TV BAFTA stars hail Channel 4 amid uncertainty over its future

ITV News Entertainment Reporter Rishi Davda on all the highlights from the first in-person ceremony in two years

Stars at the Bafta TV awards hailed the value of Channel 4 as the government proceeds with its plans to privatise the broadcaster.

The event, hosted by Richard Ayoade at London's Royal Festival Hall, celebrated the best of British television across multiple categories.

Channel 4 enjoyed a successful afternoon amid uncertainty over its future – winning a total of five awards.

Stephen Graham, who bagged a nomination for his role in Channel 4’s Help, said to ITV News: "I don't mean to be rude or disrespectful in any form, but Help doesn't get made unless its Channel 4.

"It's important for these stories to have a voice, and maybe they wouldn't get that opportunity if they were privately owned."

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Jodie Comer claimed the leading actress award for her role in Help and thanked the broadcaster for “believing in the script”.

Ministers claimed last month that government ownership is holding Channel 4 back and that a sale of the brand would "modernise" the UK's public service broadcasting sector.

The chief executive of Studio Lambert, which produces Gogglebox, used his speech to voice opposition to the government’s plans.

Stephen Lambert said: “Gogglebox might have ended when it started nine years ago as it got modest ratings, but a publicly owned risk-taking Channel 4 believed in it and they stuck with it.

“If the government goes ahead with its destructive plan to end Channel 4, these kind of risks will not be taken and a big part of what makes British TV great will have ended for no good reason.”

Mo Gilligan won best comedy entertainment for his The Lateish Show on Channel 4, and said the prize “means so much” because Channel 4 took him on when his mental health was struggling in 2017.

He said: “They let me bring black boy joy, I really appreciate it. It would not have been possible without Channel 4, I know everyone has said it but it is so important.”

Strictly Come Dancing's Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice won the must-see moment for their silent dance on Strictly Come Dancing.

Along with Channel 4's success, other highlights of the ceremony included Rose Ayling-Ellis and Giovanni Pernice winning the must-see moment for their silent dance on BBC One staple Strictly Come Dancing.

Their routine – during which they paused the music and danced in silence as a tribute to the deaf community – won praise from the public and Ayling-Ellis described it as a “very special moment”.

Additionally, Scottish comedian Sir Billy Connolly was honoured with the prestigious Bafta fellowship. He received the tribute for his career, which spans more than five decades.

Award-winners for the main categories

Leading actress

Jodie Comer, Help - Channel 4 Denise Gough, Too Close - ITV Emily Watson, Too Close - ITV Kate Winslet, Mare of Easttown - Sky Atlantic Lydia West, It's A Sin - Channel 4 Niamh Algar, Deceit - Channel 4 Leading actor

Sean Bean, Time - BBC One David Thewlis, Landscapers - Sky Atlantic Hugh Quarshie, Stephen - ITV Olly Alexander, It's A Sin - Channel 4 Samuel Adewunmi, You Don't Know Me - BBC One Stephen Graham, Help - Channel 4

Supporting actress

Cathy Tyson, Help - Channel 4 Céline Buckens, Showtrial - BBC OneEmily Mortimer, The Pursuit of Love - BBC OneJessica Plummer, The Girl Before - BBC OneLeah Harvey, Foundation - Apple TV+Tahirah Sharif, The Tower - ITV

Supporting actor

Matthew Macfadyen, Succession - Sky Atlantic Callum Scott Howells, It's A Sin - Channel 4David Carlyle, It's A Sin - Channel 4Nonso Anozie, Sweet Tooth - NetflixOmari Douglas, It's A Sin - Channel 4Stephen Graham, Time - BBC One

Entertainment performance

Big Zuu, Big Zuu's Big Eats - Dave Alison Hammond, I Can See Your Voice - BBC One Graham Norton, The Graham Norton Show - BBC One Joe Lycett, Joe Lycett's Got Your Back - Channel 4 Michael McIntyre, Michael McIntyre's The Wheel - BBC One Sean Lock, 8 Out of 10 Cats Does Countdown - Channel 4 Male performance in a comedy programme

Jamie Demetriou, Stath Lets Flats - Channel 4 Joe Gilgun, Brassic - Sky Max Ncuti Gatwa, Sex Education - Netflix Samson Kayo, Bloods - Sky One Steve Coogan, This Time with Alan Partridge - BBC One Tim Renkow, Jerk - BBC Three Female performance in a comedy programme

Sophie Willan, Alma's Not Normal - BBC Two Aimee Lou Wood, Sex Education - Netflix Aisling Bea, This Way Up - Channel 4 Anjana Vasan, We Are Lady Parts - Channel 4 Natasia Demetriou, Stath Lets Flats - Channel 4 Rose Matafeo, Starstruck - BBC ThreeDrama series

In My Skin - BBC Three Manhunt: The Night Stalker - ITV Unforgotten - ITV Vigil - BBC One Single drama

Together - BBC Two Death of England: Face to Face - Sky Arts Help - Channel 4 I Am Victoria - Channel 4 Mini-series

Time - BBC One It's A Sin - Channel 4 Landscapers - Sky Atlantic Stephen - ITV

Soap and continuing drama

Coronation Street - ITV Casualty - BBC One Emmerdale - ITV Holby City - BBC One International

The Underground Railroad - Amazon Prime Call My Agent! - Netflix Lupin - Netflix Mare of Easttown - Sky Atlantic Squid Game - Netflix Succession - Sky Atlantic Entertainment programme

Ant & Dec's Saturday Night Takeaway - ITV An Audience With Adele - ITV Life & Rhymes - Sky Arts Strictly Come Dancing - BBC One

Comedy entertainment programme

The Lateish Show With Mo Gilligan - Channel 4 The Graham Norton Show - BBC OneRace Around Britain - YouTubeThe Ranganation - BBC Two

Scripted comedy

Motherland - BBC Two Alma's Not Normal - BBC TwoStath Lets Flats - Channel 4We Are Lady Parts - Channel 4

Must-see moment

Strictly Come Dancing, Rose and Giovanni's silent dance to Symphony - BBC One An Audience With Adele, Adele's surprised by the teacher who changed her life - ITVI'm A Celebrity… Get Me Out of Here!, Ant and Dec dig at Downing Street's lockdown parties - ITVIt's A Sin, Colin's devastating Aids diagnosis - Channel 4RuPaul's Drag Race UK, UK Hun? - Bimini's verse - BBC ThreeSquid Game, Red Light, Green Light game - Netflix

Reality and constructed factual

Gogglebox - Channel 4 Married At First Sight UK - E4RuPaul's Drag Race UK - BBC ThreeThe Dog House - Channel 4