BBC’s night anything but ‘Bleak’ at BAFTAs

Beeb's 'House,' 'Who' take big prizes at kudofest

LONDON — The BBC’s Charles Dickens costume drama “Bleak House” scooped two big prizes at the BAFTA TV awards in a happy night for the pubcaster.

“Bleak House,” adapted for the small screen by Andrew Davies and broadcast in innovative soap-style episodes, took the drama serial award and Anna Maxwell Martin nabbed the actress gong ahead of more celebrated co-star Gillian Anderson.

The BBC’s returning audience fave “Doctor Who” drew the drama series nod as well as the Pioneer audience award — the only prize voted on by members of the public. “Who” scribe Russell T. Davies received the Dennis Potter award for TV writing.

“The Government Inspector,” Channel 4’s portrait of the work of weapons inspector David Kelly and the events leading up to his death, won the single drama BAFTA. Mark Rylance took home the actor award for his turn as Kelly in the one-off drama written and directed by Peter Kosminsky.

The commercial public service web dominated the factual awards, notching four other wins: sport (“The Ashes: England v Australia”), current affairs (“Dispatches: Beslan”), the Flaherty award for single documentary (“Make Me Normal”) and factual series (“Jamie’s School Dinners”). Campaigning chef Jamie Oliver also was honored with the Richard Dimbleby Award for presenter of a factual program.

Brit actor Chris Langham also had reason to celebrate. He won the comedy performance prize for his role as an unprincipled, pragmatic politician in Armando Iannucci’s “The Thick of It,” which also received the situation comedy kudos. The comedy program BAFTA went to BBC2’s therapy laffer “Help,” which also stars Langham.

The Lew Grade Award for entertainment program went to “X-Factor,” marking the first time the reality TV show has been honored by the org. Jonathan Ross, host of “Friday Night With Jonathan Ross,” won the entertainment performance prize for the second time even though his show lost out to “X-Factor.”

Ken Loach was awarded the BAFTA fellowship. The helmer, whose latest feature — “The Wind that Shakes the Barley” — will screen in competition at Cannes, was presented with his fellowship by thesp Robert Carlyle.

“EastEnders” won the battle of the soaps, wrestling the continuing drama prize from ITV’s “Coronation Street,” winner for the two previous years.

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