RTS Programme Awards: I May Destroy You leads the winners as it scoops three awards

I May Destroy You led the winners for the Royal Television Society Awards on Tuesday night.

The critically-acclaimed show won all three of its nominated categories; for Mini-Series, with creator Michaela Coel scooping both Actor (Female) and Writer- Drama. 

However disaster struck when during the virtual ceremony, hosted by Jonathan Ross, Michaela was unable to accept the awards because her internet cut out. 

Front runners: I May Destroy You led the winners for the Royal Television Society Awards on Tuesday night

Front runners: I May Destroy You led the winners for the Royal Television Society Awards on Tuesday night

Front runners: I May Destroy You led the winners for the Royal Television Society Awards on Tuesday night

Jonathan first announced that the actress, 33, had won Best Writer, but appeared frozen on screen when she tried to do her acceptance speech. 

Just moments later the host said Michaela had also scooped Best Female Actress for her ‘electrifying’ performance in the series, but the TV star was unable to thank the judges because her internet had cut out. 

Jonathan told viewers: ‘Now Michaela is at home trying to sort her internet connection. It’s frustrating because she was overlooked in other award shows. Michaela, I may destroy your internet provider.’

Congratulations! The critically-acclaimed show won all three of its nominated categories; Mini-Series, and Michaela Coel (pictured) for both Actor (Female) and Writer – Drama

Congratulations! The critically-acclaimed show won all three of its nominated categories; Mini-Series, and Michaela Coel (pictured) for both Actor (Female) and Writer – Drama

Congratulations! The critically-acclaimed show won all three of its nominated categories; Mini-Series, and Michaela Coel (pictured) for both Actor (Female) and Writer – Drama

Great television: I May Destroy You was one of the summer's most critically-acclaimed shows around the world when it aired on BBC One and HBO

Great television: I May Destroy You was one of the summer's most critically-acclaimed shows around the world when it aired on BBC One and HBO

Great television: I May Destroy You was one of the summer’s most critically-acclaimed shows around the world when it aired on BBC One and HBO

However Michaela finally got her chance to accept the awards and did three different acceptance speeches. 

I May Destroy You was one of the summer’s most critically-acclaimed shows around the world when it aired on BBC One and HBO.  

Fans of I May Destroy You were recently outraged when the hit show, and creator Michaela, were snubbed by the 78th Golden Globe Awards. 

Host: Jonathan Ross presented the virtual award ceremony

Host: Jonathan Ross presented the virtual award ceremony

Host: Jonathan Ross presented the virtual award ceremony 

Oh no! However disaster struck during the virtual ceremony when Michaela was unable to accept the awards because her internet failed

Oh no! However disaster struck during the virtual ceremony when Michaela was unable to accept the awards because her internet failed

Time to shine: However Michaela finally got her chance to accept the awards and did three different acceptance speeches

Time to shine: However Michaela finally got her chance to accept the awards and did three different acceptance speeches

Oh no! However disaster struck during the virtual ceremony when Michaela was unable to accept the awards because her internet failed

Gripping: The 12-part series fearlessly dives into hard-hitting issues affecting the lives of young London-based writer Arabella (Michaela) and her close group of friends

Gripping: The 12-part series fearlessly dives into hard-hitting issues affecting the lives of young London-based writer Arabella (Michaela) and her close group of friends

Gripping: The 12-part series fearlessly dives into hard-hitting issues affecting the lives of young London-based writer Arabella (Michaela) and her close group of friends

The 12-part series fearlessly dives into hard-hitting issues affecting the lives of young London-based writer Arabella (Michaela) and her close group of friends. 

It follows Arabella as she comes to terms with a sexual assault after her drink was spiked at a nightclub, in a storyline based on the harrowing real-life experience of Michaela, who also wrote, co-directed and executive produced the series.    

Normal People failed to win on the night – despite two nominations for leads Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones in the Actor (Male) and Actor (Female) categories.

