BBC nabs 18 awards, including two for 'Small Island'
LONDON — The much-feted U.S. show “Mad Men” triumphed for the second year running at the U.K.’s Royal Television Society’s Program Awards.“Mad Men,” shown by the BBC in Blighty, beat “Damages” and “Generation Kill” for the international award. The judges praised the Lionsgate show for “moving at a glacial pace, beautifully fetishising the period,” and cleverly exploring “the social issues of the time.” Overall it was a winning night for the pubcaster, which pocketed 18 of the 25 main category prizes at the kudos event, held at London’s Grosvenor House hotel on Tuesday. The corp.’s flagship web, BBC1, fared especially well, taking nine awards. These included the best actor and actress awards for the web’s adaptation of “Small Island,” Andrea Levy’s novel about post-war Jamaican immigrants in the London of the 1940s and 1950s. The awards for thesps Naomie Harris and David Oyelowo meant that for the first time in the event’s history two black actors won the big acting prizes. In a message read out at the ceremony, Oyelowo, unable to attend due to a filming commitment in Los Angeles, thanked the BBC “for helping to pay my mortgage for the past 10 years.” Intriguingly none of the entertainment giants of British TV, such as “The X Factor” and “Britain’s Got Talent” triumphed. Both shows were pipped at the post for the entertainment prize by cult show “Newswipe with Charlie Brooker,” which takes a wry look at TV news for upscale web BBC4. ITV’s biggest stars, Ant and Dec, lost out to British comedian Harry Hill in the entertainment performance category. The comic won for his ITV show “TV Burp.”