RTS Programme Awards 2018 in partnership with Audio Network
The RTS Programme Awards are one of the gold standard awards for our industry and an important showcase of the extraordinary talent evident across the UK’s television industry.
The RTS Awards seek to recognise programmes which, in the year in question, have made a material and positive contribution to their genre: either because their originality in form or content has in some way moved the genre on, or perhaps created a new genre; or because their quality has set standards which other programme-makers can learn from and emulate.
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Actor (Female): Sinéad Keenan
“Compelling and heart breaking. She brought the whole story alive.”
Actor (Male): Stephen Graham
“Unquestionably brilliant, showing extraordinary range and skill”.
“An exceptional piece of film making, brilliantly evoking the dramatic sweep of the artist’s life.”
Breakthrough Award: Daniel Lawrence Taylor
“Creating a world that didn’t exist before – original, clever and insightful. Clearly we’ll see much more of this talent in the future.”
“Supremely well researched, an important piece of television.”
Comedy Performance: Daisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper
“Charming, endearing and warm…giving this funny show genuine heart.”
“Massively watchable, diverse and inclusive.”
“Wide ranging, challenging programmes with difficult subjects handled confidently, and a series able to prompt national discussion.”
“Beautifully written and directed, with performances that were through the roof…taking huge creative risks.”
“This series…has evolved into a uniquely contemporary watch – it makes its own rules and is a compelling and spellbinding viewing”.
Entertainment Performance: Adam Hills, Alex Brooker and Josh Widdecombe
“The genuine warmth, imagination and sense of fun just shines through."
Formatted Popular Factual
“The genuine warmth, imagination and sense of fun just shines through."
“A visually rich piece which told new stories in an arresting style.”
“A remarkable event beautifully executed, telling THE story as well as lots of others in an innovative and accessible way."
“Incredible, raw performances in a sensitively handled and ultimately devastating story”.
Presenter: Anita Rani
“This broadcaster told a personal story with an approach that was both authoritative and deeply emotional”.
RTS Channel Of The Year: BBC One
“Commissions wide ranging, challenging programmes that still push at the boundaries, and with an astonishing mix of quality.”
Science & Natural History
“Two words sum it up…simply phenomenal”.
“Authentic, clever and with characters and a setting that felt completely fresh."
“A profoundly brave personal journey told with incredible emotional honesty.”
“Bold and powerful. A gut-wrenching watch”.
Soap and Continuing Drama
“Some astonishing performances, but always grounded, confident and utterly believable.”
Sports Presenter, Commentator or Pundit: Michael Johnson
“Someone who brings the viewer a uniquely authoritative perspective combined with excellent insight.”
“A perfectly executed piece of stand out coverage,” said the judges, “It was stunning!”.
Writer – Comedy: Daisy May Cooper and Charlie Cooper
“Was both warm and poignant in a world rarely represented…a brilliantly funny piece”.
Writer - Drama: Nicole Taylor
“It would be hard to overstate the intellectual dexterity, cultural sensitivity and raw emotional force…the writer is an exceptionally rare talent”.
RTS Award of Special Recognition: The Crown
“The RTS presented an award of Special Recognition to a production for an outstanding contribution to the reputation of British television around the world. British programmes have been seen overseas for decades - since Lew Grade first got on a plane in the Sixties in fact – and British shows have always been admired abroad for their sheer quality. The list of British big international hits is long and distinguished –
Downton Abbey, Planet Earth, Inspector Morse, Top Gear, Monty Python…even The Benny Hill Show, back in the day.
This has a truly vast global audience in one hundred and ninety countries – and more than any other, has shown the world British production expertise at its absolute finest. It has also brought huge international investment into British drama, changing the landscape for high-end production. With its very British story, British creative and technical talent behind the camera, and an almost exclusively British cast – the series has put feature film production values onto the small screen for the world to see and done so with a style and on a scale unlike any other.
Its epic sweep across the second half of the twentieth century is much more than an historical account of our Queen’s reign - it’s the story of Britain in a time of rapid social change, when the age of deference gave way to the liberal consensus of the Sixties, and the country fumbled to define its post-imperial role. It’s the story we’ve lived through, and are living through still. And it’s told by some of our finest writers, our most talented producers and directors, and our very best actors.