Marianne and Connell: Normal People failed to win on the night, despite two nominations for leads Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones in the Actor (Male) and Actor (Female) categories

Marianne and Connell: Normal People failed to win on the night, despite two nominations for leads Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones in the Actor (Male) and Actor (Female) categories

Marianne and Connell: Normal People failed to win on the night, despite two nominations for leads Paul Mescal and Daisy Edgar-Jones in the Actor (Male) and Actor (Female) categories

Must watch: He will face off against Shaun Parkes who is recognised for Small Axe

Must watch: He will face off against Shaun Parkes who is recognised for Small Axe

Best Male: Paul missed out on Best Actor to Shaun Parkes’ turn in Small Axe (pictured)

Paul missed out on Best Actor to Shaun Parkes’ turn in Small Axe. 

Across the competitive categories, the BBC took home 14 wins, while ITV saw success including Daytime Programme for Loose Women and Entertainment for The Masked Singer.  

Loose Women won the Daytime Programme Award for the show’s first all-black panel special. The historic episode, which aired in October last year, featured hosts including Brenda Edwards, Judi Love, Charlene White and Kelle Bryan. 

Achievement: Loose Women won the Daytime Programme Award for the show's first all-black panel special, which aired in October last year

Achievement: Loose Women won the Daytime Programme Award for the show's first all-black panel special, which aired in October last year

Achievement: Loose Women won the Daytime Programme Award for the show’s first all-black panel special, which aired in October last year

The panel were in tears as they marked the achievement. Charlene said: ‘I want to say a huge thank you to the head of daytime TV. Who’d have thought a conversation last year would have led to this?

‘To the Loose Women, we love you loads. For everyone who doesn’t know, this was a special episode with all the black loose ladies which hadn’t been done before. It just shows when you nuture and grow, anything is possible.’  

And Jonathan was delighted when The Masked Singer came out on top of the Entertainment category, pipping Big Zu Beat Eats and Beat The Chasers to the post. 

Fun: And Jonathan was delighted when The Masked Singer came out on top of the Entertainment category, pipping Big Zu Beat Eats and Beat The Chasers to the post

Fun: And Jonathan was delighted when The Masked Singer came out on top of the Entertainment category, pipping Big Zu Beat Eats and Beat The Chasers to the post

Fun: And Jonathan was delighted when The Masked Singer came out on top of the Entertainment category, pipping Big Zu Beat Eats and Beat The Chasers to the post

The ITV show, which involves celebrities disguising themselves on stage in elaborate costumes for the guest panel to judge, was ‘smartly produced’ and a ‘joyful, escapist show to watch’, according to the judges.  

Gbemisola Ikumelo won Female Comedy Performance for Famalan.

The actress said during her acceptance speech: ‘Thank you Jonathan. I’m blushing, I’m seeing myself sober here. Thank you to the crew, and production team.’

The Male Comedy Performance went to Youseef Kerkour for home. Youssef beat O-T Fagbenle (Maxxx) and Paul Chahidi (This Country). 

Joe Lycett scooped two awards on the night. The comedian, 32, won Formatted Popular Factual for I Got Your Back and Best Presenter for hosting the Great British Sewing Bee but was a no-show at the virtual award ceremony.

Well done: Joe Lycett scooped two awards on the night. The comedian, 32, won Formatted Popular Factual for I Got Your Back and Best Presenter for hosting the Great British Sewing Bee

Well done: Joe Lycett scooped two awards on the night. The comedian, 32, won Formatted Popular Factual for I Got Your Back and Best Presenter for hosting the Great British Sewing Bee

Well done: Joe Lycett scooped two awards on the night. The comedian, 32, won Formatted Popular Factual for I Got Your Back and Best Presenter for hosting the Great British Sewing Bee

Michael Holding won Sports Presenter, Commentator or pundit for England V West Indies.  It was awarded to him for the show which looked into racial injustice in the aftermath of the death of George Floyd, on Sky Cricket’s coverage of England against West Indies in July 2020. 

The show also scooped the best Sports Programme, which was up against London Marathon 2020 and The Open for the Ages. Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism & Me won Single Documentary. 

The Big Narstie Show won the Entertainment Performance category, beating Yung Filly’s Hot Property and Rob Beckett & Romesh Ranganathan’s show Rob & Romesh Vs.

