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?
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
Life and Style
Mary Beard received abuse after speaking positively on 'Question Time' about immigrant workers: 'When people say ridiculous, untrue and hurtful things, then I think you should call them out'
tech
Life and Style
Most mail-order brides are thought to come from Thailand, the Philippines and Romania
life
News
i100
Life and Style
tech
Voices
Margaret Thatcher, with her director of publicity Sir Gordon Reece, who helped her and the Tory Party to victory in 1979
voicesThe subject is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for former PR man DJ Taylor
  • Get to the point
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

Ashdown Group: Marketing Executive - Urgent Requirement - Central Manchester

£20000 - £23000 per annum + 20 days holidays & pension: Ashdown Group: Marketi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Guru Careers: Social Media Executive / SEO Executive

£20 - 25K + Benefits: Guru Careers: We are seeking an experienced Social Media...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions