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Stars speak out in support of Channel 4’s public ownership at Bafta television awards

Gogglebox won the Best Reality and Constructed Factual Award

ITV was among the big winners at the British Academy Television Awards (Baftas) on a night when talent came out in support of publicly owned Channel 4.

ITV took home more awards than any other channel or streamer, with wins in categories such as Best Daytime Programme for The Chase and Best Entertainment Programme for Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway.

It also dominated unscripted/factual, with awards in the single documentary, specialist factual and current affairs categories, as well as the news coverage award for ITV News At Ten: Storming of the Capitol.

Channel 4’s 1980s Aids drama It’s a Sin was the programme with the most nominations on the night but went home empty-handed, losing out to shows such as BBC’s prison drama Time, in the Best Miniseries category.

Numerous winners gave their backing to Channel 4 which looks set to be privatised by the government, among them Stephen Lambert, whose C4 hit Gogglebox won in the Best Reality and Constructed Factual category.

“Gogglebox might have ended when it started nine years ago because it got quite a modest audience, but a publicly owned, risk-taking Channel 4 believed in it and they’ve stuck with it,” Lambert said.

Sean Bean (left) and Stephen Graham in Best Miniseries winner Time

Meanwhile, speaking on the red carpet ahead of the awards, It’s a Sin writer Russell T Davies said: “It’s so nice to see the cast being recognised today. Of course, it was made on a channel that the government is going to sell off while they’re also planning to get rid of the BBC licence fee, so if you like shows like this, go and vote differently, that’s what I say.”

Elsewhere, Cathy Tyson, who won Best Supporting Actress for C4 Covid-19 drama Help, praised the broadcaster for continuing to provide a voice to people who are rarely heard.

Help’s Jodie Comer won in the Best Leading Actress category for her performance in the drama, while Sean Bean took the leading actor prize for his performance in Time.

BBC3 series In My Skin won best drama series, while Prime Video’s The Underground Railroad won in the international category, beating Call My Agent!, Lupin, Mare of Easttown, Squid Game and Succession.

Matthew Macfadyen won in the Best Supporting Actor category for his performance in the latter following a rule change that allows British talent to be nominated for performances in international series.

The awards, hosted by Richard Ayoade (Travel Man, The IT Crowd), also recognised Strictly Come Dancing’s Rose and Giovanni, who won the public vote to collect the Virgin Media Must-See Moment Award for their memorable silent performance on the BBC show.

Other winners on the night included The Lateish Show With Mo Gilligan for comedy entertainment programme; Big Zuu for entertainment performance; Big Zuu’s Big Eats in features; Uprising in factual series; Motherland in scripted comedy; and Together in single drama.

Sophie Willan won the Best Female Performance In A Comedy Programme prize for Alma’s Not Normal and Jamie Demetriou won in the male performance in a comedy category for Stath Lets Flats.

The Fellowship, the highest accolade given by Bafta in recognition of an individual’s outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, television or games across their career, was presented to Sir Billy Connolly.


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