BBC Scotland’s History series scoops RTS Programme Award

A BBC Scotland landmark history series is among the winners at Programme Awards being hosted by the Royal Television Society.

A History of Scotland beat off the challenge of two other contenders – including Deep Wreck Mysteries, made by Glasgow-based TV production company, Mallinson Sadler Productions – to take the Nations and Regions title at the ceremony, which was held last night in London.

Also among the winners were The Thick of It, written by Glasgow writer, Armando Iannucci, and Garrow’s Law, which was mostly made in Scotland.

Says the RTS: “[The] Programme Awards celebrate all genres of television programming, from history to soaps, children’s fiction to comedy performance. Covering both national and regional output, as well honouring the programmes themselves, they aim to recognise the work of exceptional actors, presenters, writers and production teams.”

The full winners list reads:

Scripted comedy

The Thick of It BBC Productions for BBC Two

Say the judges: “An acerbic, intelligent and sweeping comedy which attained new heights. Faultless ensemble acting, meticulous writing and intricately contrived comedy climaxes combined to make this a series we didn’t want to end.”


Miranda BBC Productions for BBC Two

The Inbetweeners A Bwark Production for E4


Newswipe with Charlie Brooker Zeppotron for BBC Four

Say the judges: “Right on the money… Refreshingly polemical and with real authenticity.”


Britain’s Got Talent A talkbackTHAMES and SYCO TV Production for ITV1

The X Factor A talkbackTHAMES and SYCO TV Production for ITV1

Daytime and early peak programme

Come Dine With Me ITV Studios for Channel 4

Say the judges: “Remarkable. The tone, the humour and the casting make this one of the best global formats the British TV industry has produced.”


Coach Trip 12 Yard Productions for Channel 4

The Hairy Bikers’ Food Tour of Britain Cactus Television for BBC Two


Baroque ZCZ Films for BBC Four

Say the judges: “An accessible, entertaining and visually rich programme, providing an original and memorable introduction to its subject.”


The First Movie A CONNECTfilm/Screen Siren Pictures Production for More4

What Is Beauty? Seneca Productions for BBC Two


Wounded BBC Productions for BBC One

Say the judges: “The jury found this unsentimental and unflinchingly honest account of the rehabilitation of young wounded soldiers returning from Afghanistan to be as moving as it was thought provoking. An outstanding contribution to chronicling the consequences of conflict.”


The Force An Oxford Film and Television Production for Channel 4

True Stories – Afghan Star A Roast Beef Production for More4


Garrow’s Law Twenty Twenty Television for BBC One

Say the judges: “The jury were very impressed by the accessible telling of such a good ‘unknown’ dramatic story based on strong historical research.”


1066 – The Battle for Middle Earth Hardy Pictures for Channel 4

Iran and the West Brook Lapping Productions for BBC Two

Constructed factual series

Famous, Rich and Homeless Love Productions for BBC One

Say the judges: “The programme tackled a difficult subject for peaktime BBC One, in a way that challenged viewers’ perceptions. The experiences of the three celebrities who volunteered to live rough were authentic as well as disturbing.”


The World’s Strictest Parents Twenty Twenty Television for BBC Three

Victorian Farm Lion Television for BBC Two

Nations and regions programme

A History of Scotland BBC Scotland for BBC One Scotland

Say the judges: “A beautifully composed film, exceptionally well-presented and eloquently told, which challenged the received wisdom.”


Deep Wreck Mysteries – Death of a Battleship Mallinson Sadler Productions, Northern Sky Entertainment and Deep Sea Productions for UTV

Shameless A Company Pictures Production for Channel 4

Features and lifestyle series

Heston’s Feasts – Heston’s Victorian Feast Optomen Television for Channel 4

Say the judges: “A wonderfully original series which brought to life a series of wildly complicated and long forgotten dishes from the Victorian era. Beautiful to watch, and an astonishing treat for the lucky celebrities.”


Don’t Tell The Bride Renegade Pictures for BBC Three

The Sex Education Show vs Pornography A Cheetah Television Production for Channel 4

Children’s drama

Roy JAM Media for CBBC

Say the judges: “Original, inclusive and warm, [Roy] delivers its message without preaching.”


MI High Kudos Film and Television for CBBC

The Sarah Jane Adventures BBC/BBC Cymru Wales for CBBC & BBC One

Children’s programme

Big and Small – Blame it on the Drain Kindle Entertainment for CBeebies

Say the judges: “A well constructed programme with great warmth, charm and child appeal.”


