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‘Chernobyl,’ ‘The Virtues’ Among Winners at the U.K. Broadcasting Press Guild’s TV and Radio Awards

HBO-Chernobyl
Courtesy HBO

The U.K.’s Broadcasting Press Guild held its 46th Television and Radio Awards at London’s Banking Hall on Friday, with “Chernobyl” and “The Virtues” among the winners.

The BPG Awards, given for work commissioned or premiered in the U.K. and screened in 2019, are selected independently by TV and radio correspondents, critics and previewers.

“I’m proud to say that, for the second year in a row, a record number of votes were cast for the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, which is testament to the enduring qualities of the BPG and the continued vibrancy of British television,” said BPG chair Jake Kanter.

“Chernobyl” (Sky Atlantic) was named best drama series, while “The Virtues” (Channel 4) won the award for best single drama or miniseries.

Film and TV director Michael Apted was awarded the BPG Jury Prize for the “Up” series, which began in 1964 with a profile of 14 seven-year-old children growing up in the U.K. who have been subjects of a new documentary every seven years since.

Glenda Jackson was named best actress for her role as Maud, a dementia sufferer, in BBC One’s adaptation of Emma Healey’s best-selling novel, “Elizabeth Is Missing.” The two-time Oscar winner, now 83, was making her first screen appearance in 27 years, after nearly two decades in Parliament.

The BPG award for best actor went to Stephen Graham, for his performances in the fifth season of “Line of Duty” (BBC One), “A Christmas Carol” (BBC One) and “The Virtues.”

Fleabag” (BBC Three and Amazon Prime Video) was named best comedy, while “The Graham Norton Show” (BBC One) took home top honors for best entertainment show. Craig Mazin won the best writer award for “Chernobyl”.

Channel Four News and ITN won the BPG award for best single documentary with “For Sama” (Channel Four and PBS Frontline), the critically acclaimed Oscar nominee by Waad Al-Kateab. The award for best documentary series went to “Thatcher: A Very British Revolution” (BBC Two)

Samira Ahmed was named Audio Broadcaster of the Year, for presenting “Front Row” on BBC Radio 4 and the podcast “How I Found My Voice.” The award for Radio Program of the Year went to “Hooked: The Unexpected Addicts” (BBC Radio 5 Live), presented by Melissa Rice and Jade Wye, who provide insights into the realities of being an addict. The Podcast of the Year award went to “Have You Heard George’s Podcast” (BBC Sounds) presented by George The Poet, a.k.a. George Mpanga.

Among the special awards made by the BPG executive committee, Moira Stuart received the Harvey Lee Award for an Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting, in recognition of her five decades of outstanding broadcasting, including news presentation on BBC radio and television, documentaries, entertainment shows and her current news and music programs on Classic FM.

Actor Ncuti Gatwa won the Breakthrough Award for his performance in “Sex Education” (Netflix).