stephen Fry received the Presenter award for Stephen Fry - Out There (BBC Two); and Gary Neville won the award for Sports Presenter, Commentator or Pundit for his role on Sky Sports.

Chaired by David Liddiment, the RTS Programme Awards honour excellence across all genres of television programming, from soaps to history, children’s fiction to comedy performance and sports, and recognise exceptional actors, presenters, writers and production teams as well as the programmes themselves.

The winners were announced at an awards ceremony hosted by comedian Tim Vine on Tuesday 18 March at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London. 


Actor - Female: Olivia Colman

Title: Broadchurch/Run
Production Company: Kudos for ITV/Acme Films
Broadcaster: Channel 4
Jodie Whittaker - Broadchurch
Sharon Rooney - My Mad Fat Diary

“The judges found this a typically believable, warm and utterly empathic performance from an actress at the very top of her game.”

Actor - Male: Idris Elba

Title: Luther
Production Company: BBC Drama Production London
Broadcaster: BBC One
Stephen Dillane - The Tunnel
Lennie James - Run

“An extraordinary screen presence; charismatic and powerful.  A complete joy to watch.”


Title: Imagine…Vivian Maier: Who Took Nanny's Pictures?
Production Company: BBC Arts
Broadcaster: BBC One
Inside The Mind of Leonardo
Rebuilding The World Trade Center

"A wonderfully crafted film that told a difficult and little known story to great effect.”

Children's Fiction

Title: Dumping Ground CBBC
Broadcaster: CBBC
The Ugly Duckling

“Its powerful storyline, exceptional writing and stunning ensemble acting from the children made this exceptional.”

Children's Programme

Title: Hard Times - A Newsround Special
Broadcaster: CBBC
Absolute Genius with Dick and Dom

“Moving and informative for both adults and children, the winning programme did a spectacular job of looking at the bigger picture of the recession and its aftermath.”

Comedy Performance: Brendan O'Carroll

Title: Mrs Brown's Boys
Production Company: BBC Scotland/BBC Comedy Production co-production with BocPix in association with RTE
Broadcaster: BBC One
Rebecca Front - Psychobitches
Ryan Sampson - PLEBS

“His character, like his show, dresses up a truly original talent in a hugely popular traditional guise.”


Title: Four Rooms
Production Company: Boundless
Broadcaster: \Channel 4
The Chase

“An original, fascinating twist to the highly populated buying and selling genre, with well-cast experts and compelling individual stories.”

Documentary Series

Title: Educating Yorkshire
Production Company: Twofour Broadcast
Broadcaster: Channel 4
Her Majesty's Prison: Aylesbury
The Call Centre

“Enormously watchable, with excellent production values and inspiring human stories, this memorable series was revelatory on the subject of education and teaching.”

Drama Serial

Title: Broadchurch
Production Company: Kudos
Broadcaster: ITV
Top Of The Lake
In The Flesh

“A powerful drama with brilliant plotting, standout performances and an extraordinary depth of characterisation, all of which combined to create one of the stand out TV events of the year.”

Drama Series

Title: Peaky Blinders
Production Company: Caryn Mandabach Productions, Tiger Aspect Productions
Broadcaster: BBC Two
My Mad Fat Diary

“A bold and ambitious series with outstanding production values, this was a thrilling and atmospheric tale, brilliantly realised.”


Title: The Last Leg
Production Company: An Open Mike Production
Broadcaster: Channel 4
A League Of Their Own
Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway

“This show is confident, clever and witty – and has heart. It has successfully moved beyond its niche into a more mainstream entertainment show, whilst still pushing the boundaries.”

Entertainment Performance: Alan Carr

Title: Alan Carr: Chatty Man
Production Company: An Open Mike Production
Broadcaster: Channel 4
Leigh Francis - Celebrity Juice/Through The Keyhole
Ant & Dec - Britain's Got Talent/Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway

“Hugely likeable, with a sharp eye for pretensions that need popping, he's fearless in the face of fame.”


Title: Richard III: King In The Car Park
Production Company: Darlow Smithson
Broadcaster: Channel 4
Secrets From The Workhouse
The Story Of The Jews

“The winning programme created headlines around the world, and vividly portrayed the application of forensic science to a major historical mystery. It was presented with huge gusto, authority and sense of event.”


Title: Game Of Thrones
Production Company: HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions
Broadcaster: Sky Atlantic
The Returned
Storyville - Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer

“Bravely structured on a shockingly brilliant scale, this was sophisticated, engaging and consistently amazing.”

