RTS Programme Awards 2019 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 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.
Watch extended highlights from the awards:
About our sponsor
Audio Network is the music company for broadcasters, brands, creators and music fans everywhere, breaking down boundaries to deliver music seamlessly across the world. The company first disrupted the market landscape in 2001 with a unique proposition: simple and transparent licensing allowing creators to use music on multiple platforms, everywhere, forever.
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Since its inception 17 years ago, the business has grown exponentially. In fact, The Sunday Times lists Audio Network as one of the UK’s fastest growing companies (Tech Track 2011-2013; Profit Track 100 2013- 2015; SME Export track 2015; Les Champions de la Croissance 2017), and most acclaimed, having won the Queen’s Prize for Enterprise in 2018 (following previous wins of the 2008 Queen’s Award for Innovation and the 2012 Queen’s Award for International Trade).
The company constantly invests in its people, its music and its clients, with offices in London (HQ), Los Angeles, New York, Paris, Toronto, Amsterdam, Sydney, Munich and Tokyo, and a staff of more than 150, including dedicated music consultants and experts. Under the leadership of CEO Robb Smith, and the guidance of our original founders Robert Hurst and Andrew Sunnucks, that model remains at the heart of the business as the company enters a new phase of expansion.
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Actor (Female): Jodie Comer
“Already iconic, and impossible to imagine anyone else inhabiting the role in quite the same way."
Actor (Male): Lucian Msamati
“Harrowing, unsentimental and nuanced…an extraordinarily brilliant performance."
“A stand out piece of programming, presenting the familiar in a wholly new way without missing a beat.”
Breakthrough Award: Nabhaan Rizwan
“An exciting new talent who is clearly destined for an exceptional future. The performance was simply incredible.”
Channel of the Year
“Seems more important now than ever…commissioning programmes that entertain and educate its audience in equal measure.”
“Thoroughly engaging throughout, with a great narrative and a real sense of jeopardy at its centre."
Comedy Performance (Female): Lesley Manville
“Extremely funny, nuanced and beautifully balanced. Her performance really did set a new benchmark for excellence in this genre."
Comedy Performance (Male): Steve Pemberton & Reece Shearsmith
“Astonishing and committed, simply a masterclass in comedy performance at the very highest level."
“An original and engaging programme with lots of heart and great production values.”
“Cutting deeper than most immersive access documentaries, this series had a droll and provocative tone which emerged through astonishing scenes, encounters and characters.”
“So fresh and authentic, it was if the dialogue was real rather than written. An astonishing achievement.”
“Bold and totally brilliant, entertaining its audience with seemingly endless creative inventiveness."
Entertainment Performance: Big Narstie and Mo Gilligan
“A complete breath of fresh air, refreshingly raw, authentic and VERY entertaining.”
Formatted Popular Factual
“A deftly handled, original piece of work which has genuinely made its own impact on the factual landscape."
“An accessible, compelling piece with some astonishing archive and telling an important story."
“A very British spectacle captured with great style and flair."
“An exceptionally confident drama that couldn’t be more relevant in these uncertain times, but written and performed with a sense of both lightness and outrage.”
Presenter: Romesh Ranganathan
“Brought genuine originality to every scene, making the whole endeavour distinctive and very special."
Science and Natural History
“Deeply emotionally engaging on a subject we thought we all knew about."
“Skilful, special and truthful, combining super-smart writing with outstanding acting."
“A shocking eye-opener of a programme. It was beautiful, powerful film making; carefully produced and edited brilliantly.”
“Devastating, with a true story unpacked expertly and brought to life by extremely well-judged performances."
Soap and Continuing Drama
“Well written, beautifully acted, it was bold and confident with terrific central performances."
Sports Presenter, Commentator or Pundit: Osi Umenyiora
“Charismatic, knowledgeable, insightful and opinionated – a total joy to watch."
“Capturing all the intense emotion of the occasion, alongside some dazzling punditry and a thrilling commentary."
Writer (Comedy): Stefan Golaszewski
Writing that "sings throughout this masterfully well observed, beautiful comedy."
Writer (Drama): Lennie James
“Witty, warm writing rubbed up against harsh, dark and truthful storytelling populated by wonderful rich characters."
