LONDON — The BBC2 drama Parade’s End — starring Benedict Cumberbatch and Rebecca Hall and written by Tom Stoppard — picked up a quartet of nods at the 39th annual Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, voted for by journalists who write about TV and radio. The 39th edition of the awards were presented Thursday at a lunch in the Gladstone Library at One Whitehall Place in central London.
Cumberbatch secured the best actor plaudit for his roles in Parade’s End and Sherlock, while Hall, who stars opposite Cumberbatch in Parade, picked up the votes for the best actress award.
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Parade’s End also won the most Guild votes for best drama series and the BPG writer’s award, for Stoppard, who adapted the novels by Ford Madox Ford.
Elsewhere, the ITV documentary which exposed the Jimmy Savile sex abuse scandal and helped plunge the BBC into crisis, won the award for best single documentary.
Exposure: the Other Side of Jimmy Savile led to a national inquiry into child abuse and a chain of events that resulted in the departure of the BBC director-general George Entwistle after just 54 days in office.
Despite ITV’s documentary win, it was a good year for the BBC with the public broadcaster winning a host of awards, including this year’s innovation award for its live and catch-up coverage of all 304 events at the Olympics 2012 across multiple platforms and devices.
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The BBC Two comedy series Twenty Twelve — showing how preparations for the Olympics could go horribly wrong, with what the judges called “an uncanny ability to predict real-life events” won the best comedy/entertainment award.
And comedian and presenter Adam Hills won the breakthrough award for his nightly Paralympics show, The Last Leg, on Channel 4, a show which gave an alternative view of the day’s events.
BBC Two also won the awards for best single drama (The Hollow Crown: Richard II), best documentary series (Inside Claridge’s) and best factual entertainment (Great British Bake Off).
The multichannel award went to Dynamo: Magician Impossible, featuring Steve Frayne, on UKTV’s Watch channel.
The awards are sponsored by Discovery Channel, a part of Discovery Networks.
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John Humphrys, whose interview with Entwistle on Radio 4’s Today was instrumental in the director-general’s resignation that evening, won the Harvey Lee Award for an outstanding contribution to broadcasting.
Complete List of Winners:
Best Single Drama
The Hollow Crown: Richard II
(A Neal Street Productions co-production with NBC Universal and WNET Thirteen for BBC Two)
Best Drama Series
(A Mammoth Screen production for the BBC, in association with HBO Miniseries & Trademark Films, BBC Worldwide and Lookout Point)
Best Single Documentary
Exposure: The Other Side of Jimmy Savile
(An ITV Studios production for ITV1)
Best Documentary Series
(Produced by The Garden for BBC Two)
(A BBc Comedy production for BBC Two)
Best Factual Entertainment
The Great British Bake Off
(A Love West production for BBC Two)
Best Multichannel Program
Dynamo: Magician Impossible
(Phil McIntyre Productions for UKTV’s Watch)
(Christopher Tietjens in Parade’s End for BBC Two, and
Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock for BBC One)
(Sylvia Tietjens in Parade’s End for BBC Two)
(The Last Leg, during the 2012 Paralympics on Channel 4)
(Parade’s End, from the novels by Ford Madox Ford, for BBC Two)
Radio Broadcaster of the Year
(Newsreader and announcer for BBC Radio 4)
Radio Program of the Year
(A BBC A&M Bristol production for BBC Radio 4)
BBC Olympics 2012
(In recognition of the first truly multi-platform, multi-device, digital Olympics)
Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting
(BBC reporter, interviewer and presenter, in special recognition of his work for BBC Radio 4’s Today program)