Bookaboo Happy Films for CITV

Horrible Histories Lion Television for CBBC

Multi-channel programme award

Dating in the Dark Initial, an Endemol Company, for LIVING

Say the judges: “A gripping and revealing new twist on the dating format which shed new light (or not!) on the agony and ecstasy of looking for love.”


Micro Men Darlow Smithson Productions for BBC Four

True Stories – Here’s Johnny An Animal Monday Production for More4


Louis Theroux – A Place for Paedophiles BBC Productions for BBC Two

Say the judges: “[Louis Theroux] delivered a compelling, incisive and brave documentary. He was not afraid to tackle controversial areas or to raise uncomfortable issues which the film explored with honesty.”


James May – James May’s Toy Stories Plum Pictures for BBC Two

Piers Morgan – Piers Morgan’s Life Stories ITV Studios for ITV1

International award

Mad Men Lionsgate for BBC Four

Say the judges: “Moving at a glacial pace, and beautifully fetishising the period, this glossy and character-led show cleverly explores the social issues of the time.”


Damages Sony PicturesTelevision for BBC One

Generation Kill HBO, HBO Films, Boom, Blown Deadline Productions, Company Pictures for FX

Science and natural history

Inside Nature’s Giants Windfall Films for Channel 4

Say the judges: “[Inside Nature’s Giants] took an unpromising concept – filmed post-mortems on large creatures – and turned it into a riveting piece of television. But it also gave a deeper understanding about the life and death in the natural world, and included scientific learning alongside images that were – in every sense – unforgettable.”


The Great Sperm Race Blink! Films for Channel 4

Yellowstone: Winter BBC/Animal Planet Co-Production for BBC Two

Soap and continuing drama

EastEnders BBC Productions for BBC One

Say the judges: “On top form as it approached its quarter century…”


Casualty BBC Productions for BBC One

The Bill talkbackTHAMES for ITV1

Single drama

Five Minutes of Heaven Big Fish Films/Ruby Films for BBC Two

Say the judges: “Two towering performances set this intense and edgy drama apart from others in the field. Original and daring, this skilfully directed tale sheds fresh light on the Troubles in Northern Ireland and their ongoing aftermath.”


A Short Stay in Switzerland BBC Productions for BBC One

Endgame A Daybreak Pictures Production for Channel 4

Drama series

The Street ITV Studios for BBC One

Say the judges: “A beautifully constructed, intelligent drama that is heartbreakingly real. This brilliant authored series makes the everyday feel epic. It’s British television drama at its glorious best.”


Cast Offs Eleven Film for Channel 4

Misfits A Clerkenwell Films Production for E4

Drama serial

Unforgiven Red Production Company for ITV1

Say the judges: “A compelling, moving and believable tale of revenge and redemption. Thoughtfully written and intelligently plotted, the story was engrossing and thrillingly told with excellent pace.”


Occupation Kudos Film and Television for BBC One

Red Riding Revolution Films in association with Screen Yorkshire & LipSync Post for Channel 4

Actor (female)

Naomie Harris – Small Island Ruby Television Production in association with AL Films for BBC One

Say the judges: “[Naomie] created an extraordinary rich character, one who brought to vivid and moving life, the complexity and contradictions of the immigration experience.”


Suranne Jones – Unforgiven Red Production Company for ITV1

Julie Walters – A Short Stay in Switzerland BBC Productions for BBC One

Actor (male)

David Oyelowo – Small Island Ruby Television Production in association with AL Films for BBC One

Say the judges: “Brilliantly expressive in a difficult role, [David Oyelowo] showed both comedy and pathos.”


Stephen Graham -The Street ITV Studios for BBC One

Tom Hardy – The Take Company Pictures/Warner Sisters for Sky 1

Writer – drama

Peter Bowker – Occupation Kudos Film and Television for BBC One

Say the judges: “An original and moving narrative with great characters, giving the fresh insight which only drama can into the scarred lives of those directly involved in the Iraq war.”


Guy Hibbert – Five Minutes of Heaven Big Fish Films/Ruby Films for BBC Two

Howard Overman – Misfits A Clerkenwell Films Production for E4

Writer – comedy

Iain Morris & Damon Beesley – The Inbetweeners A Bwark Production for E4

Say the judges: “The jury really admired this show for its naturalistic, sharply observed and above all consistently laugh-out-loud funny take on the peculiar human condition that is life at secondary school.”