It’s a series of ambition, grandeur and – dare I say it – majesty.”
Judges’ Award: Charlie Brooker and Annabel Jones
“The recipients are the creative executive producers of a show that has touched the zeitgeist and connected with millennial audiences particularly in the most profound way. Black Mirror is a series that defies neat categorisation. Is it science fiction? Is it an apocalyptic satire? Is it a psychological thriller? The truth is that it’s all of the these.
Even describing it as this generation’s Twilight Zone doesn’t do justice to the creative sweep of Black Mirror. Using modern society’s delight in evolving technology and our addiction to the new media as its jumping off points, the show takes the viewer to a different unique world with its own parallel reality in each episode. Its anthology format gives Black Mirror the creative space to be whatever it wants to be with each new scenario – sometimes it is shocking, dark and nightmarish, sometimes it is witty, or touching or thrilling. It is, though, always audacious – and as one reviewer called it right at the start of its creative life, “dementedly brilliant”. As anyone who has had a programme idea in our industry will acknowledge – to have the idea is one thing, to turn the idea into a piece of quality television is quite another. And that’s why the judges have chosen to recognise the work of these two creative showrunners. The epic execution of Charlie Brooker’s dystopian vision of our immediate future has been nothing short of outstanding. Together they have brought to the screen a series that has both thrilled critics and struck a real chord with younger audiences, who have engaged with the show with an almost evangelical fervour.”
Lifetime Achievement Award: Jimmy McGovern
“A dramatist who has written what is, by any measure, an exceptional body of work – pieces that have challenged audiences, needled authority and had an impact that goes beyond mere critical acclaim or high ratings...though his work has achieved both of those as well.
He’s written for the theatre and film and could doubtless have enjoyed a stellar career in either, but instead chose to focus his attention on television as the best place to tell his stories. And that’s what he says he is - not a writer, but a storyteller. A storyteller from a proud Northern working-class tradition who approaches his craft like a working tradesman, painstakingly building his narratives and characters as a bricklayer might construct a wall…but, as he said, laying words and sentences instead of bricks.
And what stories. Firmly rooted in everyday life as it’s really led, his stories are a delicate balance between the simplicity of his narratives and the complexity of his characters. They’re stories about the messiness of real life; stories about people who struggle - maybe with addiction, adultery, violence, guilt, corruption, debt, revenge, anger or shame. But it’s the completeness and depth of his characters that makes his work so exceptional – the many layers of a man like Fitz in Cracker, so brilliantly brought to life by Robbie Coltrane, or the conflicts within Father Michael Kerrigan, played with real nuance by Sean Bean in Broken.
Jimmy began his writing career in the early Eighties on Channel 4’s ground breaking Merseyside soap Brookside, where he showed how truthfully he could write about working class life in a city socially broken by Thatcherism. His breakout work Cracker followed a decade later, and was a massive hit. But it was being asked by the Hillsborough families in 1996 to write about what happened in the hell of that Sheffield football stadium that would have the greatest impact, both on Jimmy and what was to follow. His Hillsborough dramatisation starkly challenged the officially-reported version of events, telling the story of the families’ ongoing agony in the face of a brutal campaign of police lies, political cover-up and legal obstruction. Perhaps the most important work Jimmy would ever write, it was an early but hugely significant milestone on the families’ journey to seek justice for the 96 fans unlawfully killed that Saturday afternoon. Two decades on from his television film, the truth of what Jimmy wrote is finally – officially - acknowledged.
The difference between justice and the law is a theme Jimmy has returned to more than once. His 2014 drama Common questioned the controversial joint enterprise law, where a person can be jailed for a murder they didn’t physically commit; his two series of Accused told the stories of how people in the dock of a criminal court had found themselves there, awaiting verdicts that would change their lives forever.
His work has also given an authentic voice to people whose stories are rarely told with conviction or realism on television – whether they’re the striking workers on the Liverpool wharf-side in Dockers on Channel 4 in 1999, or the indigenous Australian households of an inner-city suburb of Sydney in Redfern Now for the ABC in 2012.
He writes about big themes – responsibility, accountability, communities that feel trapped. He writes about the people who are overlooked, or lied to, or wilfully ignored. And there is never any doubt whose side he is on.”