Broadchurch sweeps the board at TV Baftas

Olivia Colman with Jodie Whittaker. Picture: PA
Olivia Colman with Jodie Whittaker. Picture: PA
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The small screen’s biggest stars gathered last night for the TV Baftas, with ITV’s Broadchurch stealing the show.

The ITV police drama scooped three awards – for best drama, best actress for Olivia Colman and and best supporting actor for David Bradley.

Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway won two awards, for best entertainment programme and entertainment performance. After scooping the second award, Declan Donnelly joked: “I’m glad we came now.”

The IT Crowd also took two awards, for Richard Ayoade and Katherine Parkinson. They won for best male and female in a comedy programme and Parkinson praised writer Graham Linehan “who has the most original comic brain”.

This year’s event, formally known as the Arqiva British Academy Television Awards, was hosted by comedian Graham Norton at Theatre Royal in London’s West End.

Broadchurch‘s Chris Chibnall accepted the drama award and praised the “greatest cast I could ever hope for”. He said he had been “pessimistic” about the show’s chances and was already focused on the next series.

The Bafta for female performance in a comedy programme went to Katherine Parkinson for The IT Crowd. Breaking Bad was named best international show, beating off tough compeition from the hugely popular Borgen and House of Cards. The Bafta for single drama went to Channel 4’s Complicit, which dealt with the torture of terrorism suspects. Channel 4’s Bedlam won the Bafta for factual series, before the Radio Times Audience Award – voted for by the public – went to Doctor Who: Day of the Doctor.

Broadchurch’s Olivia Colman, who won two awards at last year’s event, burst into tears on stage when she was named the best actress, saying: “Oh sorry, not cool” and hailing Chibnall “a f****** genius”. The show’s David Bradley, named best supporting actor, revealed his agent had sent him a chocolate Bafta at Christmas and joked: “Now finally I can take it down from the mantelpiece and eat it.”

The award for best soap went to Coronation Street, before Ross Kemp presented the Bafta for specialist factual to David Attenborough’s Natural History Museum Alive 3D. The award for comedy and comedy entertainment programme went to A League of Their Own. BBC Three’s Him and Her: The Wedding was named best sitcom, then Cilla Black picked up the Bafta Special award.

The Blind Date presenter said: “I’d like to say a very big thank you to Bafta for this special award. You know I’ve led a charmed life, I really have, I’ve worked with incredible people”.

Actress Julie Walters is to be given Bafta’s highest honour, a fellowship, for her contribution to film and TV. “It was wonderful to open the letter asking if I would accept it – er yes!” she said on the red carpet.