Britain’s Got Talent and Benedict Cumberbatch’s drama Patrick Melrose have been honoured at the 2019 Bafta Television Awards.
BGT won best entertainment programme, despite the fact Declan Donnelly had to host last year’s live shows solo after Ant McPartlin’s drink-drive conviction.
Patrick Melrose won best mini-series.
Ben Whishaw was named best supporting actor for A Very English Scandal, while Fiona Shaw won best supporting actress for playing a spy boss in Killing Eve.
The ceremony is currently taking place at the Royal Festival Hall in London.
Picked up the award for Britain’s Got Talent, Ant and Dec thanked those who “come along and audition”, quipping that they equal the “importance of the hosts”. They added: “Without them there really is no show”.
The stars are also up for best entertainment performance for Saturday Night Takeaway, while I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out Of Here! is in the reality and constructed factual category.
Cumberbatch plays a man grappling with the ghost of his abusive father in Patrick Melrose, adapted from novels by Edward St Aubyn. The actor said: “It was extraordinary, it was a proper experience, one I will take with me for the rest of my life.”
The supporting actress gong was the first Bafta win of Fiona Shaw’s career, and she said playing Carolyn Martens had been “probably the greatest pleasure of my life”.
She dedicated the award to Killing Eve writer Phoebe Waller-Bridge and her “glass-shattering genius and wayward imagination”.
Other winners included:
- Entertainment programme – Britain’s Got Talent (ITV)
- Single drama – Killed By My Debt (BBC Three)
- Comedy and comedy entertainment programme – A League of Their Own (Sky One)
- Single documentary – Gun No 6 (BBC Two)
- Factual series – Louis Theroux’s Altered States (BBC Two)
- Features – Who Do You Think You Are? (BBC One)
- International – Succession (Sky Atlantic)
The full list of winners and nominees
Killing Eve’s nominations this year are unusual, in that Bafta bent the rules this year to allow it to be nominated.
Speaking on the red carpet, Comer, who is up for best actress for playing assassin Villanelle, said it had been “incredible” to play the role.
“I knew was special from the moment I read it [the script], but you can never anticipate how it will go down with an audience. It’s been overwhelming but also very exciting.”
- In pictures: Bafta TV Awards red carpet
Daisy May Cooper, who is in with a shot of winning the best female comedy performance award for the second year in a row for This Country, turned up wearing a dress made from bin liners.
It cost “about £5”, she said. “The reason I’m wearing this is if I wore a normal dress, that would cost a lot of money and I thought I’d donate that money to a local food bank and wear bin bags instead.”
Line of Duty star Martin Compston said he would be cheering on writer Jed Mercurio’s previous hit Bodyguard, which is up for best drama series and must-see moment.
“I think Jed’s due,” he told BBC News. “There just such high quality here and there are so many worthy winners. For us it’s like a work’s night out and I’m just here to enjoy it.”
Channel 4 show Derry Girls has also been nominated for the scripted comedy award.
Speaking from the red carpet, Saoirse-Monica Jackson, who stars in the comedy, said they were “extremely proud” of the “female-led” show, adding that being at the Bafta awards was the “icing on top”.
As usual, the recipients of the night’s lifetime achievement prizes have already been announced.
Journalist and broadcaster Dame Joan Bakewell will be honoured with the Bafta Television Fellowship.
- Joan Bakewell’s career of ‘failure and recovery’
Happy Valley and Queer As Folk producer Nicola Shindler will be presented with a special award in recognition of her contribution to the television industry.
The Bafta Craft Awards – which recognise behind-the-scenes talent like writers and sound editors – took place last month, with A Very English Scandal going home with the most trophies.
The Baftas are on BBC One on Sunday 12 May at 20:00 BST until 22:00 BST.
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