Live Event

Title: The Ashes - 2013
Broadcaster: Sky Sports
Bollywood Carmen Live
Wimbledon Men's Final

“Effortless, confident and fresh, with great use of pundits… the winning programme has moved cricket coverage on.”

Popular Factual and Features

Title: Gogglebox
Production Company: Studio Lambert
Broadcaster: Channel 4
Long Lost Family
Gadget Man North One Television for Channel 4

“Endlessly watchable, authentic, brilliantly cast, and by turns hilarious and profoundly moving. It tackled difficult subjects in a fresh and illuminating way, placing the viewer at the centre of the action.”

Presenter: Stephen Fry

Title: Stephen Fry - Out There
Production Company: Maverick Television and Sprout Pictures
Broadcaster: BBC Two
David Attenborough - Galapagos 3D with David Attenborough
Davina McCall - Long Lost Family

“A memorable piece of work – heartfelt, passionate, personal and eloquent.”

Science and Natural History

Title: Africa
Production Company: BBC NHU, Discovery Channel, CCTV9, France Television
Broadcaster: BBC One
How To Win The Grand National
Planet Ant: Life Inside the Colony

“The jury said the winning programme was vast, epic and breathtaking, with beautiful storytelling.”

Scripted Comedy

Title: PLEBS
Production Company: Rise Films
Broadcaster: ITV2
Toast Of London
A Touch Of Cloth II: Undercover Cloth

“Fresh, funny and confident, with fantastic scale, the winning comedy seamlessly melded contemporary attitudes with an ambitious historical setting.”

Single Documentary

Title: The Murder Trial
Production Company: Windfall Films West
Broadcaster: Channel 4
Dogging Tales
The Unspeakable Crime: Rape

“From a very strong shortlist, the winner is an exquisitely well-made and gripping real life drama, which brought something genuinely new to the viewer.”

Single Drama

Title: The Challenger
Production Company: BBC Science, Erste Weltweit Medien, Moonlighting Films, The Open University, Pictureshow Productions (US Unit) and Science Channel
Broadcaster: BBC Two
Burton and Taylor
Our Girl

“Absorbing, compelling and informative, this was a confident drama which felt like a Hollywood movie.”

Soap and Continuing Drama

Title: Coronation Street
Production Company: ITV Studios
Broadcaster: ITV

“Beautifully written, blending the funny and the tragic, and with terrific performances. This was drama at its very best.”

Sports Presenter, Commentator or Pundit: Gary Neville

Production Company: Sky Sports
Broadcaster: Sky Sports
Clare Balding - C4 Racing
Gabby Logan - World Athletics

“In a short time the winner has mastered his ‘new’ craft – intelligent views delivered with honesty and integrity.”

Sports Programme

Title: World Athletics - Mo Farah's Double Gold Win
Production Company: BBC Sport
Broadcaster: BBC One
FA Cup Final
Andy Murray: The Man Behind the Racquet

“With brilliant pundits and presenters who always avoided cliché, the winning programme felt modern and creative.”

Writer - Comedy: James Corden and Mathew Baynton, with Tom Basden

Title: The Wrong Mans
Production Company: BBC Comedy Production London/Hulu co-production
Broadcaster: BBC Two
Writing Team - Psychobitches
Sam Leifer and Tom Basden - PLEBS

“Original, funny and strong writing with smart, well drawn characters.  Ambitious and completely gripping, it drew the two styles of comedy and drama together beautifully with a net effect of laugh out loud comedy.”

Writer - Drama: Marlon Smith and Daniel Fajemisin-Duncan

Title: Run
Production Company: Acme Films
Broadcaster: Channel 4
Dennis Kelly - Utopia
Chris Chibnall - Broadchurch

“Stories from our lives, carefully constructed yet superbly authentic and believable.”

