James Corden, Keeley Hawes and Coronation Street’s Brooke Vincent were out in force at last night’s at Freesat’s sixth annual Free TV Awards. Stars of British television, on both sides of the camera, celebrated the very best in Free TV over the past 12 months.
Doctor Who, The Day of the Doctor was named Best of British TV programme or series, while BBC Two’s thriller Line of Duty took Best TV Drama. BBC Two and ITV scooped three awards each, but it was BBC Two that won the prestigious Freesat Channel of the Year Award.
The public were invited to vote in two categories this year. The nation’s favourite double act, Ant and Dec added to their trophy cabinet, walking away with Personality of the Year for the second year running. And in one of the most hotly contested categories, Brits voted Coronation Street Best as British Soap.
Freesat Free TV Awards 2014 Winners:
Freesat Channel of the Year – BBC Two
Highly Commended – CBeebies
Best of British: TV Programme or Series – Doctor Who, The Day of the Doctor (BBC One)
Best Factual TV Programme or Series – Educating Yorkshire (Channel 4)
Best TV Sitcom – The Wrong Mans (BBC Two)
Best TV Drama – Line of Duty (BBC Two)
Best Live TV Programme or Series – Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (ITV)
Highly Commended – Winter Olympics (BBC Two)
Best Children’s TV Programme or Series – Katie Morag (CBeebies)
Best Digital Radio Channel – Absolute 80s
Best Specialist Channel – The Travel Channel
Best News Channel – Radio 5 Live
Personality of the Year – Ant and Dec (ITV)
Best British TV Soap – Coronation Street (ITV)
Over 200 entries competed across twelve categories, and winners were chosen by an expert panel of broadcasting industry executives and television commentators, chaired by journalist and commentator, Neil Midgley.
BBC Two’s cult hit police thriller Line of Duty was named Freesat Best TV Drama, with lead actor Keeley Hawes taking to the stage to collect the award. The judges said that the show had featured ‘breathtaking performances’ and that ‘in a world of box sets, we enjoyed watching TV in the usual way, staying in every Wednesday night to find out what would happen next.’
In addition to winning Personality of the Year, Ant and Dec’s hugely popular Saturday Night Takeaway won Best Live TV Proramme or series, which the judges said delivered ‘Extraordinary ambition, week after week’.
BBC Two won the Freesat Channel of the Year award, with judges praising the channel for ‘firing on all cylinders; with strong dramas, great comedy and expertise in every territory from science to history’. As well as Line of Duty, BBC Two also won for Best TV Sitcom, with James Corden and Mathew Baynton’s The Wrong Mans.
Best News channel was awarded to BBC Radio 5 Live and Scripps Networks’ The Travel Channel took home the prize for best Specialist Channel. Channel 4’s documentary series Educating Yorkshire won Best Factual TV Programme or Series.
Emma Scott, Freesat’s Managing Director, commented: “I never fail to be impressed with the outstanding quality of great free television and radio on Freesat. This year in particular has been a truly amazing one for TV drama, so we’re particularly proud to see Doctor Who, The Day of the Doctor and Line of Duty recognised as our winners from a fantastically strong field. “
“The Freesat awards celebrate the very best of Britain’s free TV, from Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway to Educating Yorkshire to The Wrong Mans. Huge congratulations to all our winners – they represent a roll-call of excellence, and that reflects the strong line-up of channels on Freesat which keep going from strength to strength.”
Hosted by comedian Marcus Brigstocke, the awards ceremony was attended by a 250 strong VIP audience of celebrities, media and broadcasters.
The awards were supported by the TV Times and Manhattan.
For more on the awards and to see images from the night, please visit www.freesat.co.uk/awards and follow @freesat_tv to see full #freesatawards updates.