BBC's star-studded adaptation of 'Bleak House' shines at awards

The BBC may have tried to inject soap opera values into its recent adaptation of Charles Dickens's Bleak House, but it spared no expense on actors, hiring a star-studded cast that included Gillian Anderson and Charles Dance.

Its lavish production will be honoured today at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards. Anderson - best-known for her role in The X-Files - will be crowned best actress for her performance as Lady Dedlock, an aristocrat with a deadly secret.

Anderson saw off the challenge of four other nominees: her Bleak House co-star Anna Maxwell Martin; Helen Mirren, for Channel 4's Elizabeth I; Ashley Jensen for Extras; and Billie Piper for her performance as Rose in Doctor Who.

Dance, who played Lady Dedlock's nemesis, the manipulative lawyer Mr Tulkinghorn, will pick up the award for best actor, triumphing over Doctor Who's last two incarnations, Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant, and The Thick of It's Chris Langham.

Andrew Davies's adaptation of Bleak House will be named best drama series at the awards lunch at the Theatre Royal in London. It was up against the BBC's revival of Doctor Who.

The success of Bleak House in the awards, voted for by more than 100 writers and broadcasters in the television and radio industry, bodes well for the series at the TV Baftas in May; it has four nominations.

Davies said he wanted the drama to appeal to younger viewers in the same way as soap operas like Hollyoaks.

Armando Iannucci and his writing team will win the writers' award for The Thick of It, beating Andrew Davies and Russell T Davies (Doctor Who). The expletive-laden political comedy, shown on BBC4 and BBC2, also wins the best comedy award, beating Love Soup and Extras.

Another wry take on the contemporary political landscape, More 4's A Very Social Secretary, Alistair Beaton's comic drama about David Blunkett's affair with Kimberly Quinn, wins best single drama. It was chosen over Channel 4's The Government Inspector, which dramatised the events leading to the death of David Kelly, the BBC's Much Ado About Nothing and Jerry Springer: The Opera.

Jamie Oliver will be named best performer, and his Channel 4 show Jamie's School Dinners, wins best documentary series.

Jonathan Ross wins the radio broadcaster of the year award for his Radio 2 show, with Ed Reardon's Week chosen as radio programme of the Year. Martin Scorsese's BBC2 documentary No Direction Home - Bob Dylan, has been voted best single documentary.

Podcasting will also be recognised in a new innovation award, which goes to BBC Radio and Music Interactive.

The winners

* Harvey Lee award for outstanding contribution to broadcasting: Melvyn Bragg

* Best drama series: Bleak House, BBC1

* Best actor: Charles Dance, Bleak House, BBC1

* Best actress: Gillian Anderson, Bleak House, BBC1

* Best performer: Jamie Oliver Jamie's School Dinners, Channel 4

* Best single drama: A Very Social Secretary, More 4/Channel 4

* Best documentary series: Jamie's School Dinners, Channel 4

* Best single documentary: Arena: No Direction Home - Bob Dylan, BBC2

* Best comedy: The Thick of It, BBC4/BBC2

* Radio broadcaster of the year: Jonathan Ross BBC Radio 2

* Radio programme of the year: Ed Reardon's Week, BBC Radio 4

* Writer's award: Armando Iannucci and team The Thick of It, BBC4/BBC2

* Multichannel award: Ross Kemp on Gangs, Sky One

* Innovation Award: BBC Radio and Music Interactive

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Media

Recruitment Genius: Professional Sales Trainee - B2B

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: First things first - for the av...

Recruitment Genius: Account Executive - Graduate / Entry Level

£22000 - £27500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This digital advertising infras...

Guru Careers: PR Account Director / SAM

£50 - 60k (DOE) + Benefits & Bonus: Guru Careers: A PR Account Director / SAM ...

Guru Careers: Research Analyst / Business Insight Analyst

£32 - £37K + extensive benefits: Guru Careers: Research Analyst / Business Ins...

Day In a Page

Sepp Blatter resignation: The beginning of Fifa's long road to reform?

Does Blatter's departure mean Fifa will automatically clean up its act?

Don't bet on it, says Tom Peck
Charles Kennedy: The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

The baby of the House who grew into a Lib Dem giant

Charles Kennedy was consistently a man of the centre-left, dedicated to social justice, but was also a champion of liberty and an opponent of the nanny-state, says Baroness Williams
Syria civil war: The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of this endless conflict

The harrowing testament of a five-year-old victim of Syria's endless civil war

Sahar Qanbar lost her mother and brother as civilians and government soldiers fought side by side after being surrounded by brutal Islamist fighters. Robert Fisk visited her
The future of songwriting: How streaming is changing everything we know about making music

The future of songwriting

How streaming is changing everything we know about making music
William Shemin and Henry Johnson: Jewish and black soldiers receive World War I Medal of Honor amid claims of discrimination

Recognition at long last

Jewish and black soldiers who fought in WWI finally receive medals after claims of discrimination
Beating obesity: The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters

Beating obesity

The new pacemaker which helps over-eaters
9 best women's festival waterproofs

Ready for rain: 9 best women's festival waterproofs

These are the macs to keep your denim dry and your hair frizz-free(ish)
Cycling World Hour Record: Nervous Sir Bradley Wiggins ready for pain as he prepares to go distance

Wiggins worried

Nervous Sir Bradley ready for pain as he prepares to attempt cycling's World Hour Record
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific