This year’s Virgin Media BAFTA TV Awards provided an early upset when Mo Gilligan beat a host of TV’s established names to win the Entertainment Performance Award.
Gilligan, the host of “The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan,” saw off well known performers Graham Norton, Frankie Boyle and Lee Mack to take the first prize of the night at the BAFTAs.
He noted that he “has only being doing this TV stuff for three or four years,” having worked on comedy circuits as well as in retail, including for Levi’s, to earn a living. “I still have to pinch myself,” he said.
“Just on a personal note, this award means so much to me, even the names that I’m with, it’s like [blown] my mind away to be here,” he said.
Gilligan also addressed the issue of the lack of diversity in the U.K. industry which has dominated headlines in recent months, saying there was more to do to improve representation on television.
“There’s still so much work to do of getting people like me on TV, people of different backgrounds, people that sound like me, and not feel like you have to change the way you speak.”
Gilligan added: “Hopefully, somebody watching is like, ‘Whoah, Mo is the guy down my road, I have a friend called Mo, I am a Mo.’ And that is what it is about. But there is still so much work to do, and we all collectively know that within this industry.”
He said the next season of “The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan” has been commissioned by Channel 4, and is set to air next year. The first series aired last year.
Also last year, his first comedy special on Netflix, “Mo Gilligan: Momentum,” was released globally in 190 countries.