Comedy: The Big Narstie Show won the Entertainment Performance category, beating Yung Filly's Hot Property and Rob Beckett & Romesh Ranganathan's show Rob & Romesh Vs

Comedy: The Big Narstie Show won the Entertainment Performance category, beating Yung Filly's Hot Property and Rob Beckett & Romesh Ranganathan's show Rob & Romesh Vs

Comedy: The Big Narstie Show won the Entertainment Performance category, beating Yung Filly’s Hot Property and Rob Beckett & Romesh Ranganathan’s show Rob & Romesh Vs

Jonathan said the judges picked the show for it’s ‘infectious sense of fun’. 

During the acceptance speech, Mo Gilligan was left red-faced as he struggled to get through to Big Narstie, whom he had just been on the phone to. 

He told Jonathan: ‘Narstie just left the call just a minute ago, I’m trying to FaceTime him now. This is classic Big Narstie. Thank you for everyone that watched.’   

When Jonathan opened the ceremony, he couldn’t resist making a few references to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s bombshell CBS interview with Oprah Winfrey. 

During his opening speech, the presenter said: ‘Unlike some, the RTS is planning on keeping its royal family, before he added: ‘TV has bought families back together-  expect for one exception. Let’s stay positive.’

He then jokingly said: ‘Unlike the Golden Globes, there is worthy recognition for I May Destroy You, which should have been the name for Harry and Meghan’s interview with Oprah.’ 

Powerful: Elsewhere in the ceremony, Damilola: The Boy Next Door was described as having 'real emotional resonance' in the History category

Powerful: Elsewhere in the ceremony, Damilola: The Boy Next Door was described as having 'real emotional resonance' in the History category

Powerful: Elsewhere in the ceremony, Damilola: The Boy Next Door was described as having ‘real emotional resonance’ in the History category

Elsewhere in the ceremony, Damilola: The Boy Next Door was described as having ‘real emotional resonance’ in the History category, while The Surgeon’s Cut won the Science and Natural History Award. 

Mae Martin was also a big winner on the night and labelled a ‘star in the making’ for her show Feel Good.

She won the Breakthrough Award category, in which Big Zuu – Big Zuu’s Big Eats and Robert Softley Gale – Crip Tales: Hamish were also nominated and also scooped real connection the Writer (Comedy) award. 

In addition to the 29 competitive categories, three further awards were presented this evening on behalf of the judges. 

Double award winner: Mae Martin was also a big winner on the night and labelled a 'star in the making' for her show Feel Good

Double award winner: Mae Martin was also a big winner on the night and labelled a 'star in the making' for her show Feel Good

Double award winner: Mae Martin was also a big winner on the night and labelled a ‘star in the making’ for her show Feel Good

The Judges’ Award was presented to Anne Mensah, Vice President, Original Series at Netflix, for her talent and success throughout her career, and her unwavering commitment to reflecting society’s diversity on screen and actively championing diverse production talent to bring new stories and voices to television.

For 2021, the Outstanding Achievement Award was awarded to celebrated screenwriter Russell T Davies OBE, whose work over the last 20 years was described by the judges as taking ‘television drama to places it’s never been before’. 

Russell said: ‘I just want to say, I know it’s been a long night. I’m often seen as a gay writer and I love that and I’m very proud of it. It’s almost seen as being a minority, I think it’s the opposite, I’m so proud to be a part of it. There are so many names behind me and in front of me. So many writers.’

Writer: For 2021, the Outstanding Achievement Award was awarded to celebrated screenwriter Russell T Davies OBE

Writer: For 2021, the Outstanding Achievement Award was awarded to celebrated screenwriter Russell T Davies OBE

Writer: For 2021, the Outstanding Achievement Award was awarded to celebrated screenwriter Russell T Davies OBE

Russell went on to discuss how ‘we’re getting there’ in terms of the LGBTQ+ being represented on screen. 

He said: ‘If you dream of them being on air, we will get there. We’ve seen an incredibly diverse range of TV tonight, you will see it getting more wider and more represented.’     

Finally, the Special Award went to trade association PACT, for its contribution and support to the UK television industry throughout 2020.  

