BBC dramas sweep the board at Baftas

Happy Valley steals the crown

The great and the good of television land assembled at the Festival Hall on Sunday night to honour last year’s successes at the Bafta TV Awards.

Hosted by Sue Perkins, while Graham Norton nursed his Eurovision hangover, the opulent Netflix drama The Crown was expected to sweep the board, however it was the BBC that emerged with the most gongs. A fact that the public service broadcasters will be particularly pleased about given the current breadth of competition.

It was police drama Happy Valley that stole the show, winning in the best drama category, with its star Sarah Lancashire picking up the best actress prize. The Crown, although nominated across the board won nothing, which would be a real slap in the face for the £100 million investment in the project.

Click here for a full list of awards and winners

Of course, it was no surprise that in her acceptance speech Lancashire praised the “phenomenally talented” writing skills of Sally Wainwright who crafted the whole show and is a major player in Auntie’s stable.

Another of the channel's success stories was Damilola Taylor: Our Beloved Boy. Recounting the harrowing murder of Damilola in 2000 and his parents’ fight for justice, it was no surprise that it won the best single drama Bafta and Wunmi Mosaku picked up the best supporting actress award for her portrayal of Gloria, Damilola’s Mother.

The acceptance speech by producer Colin Barr was extraordinarily moving as he was joined on stage by Damilola’s Father Richard and his elder brother Tunde.

In fact, when it comes to harrowing drama it seems that Auntie has  a complete monopoly in the genre with BBC 3’s Murdered By My Father, the true account of an Asian honour killing, being singled out by Bafta when Adele Akhtar won the best leading actor award for his exacting work in the chilling story.

Auntie will be proud as punch after her successes, which were neatly rounded off at the Festival Hall when Joanna Lumley was honoured with the fellowship award. As a faithful BBC alumni she thanked the Bafta organisation and in true Ab Fab style declared that this was the “grandest and most unexpected prize I have ever had the joy of receiving.”


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