Netflix wins first Broadcasting Press Guild Award

Netflix won its first Broadcasting Press Guild Award today as The Crown picked up the award for Best Online First/Streaming in a ceremony dominated by TV drama.

Netflix's The Crown won in a ceremony dominated by TV drama
Netflix's The Crown won in a ceremony dominated by TV drama

The Crown had dominated the shortlist with nominations for Best Actress, Best Actor and Best Writer – in an indication that quality original content on streaming services is competing with traditional TV – but was beaten by more traditional broadcasters in those categories.

The BPG named LBC’s James O’Brien as Radio Broadcaster of the Year in recognition of his brilliant coverage of the sensational events of last year. He becomes only the second commercial radio winner in the last 24 years.

Maisie McCabe, chair of the radio jury, said: "In a year that seemed to bring us at least a decade’s worth of major news events, James spoke honestly and compassionately about the major issues of the day, not only providing brilliant live radio for his listeners, but reaching a whole new audience online, as people shared his remarks and debated them on social media."

Although the BBC dominated the winners, the commercial sector was honoured in both acting categories as Robbie Coltrane claimed best actor for National Treasure (Channel 4) and Keeley Hawes won Best Actress for her role in ITV’s The Durrells – as well as BBC Two’s Line of Duty and BBC One’s The Missing.

Sky Atlantic's Alan Partridge: Mid Morning Matters won the award for Best Multichannel (non-PSB) programme.

BBC One’s The Night Manager, The Witness for the Prosecution, Planet Earth II and The Graham Norton Show claimed Best Drama Series, Best Single Drama, Best Documentary and Best Entertainment respectively.

Hawes and The Night Manager’s Hugh Laurie and Tom Hollander will attend today’s BPG Awards lunch at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, which is sponsored by Virgin TV.

Journalists – including critics, previewers, media correspondents and representatives from trade publications – who write about TV and radio choose the winners.

Caroline Frost, BPG chair, said: "In a year where drama continued to electrify and surprise TV audiences, and prove itself still capable of water-cooler moments, there was huge competition for all of our drama awards."

Kirsty Young’s Radio 4’s Desert Island Discs, which has been broadcasting for 75 years this year, was named Radio Programme of the Year.

The actress and writer of the hit comedy series Fleabag, Phoebe Waller-Bridge, also attended the lunch to collect the Best Writer award.

BBC Two won Best Single Documentary and Best Comedy for Hillsborough and Mum respectively as well as the Innovation Award for the crowd-sourced documentary on the migrant crisis, Exodus: Our Journey to Europe.

Producer and filmmaker Norma Percy won The Harvey Lee award for an Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting after a career of interviewing world leaders and creating documentaries such as Inside Obama’s White House and The Death of Yugoslavia.

The full list of BPG TV and Radio Awards winners:

Best Single Drama
The Witness for the Prosecution
A Mammoth Screen & Agatha Christie Productions production for BBC One, in association with A+E Networks & RLJ Entertainment

Best Drama Series
The Night Manager
Produced by The Ink Factory, Demarest Films & Character 7 for BBC One in co-production with AMC.

Best Single Documentary
Hillsborough
A VeryMuchSo & Passion Pictures production for BBC Two

Best Documentary Series
Planet Earth II
A BBC Studios Natural History Unit Production, co-produced with BBC America, ZDF, Tencent & France Television for BBC One

Best Entertainment
The Graham Norton Show
A So Television production for BBC One

Best Online First/Streaming
The Crown
Produced by Left Bank Pictures, a Sony Pictures TV Company, for Netflix

Best Comedy
Mum
A Big Talk Production in association with The Money Men for BBC Two

Radio Broadcaster of the Year
James O’Brien
A Global production for LBC

Radio Programme of the Year
Desert Island Discs, presented by Kirsty Young
A BBC Factual Radio Production for BBC Radio 4

Best Actor
Robbie Coltrane for National Treasure (Channel 4)

Best Actress
Keeley Hawes – for Line of Duty (BBC Two), The Durrells (ITV) and The Missing (BBC One)

Best Writer
Phoebe Waller-Bridge for Fleabag
A Two Brothers Pictures Production for BBC Three

Innovation Award
Exodus: Our Journey to Europe
A Keo Films production for BBC Two

Harvey Lee Award
Norma Percy

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