Judges’ Award: Janice Hadlow


“The winner of [the] Judges' Award  has just stepped down from one of the key roles in British television. She started her career with the BBC as a production trainee in 1986, becoming a producer on Woman's Hour and Start The Week. She moved into television as producer and then editor of The Late Show before being appointed Deputy Head of the BBC's Music and Arts Department. After a brief spell at Channel 4, she returned to take up the helm of BBC Four in 2004 and was appointed Controller of BBC Two four years later.
During our winner's tenure, BBC Two has seen a remarkable resurgence in specialist factual, comedy and drama and more than made its mark with live events. Among the many hits which brought about this success are the immensely popular Great British Bake Off - which ended its most recent run with just under 10 milllion viewers and The Great British Sewing Bee. Historical and contemporary drama successes have ranged from The Hollow Crown to The Fall, which rated as the channel's biggest drama launch in eight years. A broad range of comedy triumphs include Miranda, Charlie Brooker's Screen Wipe, The Wrong Mans and the award-winning Twenty Twelve. Stargazing Live and Lambing Live have established the channel as the home of special event television.  Complementing its comedy, drama and entertainment slate, the channel has the widest range and the most knowledge-building programming of any BBC channels, with significant programmes like The Story of the Jews and the Wonder of the Universe.
Our recipient is particularly well known for championing female talent across all the genres - both on and off screen, including Amanda Vickery, Alice Roberts, Sarah Millican and Mary Beard.”

Lifetime Achievement Award: David Suchet CBE


“[The] recipient has had an extraordinary career in theatre as well as television, appearing in All My Sons, Othello, The Merchant of Venice, Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolf, A Long Day's Journey Into Night, The Way We Live Now, Great Expectations, Maxwell and Blott on the Landscape, amongst many, many others.  He is currently in rehearsal for a world tour of The Last Confession. There is, however, one role with which he is synonymous...
In November last year a legendary TV series came to an end. After an extraordinary 25 years the final episode of Agatha Christie's Poirot was broadcast on ITV, and there can be few actors who have made a role so their own as the man who played Hercule Poirot for that quarter century.
The Christie family were delighted to see our recipient suggested for the part and it's now hard to imagine a better choice for playing the little Belgian with his "little grey cells."  In fact Mathew Prichard, Agatha Christie's grandson, has said how he wishes his grandmother had had the chance to see the portrayal which, as he put it, "conveys to the viewer just enough of the irritation we always associate with a perfectionist."
The very public mourning as the curtain came down on Poirot is a testament to the affection held for the series and David, but it's also worth noting how there was a slight undercurrent of surprise in some commentators' reactions - it's as though Poirot had become such a familiar part of the furniture that we simply hadn't imagined a world without him. This is a testimony to David's performance, it was immaculate but unshowy, so true that he simply was Poirot, so real and part of television's DNA that we couldn't conceive of him not being there; to borrow part of a famous quote from Prince Charles, Poirot was "an elegant and much-loved friend."
But perhaps the funniest moment in the reaction to Poirot's death was during Channel 4's Googlebox. Whilst we watched a family watching Curtain, a teenage boy (and certainly not the most obvious Poirot fan), was absolutely flabbergasted when David peeled off his moustache. "You mean to say the moustache was false!!!," he stammered.
It was perhaps the most famous moustache on TV and David's fame will live on as he goes down in television history as the exemplar of an actor delivering a definitive performance.  To do that for a quarter of a century is truly extraordinary.”

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Notes to Editors:

About The Royal Television Society:
The Royal Television Society is Britain’s leading forum for television and related media. Membership is open to everyone with an interest in the medium.

The RTS was granted its Royal title in 1966 and HRH The Prince of Wales became Patron of the Society in 1997.

The RTS brings together people to exchange ideas, debate and explore key issues. The RTS Awards are an internationally recognised hallmark for quality and originality.

For over 80 years, the RTS has provided the UK’s main platform for debate about the future of television. Its lectures, events and publications make a substantial contribution to raising standards and developing practice. The RTS organises dinners with influential speakers, lectures, monthly sessions on current issues, and the world famous biennial Cambridge Convention sets the agenda for the future.

Television, the leading UK monthly on television issues and broadcasting policy, is distributed free to members. Separate RTS Awards events cover Programme Making, Television Journalism, Craft and Design, Students and Innovation.

Many of the Society’s dinners and conventions are oversubscribed. Patron and individual membership entitles members to priority applications and advanced booking.

There are 13 regional centres in the UK, and a Republic of Ireland Centre located in Dublin. Each Centre provides a mix of programme, technical, and craft events.

The Society is an educational charity, embracing all aspects of television, including the creative community, broadcasting, equipment manufacture, professional consultancy, journalism, design, research and development, cable, satellite, video and interactivity.

The Society relies for its future on the contributions of individual members, corporate Patrons and the hard work of its volunteers. Individual membership is available from £65.00 per year.


For further information please contact:

Teresa Hunt
+44 (0) 7939 202613

Mary Bennett
+44 (0) 7843 572070