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Bookmark and Share Doctor Who Triumphs at 2006 BAFTA Awards

5/07/2006 12:26:00 am - Reported by Shaun Lyon

Doctor Who was the main winner at tonight's prestigious industry awards, the BAFTA Awards (or British Academy of Film and Television Arts Awards), taking all three of the awards for which it was nominated.Billie Piper and a Dalek accepted the award for Best Drama Series, as well as the Pioneer Audience Award for best television programme of 2005. Russell T Davies won the Dennis Potter Award for outstanding writing for television, which was presented to him by a kilted David Tennant. Davies is reported as saying, "We were told that bringing it back would be impossible, that we would never capture this generation of children. But we did it."

The BAFTA Awards ceremony will be televised from 9pm on Monday on ITV.


The show's success, alongside a number of other BBC successes, dominates much of the early coverage of the awards ceremony, with a two-minute report appearing on BBC News 24 and BBC One's evening news (also available online at BBC News); this report includes a brief clip of the Dalek arriving for the ceremony and David Tennant speaking to reporters on the programme's "cross-nation appeal". The Guardianappears to be making Doctor Who's awards front-page news, with "Doctor Who finally materialises on red carpet as TV series scoops drama prize" concentrating on the supposed previous lack of industry awards for the series, discussed by Russell T Davies in a recent Guardian podcast. (In fact, the series has won several industry awards, as previously reported by Outpost Gallifrey, although it missed out at the Royal Television Society Awards in March.)

In related news, actress Anna Maxwell Martin, who played ill-begotten employee Suki Macrae Cantrell in last season's The Long Game, won the Best Actress award for her role in BBC One's Bleak House, which also won the award for Best Drama Serial.

The results have also been reported in a second story by the Guardian, as well as The IndependentThe ScotsmanThe TimesTimes EntertainmentThe SunThe TelegraphThis Is LondonGMTV,icNetwork,NewsWireIreland OnlineBreaking NewsIrish ExaminerEvening EchoAnanovaNewsquest.

ITV.comITN and Channel 4 News also cover the story but leads with the ITV network's only success of the evening, The X Factor.

TV, Radio Coverage: Tonight's evening news bulletin on BBC One at 10.30pm had a short report on the BAFTA winners towards the end of the fifteen-minute programme. There were no clips from the actual ceremony, only from the winning shows and behind-the-scenes and red carpet moments, the main event doubtless embargoed until the ITV1 broadcast tomorrow, but it was still a nice little report. Presented by reporter David Sillitoe, he opened by saying that Doctor Who was "the big winner" of the night, over a clip of the TARDIS crash-landing from The Christmas Invasion. There was a clip of David Tennant saying to the gathered press that the show had "a cross-nation appeal... unlike anything else I've ever been involved with." There was then coverage of some of the other winners, before Sillitoe finished by comparing the two main winners of the night, Doctor Who and Bleak House, describing them as "two dramas there were a gamble, but both proved that they could strike a chord with the public and the academy." The evening's triumphs for Doctor Who were also covered tonight on the BBC's news and sport talk station, Radio 5 Live, on The Weekend News programme, hosted by Lesley Ashmall and John Pienaar. The report, just after the 9.30pm news and sport bulletin at about 9.37pm. The report was from their man on the spot Colin Paterson, who opened by announcing Doctor Who as the big winner of the night. He happened to have Little Britain's Matt Lucas with him, who he asked about the show's success, although Lucas was somewhat bemused, not having been in the show as Paterson seemed to have thought he was, Paterson having assumed the comic was in it as he'd been in the premiere last year. Nonetheless, Lucas said he was glad that Doctor Who had won. Paterson mentioned that Russell T Davies had won the Dennis Potter Award for Outstanding Writing for Television, before moving onto rounding up the other winners.

About the BAFTAs: The BAFTA Website has a page dedicated to the award recipients. The BAFTA Awards are among the Western world's most prestigious film and television award ceremonies. The Dennis Potter Award is "presented to an individual for outstanding writing for television. ... Suggested recipients of the Gift of Council awards for outstanding contribution [of which the Dennis Potter Award is one] are put forward by the Academy's Television committee for consideration by the Academy's Council. ... There are no nominations for these awards, nor are they voted for by the Academy membership. The number of Gift of Council awards presented each year is at the discretion of the Academy." Drama series standards include "A drama of more than one episode where stand-alone story lines conclude within each episode, but in which the main characters and context continue throughout the series. Only one episode of a series may be entered. ... The TV voting constituency of the Academy casts its votes online, for all those programmes entered according to the criteria above. Those programmes and performances which have attracted the most votes from the Academy membership are then put up for further scrutiny by category juries specially selected by the Academy Television committee." The Pioneer Award section notes that "This year, the Pioneer Award has changed. After much discussion, we decided it should reflect all that is great and exciting about television. The Pioneer Audience Award for Best Programme of 2005 aims to honour the show that has helped define television in 2005, receiving critical acclaim through its original approach and capturing the public's imagination. The award is unique as it's the only accolade that has been decided by the public vote and looks set to become one of the most coveted in the industry."
(With thanks to Paul Engelberg, Paul Hayes, Peter Anghelides, and all our correspondents who wrote in about the good news!)