Thought-provoking: Russell wrote Channel 4 drama It's A Sin, which has received critical acclaim

Thought-provoking: Russell wrote Channel 4 drama It's A Sin, which has received critical acclaim

Thought-provoking: Russell wrote Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin, which has received critical acclaim

Royal Television Society Programme Awards 2021: The Winners

Actor (Female)

Glenda Jackson – Elizabeth is Missing 

Michaela Coel – I May Destroy You – WINNER

Daisy Edgar-Jones – Normal People  

Actor (Male)

Lennie James – Save Me Too 

Paul Mescal – Normal People 

Shaun Parkes – Small Axe  – WINNER

Arts  

African Renaissance: When Art Meets Power

Keith Haring: Street Art Boy 

Grayson’s Art Club  – WINNER

Breakthrough Award  

Big Zuu – Big Zuu’s Big Eats

Robert Softley Gale – CripTales: Hamish 

Mae Martin – Feel Good  – WINNER 

Children’s Programme  

JoJo and Gran Gran/ It’s Time to Go to the Hairdresser’s 

FYI Investigates – Brazil: Children Caught in the Crossfire 

IRL with Team Charlene – WINNER

Comedy Entertainment  

The Big Narstie Show 

Charlie Brooker’s Antiviral Wipe 

The Ranganation – WINNER

Comedy Performance (Female)  

Gbemisola Ikumelo – Famalam – WINNER

Sophie Willan – Alma’s Not Normal 

Ruth Jones – Gavin & Stacey Christmas Special 

Comedy Performance (Male)  

Youssef Kerkour – Home – WINNER

O-T Fagbenle – Maxxx 

Paul Chahidi – This Country  

Daytime Programme    

Loose Women – WINNER

The Bidding Room 

Junior Bake Off  

Documentary Series  

Hospital: Fighting Covid-19 

Once Upon a Time in Iraq -WINNER

The School That Tried to End Racism  

Drama Series  

Save Me Too 

I Hate Suzie

In My Skin – WINNER

Entertainment  

Beat the Chasers 

The Masked Singer – WINNER

Big Zuu’s Big Eats  

Entertainment Performance  

Big Narstie & Mo Gilligan – The Big Narstie Show – WINNER 

Yung Filly – Hot Property 

Rob Beckett & Romesh Ranganathan – Rob & Romesh Vs  

Formatted Popular Factual  

Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace 

The Rap Game UK

Joe Lycett’s Got Your Back – WINNER 

History  

Lost Home Movies of Nazi Germany

Damilola: The Boy Next Door – WINNER

The World’s Biggest Murder Trial: Nuremberg  

Mini-Series  

Adult Material 

Small Axe 

I May Destroy You – WINNER

Presenter  

Joe Lycett – The Great British Sewing Bee – WINNER

Yinka Bokinni – Damilola: The Boy Next Door 

Grayson Perry – Grayson’s Art Club  

RTS Channel of the Year  

ITV

BBC One- WINNER

Sky Arts

Science and Natural History  

Surviving the Virus: My Brother & Me 

The Surgeon’s Cut – WINNER

Brain Surgeons: Between Life and Death 

Scripted Comedy  

Brassic 

Sex Education 

The Young Offenders- WINNER  

Single Documentary  

Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism & Me – WINNER

Surviving Covid

The Family Secret  

Single Drama  

Elizabeth is Missing – WINNER

Anthony 

Sitting in Limbo  

Soap and Continuing Drama  

Coronation Street 

Casualty – WINNER

Holby City  

Sports Presenter, Commentator or Pundit  

Michael Holding – England v West Indies – WINNER

Bryan Habana – 2019 Rugby World Cup Final 

Gabby Logan – London Marathon 2020 

Sports Programme 2019  

England v West Indies 1st Test – Black Lives Matter – WINNER

London Marathon 2020 

The Open for the Ages 

Writer (Comedy)  

Mae Martin and Joe Hampson – Feel Good – WINNER

Peter Foott – The Young Offenders 

Writing Team – Ghosts  

Writer (Drama)  

Michaela Coel – I May Destroy You – WINNER 

Lucy Prebble – I Hate Suzie 

Steve McQueen and Alastair Siddons – Small Axe  

Live Event  

ENO’s Drive & Live: La Bohème  

 The Third Day: Autumn – WINNER

General Election Live Results: An ITV News Special 

Outstanding Television

Russell T Davies 

Judges’ Award 

Anne Mensah 

Special Award

PACT 

 

 

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