fri 14/06/2024

The British Academy Television Awards 2014, BBC One | reviews, news & interviews

The British Academy Television Awards 2014, BBC One

The British Academy Television Awards 2014, BBC One

'Broadchurch' winning streak continues at TV awards bonanza

Bafta-winning Olivia Colman with David Tennant in the Bafta-winning 'Broadchurch'

For some reason this year's telly-Baftas felt a bit flat and weary. Host Graham Norton seemed to labouring for laughs (when he wasn't moaning about his own show not winning anything), and anything resembling a surprise was thin on the ground. 

When Aaron Paul, Breaking Bad's Jesse Pinkman, stepped onstage to present the Comedy and Comedy Entertainment award (one of the ones Graham Norton didn't win, since it went to A League of Their Own), at least you knew B Bad was going to win something. This turned out to be the International award, which was by far the strongest category of the night since the runners-up were Borgen, House of Cards and The Returned. Maybe they should just stage an entire Foreign TV Baftas (below, Aaron Paul, foreground, with Bryan Cranston in Breaking Bad).

There was a slightly irritating trend of nominating the right people but not awarding them. For instance, while it was nice to see David Bradley picking up Supporting Actor for his role in Broadchurch, it would have been far more fitting if Jerome Flynn had won it for his storming work in Ripper Street, a series ignored by Bafta's powers-that-be. And there was a golden opportunity to gong the perennially-excellent Nicola Walker as Supporting Actress in Last Tango in Halifax, but her cast-mate Sarah Lancashire got it instead.

The "Broadchurch is great" orthodoxy continues to rule telly-land  - it wasn't that great really though was it, despite containing some good things - so that walked off with the Drama Series statuette, while one of its stars, Olivia Colman, collected Leading Actress, prompting a bout of tearful incoherence in place of an acceptance speech.

"Mumbling" Sean Harris, chief culprit for the Jamaica Inn inaudibility scandal, could console himself with Leading Actor (which he won for the grim serial killer drama Southcliffe, pictured left), and he celebrated with a long bout of deadpan rambling in which he thanked everyone, including his mate Bob from the pub.

Blank indifference was the reward for Peaky Blinders, Sherlock and Mr Selfridge, though Peaky's Sam Neill and Mr S's Jeremy Piven did present awards, but double delight for Ant and Dec, who won two gongs for their Saturday Night Takeaway. Joy unconfined, too, for The IT Crowd (pictured below), with Richard Ayoade and Katherine Parkinson both going home a paperweight to the good, unless they accidentally left them behind at the after-show shenanigans.

Him & Her: The Wedding triumphed in Situation Comedy, while telly-does-telly phenomenon Gogglebox scored in Reality & Constructed Factual. Single Documentary went to The Murder Trial, Channel 4's Syria: Across the Lines (Dispatches) won in the Current Affairs bracket, and Single Drama was awarded to the morality-of-spying film Complicit.

The big career one-offs went to Cilla Black (Special Award) and Julie Walters (Bafta Fellowship), and David Attenborough's Natural History Museum Alive took the Specialist Factual accolade. And viewers still can't get enough of Doctor Who, since the Radio Times Audience Award was hoovered up by the 50th anniversary special, Doctor Who: The Day of the Doctor

Sean Harris celebrated with a long bout of deadpan rambling in which he thanked everyone, including his mate Bob from the pub

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