Judges' Award: Ben Frow
"This year’s recipient of this prestigious honour is a Director of Programmes who is having a truly transformative effect on Channel 5. He’s evolved it from a broadcaster heavily reliant on American acquisitions to one defined by a distinctive, original home grown programme mix that has found its own appreciative and loyal audience.
Ben Frow joined Channel 5 in 2013, a year before it was acquired by Viacom. Since then he’s taken the channel on a journey of gradual but radical change – all of which seems to have paid off in the last year. In the last twelve months alone the channel has won its first BAFTA Award, consecutive RTS Channel of the Year nominations, The Channel of the Year at Edinburgh and just tonight a Programme Award in the highly-prized Single Documentary category.
With his commissioning team, Ben has moved Channel 5 into genres largely avoided previously by the broadcaster – entertainment, comedy, drama, high end documentaries and specialist factual, history, lifestyle and consumer affairs. He’s attracted premium talent like Michael Palin, Jeremy Paxman and Jeremy Vine to the channel, and had an impressive run of hits including shows like Cruising with Jane McDonald, GPs Behind Closed Doors and Our Yorkshire Farm. Despite operating on a programming budget just a small fraction of its bigger-funded rivals, Channel 5 punches above its weight with programmes that are warm, inclusive, and really know their audience. All this under a Director of Programmes who brings passion and a great popular instinct to his role, who’s championed small regional indies and increased the channel’s audience share by a full five percent over his tenure."
Outstanding Contribution to British Television: Lorraine Kelly
"The recipient of this year’s Award for an Outstanding Contribution to British television is a woman who is more than just a presenter – though she’s an excellent one of those; more than just a journalist – though again, her editorial credentials are impeccable; more than just a star – although she’s so famous that she’s usually known by her first name only.
She’s someone who, for decades now, has simply been woven into the daily life of our nation.
This year, Lorraine Kelly celebrates thirty five years on television. That in itself is an incredible accomplishment. Think about it: when Lorraine made her network debut in 1984 the Prime Minister was Margaret Thatcher, the internet hadn’t really been invented and Britain had just four television channels. Since then she’s been the face of morning television almost every single weekday for an unbroken three and a half decades. And not only is she still there, her daily show’s currently enjoying its highest ratings in over five years.
Lorraine began her television career as a researcher at BBC Scotland in 1983. The following year she became the on-screen reporter of Scottish news stories for ITV’s breakfast show. Some television journalists have a style that just seems to leap through the screen, and makes a very direct connection with viewers – and so it was with Lorraine. Her news reports were authoritative but - perhaps in a foretaste of things to come – she always emphasised the human angle of any story. Her live reporting of the Lockerbie disaster in 1989 was a defining moment, and within months she was invited to London to become one of the hosts of TV-AM’s Good Morning Britain.
Since then, she’s been a constant in all our lives every morning on the many breakfast shows she’s anchored. From TV-AM to GMTV, from Daybreak to the programme with her own name as its title, Lorraine has been there – a steady, consistent, reassuring presence year after year, decade after decade, during which virtually everything else around us has changed.
She’s covered every news story from Dunblane to the death of Diana, 9/11 to 7/7, the Gulf War to Grenfell. She’s the most empathetic interviewer on television – never afraid to show her own emotions while retaining her tough journalistic instinct. Every guest who sits opposite Lorraine feels secure enough in her presence to really open up…whether they’re a member of the public who’s been touched by tragedy, or a Hollywood superstar with a movie to sell. She just treats everyone with the same warmth and respect.
Over the decades, Lorraine’s also shown she knows the real impact on viewers’ lives her show can have. She’ll use her unique relationship with her audience to talk about subjects once considered off limits in the sunny world of breakfast television…the menopause, transgender rights, terminal illness, body image, grief, family breakdown, depression, abortion, child abuse, even her own miscarriage. In fact, there really isn’t anything that Lorraine HASN’T talked about at eight thirty in the morning.
So what do we put her extraordinary appeal down to? Well one of her co-hosts perhaps put it best when he said “Lorraine relates to the audience, and the audience know that when they switch on, she’s one of them”. And that’s it, isn’t it? She has a connection with her viewers that is simply unrivalled. They absolutely love her, because they recognise her authenticity, her complete lack of affectation, her genuine innate warmth. They trust and respect her…because despite however famous Lorraine’s become, she’s never stopped being just like them."