Happy Valley and Top Boy win at the TV Baftas

Happy Valley and Top Boy win at the TV Baftas

British dramas Happy Valley, Top Boy and The Sixth Commandment were the big winners at the Bafta Television Awards.

Sarah Lancashire was named best leading actress for her portrayal of no-nonsense Sergeant Catherine Cawood in the swansong of Sally Wainwright’s Yorkshire-set thriller Happy Valley.

Collecting the gong, Lancashire said: “I feel very, very privileged to have been surrounded by these brilliant actors and I thank each and every one of you.”

She also thanked the BBC’s chief content officer Charlotte Moore and the broadcaster “for giving this very British drama a very British home”.

Cawood’s final kitchen showdown with James Norton’s Tommy Lee Royce in the series also won the P&O Cruises memorable moment award.

Gang drama Top Boy was named best drama series, while Jasmine Jobson was named best supporting actress for her role as Jaq Lawrence in the series about the lives of two drug dealers on a Hackney estate.

Collecting her prize, Jobson said: “I don’t know what to say, I’m so overwhelmed, I was not expecting this.

“I just try to do what I do to change a life and save a life.”

Matthew Macfadyen won the supporting actor category for the final series of Succession, the conclusion of the drama about the struggle for power in a media dynasty, but the actor who played the ambitious Tom Wambsgans was not at the ceremony.

Timothy Spall took home the leading actor Bafta for true crime series The Sixth Commandment, about the deaths of Peter Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin in a quiet Buckinghamshire village.

The veteran star said: “I didn’t actually write anything down. Look it all up on IMDB and you will see who was involved because to each and every soul of them, they are brilliant.

“Acting is a stupid thing, it’s a soppy old thing, standing up pretending to be someone and pissing around in costume.

“Sixty-seven and you think ‘am I still doing this?’

“But sometimes you get the chance to play people that have had a terrible thing happen to then and all they wanted was love, and it’s a beautiful thing to be able to tell a story about that. It’s about crimes but it’s also about love.

“And when it makes a difference and we can all share in the human condition, some of it horrible and some of it beautiful and even though acting is a silly stupid thing, its lovely,”

Looking at his award, he said: “I’ve always wanted one of these. I’m just so pleased to be amongst you lot.”

The drama also won the limited series Bafta.

Strictly Come Dancing won the best entertainment prize in its 20th year on the air and co-host Tess Daly celebrated the triumph, saying it was “the best birthday present” to mark two decades on the BBC.

The show first aired in 2004 as a new incarnation of the professional ballroom show Come Dancing.

Collecting the gong, Daly said: “We are properly and genuinely overwhelmed. Thank you Bafta for making it worth putting on Spanx on the hottest day of the year.

Strictly defeated shows including Hannah Waddingham: Home For Christmas.

Ted Lasso and West End star Waddingham could be seen swigging from a miniature hip flask on her bracelet as the camera cut to her.

Awards hosts Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan looked bashful when their show Rob And Romesh VS won the comedy entertainment Bafta, while Mawaan Rizwan won the award for best male performance in a comedy for his role in Juice, about a young gay man who desperately wants to be the centre of attention, but his family keep stealing his thunder.

Accepting the award, Rizwan said: “Thank you to my therapist – we had a conversation last week where we said I had to stop relying on external forms of validation.”

Gbemisola Ikumelo won the female performance in a comedy Bafta for Black Ops.

Collecting the award, she encouraged the audience to repeat her call of “Good is good,” and said: “That is how you know diversity is working!”

She also joked her agent would be telling her next employers: “Yesterday’s price is not today’s price.”

Former Play School children’s presenter Baroness Floella Benjamin was presented with Bafta’s highest honour, the Fellowship, by newsreader Clive Myrie.

In a video tribute, Bafta president the Prince of Wales sent his “heartfelt congratulations” and said he wanted to say “thank you” to the children’s TV presenter and campaigner.

Collecting the trophy, Baroness Benjamin said: “I feel blessed as I stand on the summit of life’s mountain looking back on life’s journey.”

She added: “I have been told ‘shut up or you’ll never work again’ when I spoke out, but my mission over the last 50 years has been to get broadcasters to have diversity and inclusion in their DNA.”

Daytime stalwart Lorraine Kelly was also honoured at the ceremony with a special award.

Squid Game: The Challenge won the reality Bafta, while The Eurovision Song Contest 2023 won the award for live event coverage.

Waddingham, who co-hosted the contest in Liverpool, accepted the trophy, saying: “The week we had this time last year was, I know for everybody here, the most exceptional, stressful week but so fabulous.”

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