Jo Brand, Joanna Scalan & Vicki Pepperdine – Getting On

Vera Productions for BBC Four

Miranda Hart with James Cary & Richard Hurst – Miranda

BBC Productions for BBC Two

Entertainment performance

Harry Hill – Harry Hill’s TV Burp Avalon Television for ITV1

Say the judges: “…consistently brilliant and hilarious, appealing to all ages from 7 to 77. With a forensic eye for finding the comedy gold in the week’s television and his warm humour, he makes his own show the funniest thing on TV.”


Anthony McPartlin and Declan Donnelly – I’m A Celebrity…Get Me Out of Here!/Britain’s Got Talent ITV Studios/A talkbackTHAMES and SYCO TV Production for ITV1

Michael McIntyre – Michael McIntyre’s Comedy Roadshow Open Mike Manchester Productions for BBC One

Comedy performance

Miranda Hart – Miranda BBC Productions for BBC Two

Say the judges: “[Miranda Hart] has created a warm and vulnerable character that is wonderfully engaging and genuinely funny. She carries off her slapstick routines and monologues to camera through the sheer skill and charm of her performance.”


Peter Capaldi – The Thick of It BBC Productions for BBC Two

Ruth Jones – Gavin and Stacey Baby Cow Productions for BBC One

Judges’ Award

Norma Percy

Say the judges: “…a documentary film-maker with a formidable track record of investigating the political past, tracking down the truth and through the medium of television, challenging and rewriting ‘The Official Version’ – the one the authorities want us to believe.

“She is an American who came to London as a post-graduate student and stayed on to work as a researcher in the House of Commons until she was recruited to work on Granada’s investigative strand World in Action. Her first task was to co-produce a two-year, meticulously detailed and researched programme which followed the progress of one clause of a bill which set up the Office of Fair Trading. Those were the days.

“After a flirtation with a new format in which a panel of political journalists played the parts of politicians to tell the story of two major economic crises, the first for Labour under Callaghan and the second for the 1979 conservative government (in which Sarah Hogg played Mrs Thatcher) Granada decided not to make any more.

“She then went on, first at Granada and later at the new company, Brook Lapping, to make the programmes which have justifiably given her the international reputation and respect which she deserves. Her indefatigable research and absolute refusal to take no for an answer have resulted in scoop after scoop in her forensic investigations into recent political history.

“The Second Russian Revolution told the epic inside story of the collapse of the Soviet Union. Watergate was the story which seemed to have already been told – until she dug deeper than anyone before. Then came The Death of Yugoslavia, Endgame In Ireland, Elusive Peace, Israel and the Arabs and Iran and the West, all displaying the qualities which now are expected and admired in her work – impeccable research, tough but respectful interviewing, rare archive film, and the contribution of absolutely everybody who mattered in the story. Presidents, generals, conmen and criminals – eventually everyone gives in to the woman who will not take no for an answer.”

Lifetime achievement award

Tony Warren

Say the judges: “[Tony Warren] created the most successful programme in the history of British television.

“At the tender age of 22 he was a contract writer at Granada Television in Manchester, toiling away on an episode of Biggles when in a moment of petulant frustration, he stood on the top of a filing cabinet and pleaded with his producer to ‘Let me write what I know about.’ And so he did. He wrote about life as most of Britain lived it in 1960, with characters that everyone recognised – a slice of social realism that to this day bowls you over with its energy, authenticity and the sheer vitality of the lives portrayed.

“This was no piece of team writing with legions of storyliners and script editors, this was a singular creation from the imagination of a creative genius. Those first 10 episodes of Coronation Street were so fully realised with a company of actors so perfectly cast that they set a powerful template that has endured today. Britain has changed beyond recognition over the past 50 years and Coronation Street has changed too. But watch closely an episode today and that unique mix of vividly realised characters, playing high drama effortlessly dovetailed with everyday comedy, links right back to the very beginnings of the programme.

“This has been our recipient’s extraordinary achievement and his influence has extended well beyond the continuing success of Coronation Street. He had unknowingly created a unique style of soap rooted in social realism which was to influence Channel 4’s Brookside and the BBC’s EastEnders. He had also invented a programme which was to define ITV and underpin its fortunes.

“He created a show that has for virtually every week of its 49 years been the most watched in Britain and which for millions of us is inseparable from the story of our own lives.”