Bafta TV awards 2024: Happy Valley celebrates major wins

Gang drama Top Boy received the award for best drama series

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Happy Valley, Top Boy and The Sixth Commandment were the big winning British dramas at the Bafta television awards on Sunday.

Her portrayal of no-nonsense Sgt Catherine Cawood in Sally Wainwright’s Yorkshire-set thriller Happy Valley saw Sarah Lancashire take the award for Best Leading Actress.

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

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

Sgt 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 Best Supporting Actor for the final series of Succession, but the actor who played the ambitious Tom Wambsgans was not at the ceremony.

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

“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," the veteran star said.

“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 them 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,”

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

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, 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.

Awards hosts Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan looked bashful when their show Rob And Romesh Vs won the Comedy Entertainment Bafta.

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 Best 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 that 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.”

“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 Best Coverage of a Live Event.

Khalid Abdalla scatters 14,000 sequins at awards in anti-war message

The Crown star Khalid Abdalla shared the anti-war message "stop arming Israel" at the Bafta TV awards.

The British actor scattered 14,000 red sequins at the London event, with each representing "a child that has been killed in Gaza" during the conflict which began on October 7.

Abdalla, who played Dodi Fayed in The Crown, wrote the words "stop arming Israel" on his hand and wore the Artists4Ceasefire red pin, which calls for a ceasefire in Gaza and Israel.

On X, the 43-year-old actor wrote: "Every one of these 14,000 sequins is a child that has been killed in Gaza.

"Multiply that by 2.46 and you get the current death toll, over 34,500. Stop arming Israel."

It is not the first time Abdalla has made a political protest. He wrote the words "never again" on his hand at the Emmy Awards in January in reference to the Israel-Gaza war.

Abdalla was among several stars showing support for the Artists4Ceasefire campaign at the awards.

Succession star Brian Cox wore the red pin against the stark contrast of his all-white suit, while TV presenter and comedian Joe Lycett also appeared to have the pin on alongside his flowing silver cape and Elizabethan-style high ruff neck piece.

Steve Coogan, known as Alan Partridge, and Jimmy Savile in The Reckoning, also sported the pin.

The actor has condemned Hamas over what he called their "horrific and brutal" invasion of Israel as he defended a letter he signed to campaign for humanitarian support for Gaza.

Updated: May 12, 2024, 10:29 PM