Well, I only went and won an RTS! What a wonderful, unexpected bonus after making the most important piece of TV I’ve ever made. My Family, Partition and Me told the story of the Partition of India, the brutal end of the Raj. Not only my story, the story of millions. My motivation for making it was realising, based on the reaction to my Who Do You Think You Are?, how little people know about this momentous period in history.
The RTS Programme Awards, chaired by Wayne Garvie, honours excellence across all genres of television programming and recognise exceptional actors, presenters, writers and production teams, as well as the programmes themselves.
The BBC scooped 17 awards for its programmes and talent, and also won the coveted RTS Channel of the Year award.
The Royal Television Society West of England Awards in association with Evolutions Bristol took place at the Bristol Old Vic on Sunday 19th March with a gala ceremony hosted by Countryfile’s Anita Rani.
Guests included Nick Knowles and Mark Millar from DIY SOS, writer, chef and broadcaster Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, CBBC favourites Andy Day and Naomi Wilkinson, broadcaster Jonathan Dimbleby and actor Susan Wokoma (Crazyhead).
“The journalism within Countryfile is the heartbeat of the programme,” said executive editor Bill Lyons, who was talking to a full house at the Everyman Cinema for an RTS Bristol Centre event celebrating the long-running BBC One magazine programme.
Over the years, Countryfile has investigated the countryside protest marches, foot and mouth disease, and rural domestic violence. “We don’t shy away from the grittiness of the countryside,” said Joanna Brame, who produces the series for BBC Bristol.
What would life be like if we could start again? That is the question posed by Channel 4's new reality series Eden. Ten women and 13 men, including four embedded camera crew, try their hand at living without modern conveniences as they build a community from scratch. Using only the tools they can carry, and some initial provisions, the group will live a year in isolation from the rest of the world and attempt to establish a peaceful relationship with their natural surroundings.
The twelfth series of the genealogy programme will touch on almost a thousand years of history from the Tower of London to the Punjab in India, via the Wild West of the US.
Actor Sir Derek Jacobi uncovers a background of contrast, from humble roots in Walthamstow to the excesses of Louis XIV's royal court in France, while model Jerry Hall traces her pioneering ancestors from the cotton mills of Oldham to the plains of Texas.