Bafta TV awards 2023: Netflix’s ludicrous win, the Holly and Phil joke plus 3 other talking points

Unexpected wins were peppered in throughout the ceremony

Jacob Stolworthy
Monday 15 May 2023 08:34 BST
Martin Freeman stars in trailer for BBC drama The Responder

The Bafta Television Awards took place at the Royal Festival Hall in London on Sunday (14 May).

Comedy duo Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan hoested the ceremony, which saw nominations for Kate Winslet, Ben Whishaw, Billie Piper, Daisy May Cooper and Gary Oldman.

Other shows in contention included Slow Horses, Mood andThe Responder, which received the most nominations when they were announced in March.

The ceremony, which was broadcast on BBC One, featured numerous surprises.

Below are the five biggest talking points from the 2023 Bafta TV Awards.

1. Bad Sisters stuns Sherwood

The Drama Series category became a two-horse race after BBC series Sherwood and Apple TV Plus’ Bad Sisters won awards for their supporting stars Adeel Akhtar and Anne-Marie Duff, respectively. It was the latter that reigned supreme, though, with visibly surprised co-writer Sharon Horgan accepting the award on the show’s behalf.

2. Kate Winslet wins out hotly contested leading actress category

No category was tougher to call than Leading Actress. Billie Piper (I Hate Suzie Too), Imelda Staunton (The Crown), Kate Winslet (I Am Ruth), Maxine Peake (Anne), Sarah Lancashire (Julia) and Vicky McClure (Without Sin) were the stars in contention, and it was Oscar winner Winslet who was ultimately named as the victor. During her emotional speech, Winslet said she would share the trophy with her 22-year-old daughter Mia Threapleton, with whom she starred in I Am Ruth.

Kate Winslet at the Bafta TV Awards
Kate Winslet at the Bafta TV Awards (Getty Images)

3. The International award goes to the worst-nominated show

Casting your eyes over the nomination list for Best International Series, it would been no stretch to assume The Bear, Pachinko or The White Lotus to be the frontrunners. The fact that the award went to Ryan Murphy’s ridiculously titled Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story was an unwelcome shock – not least because family members of Dahmer’s victims have criticised the series for “making money” off of the murders.

4. The Masked Singer usurps the big hitters

The Entertainment Programme category is usually won by either Strictly Come Dancing, Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway or, for some reason, Britain’s Got Talent. ITV has a new champion in town, though: The Masked Singer. Yes, the series in which hidden celebrities perform wearing panda and traffic cone costumes, among many others, is officially a Bafta winner. It’s hard not to be happy for the show. However, if The Traitors had been nominated in this category and not Reality and Constructed Factual (which it won), The Masked Singer probably would have lost.

5. Rob and Romesh can’t resist a Holly and Phil joke

Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan at the Bafta TV Awards
Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan at the Bafta TV Awards (BBC)

Days after claims of a feud between This Morning hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, hosts Beckett and Ranganathan cracked a joke at their expense during their opening monologue. At the start of the event, Beckett told the crowd: “Imelda Staunton is here. It’s exciting, isn’t it? She’s nominated for her performance in The Crown. Apparently, Phil and Holly got to watch that a couple of days before everybody else.” Beckett’s joke was a reference to the TV stars being accused of jumping the queue to see the Queen lying in state last year, which was met with a nationwide backlash.

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