Poldark's Aidan Turner and Channel 4 comedy Catastrophe win at Broadcasting Press Guild Awards

Horgan and Delaney, who created the series together, also won the BPG award for Best Writers

Adam Sherwin
Media Correspondent
Friday 11 March 2016 13:28
Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark in the BBC series
Aidan Turner as Ross Poldark in the BBC series

Catastrophe, the brutally honest Channel 4 comedy about unplanned parenthood, has won two top awards whilst its co-writer Sharon Horgan is now set to repeat her success in Hollywood.

The story of a pregnancy resulting from a “six-night stand” between Horgan’s Irish primary school teacher and a US advertising executive played by comic Rob Delaney, Catastrophe won Best Comedy at the Broadcasting Press Guild (BPG) awards.

Horgan and Delaney, who created the series together, also won the BPG award for Best Writers. Horgan, 45, is now co-producing Divorce, an HBO sitcom starring Sarah Jessica Parker as a New York woman going through a bitter break-up.

Confirming her status as the queen of relationship comedy, the BBC announced that Horgan is co-writing a new sitcom, Motherland, a show about “navigating the trials and traumas of middle-class motherhood.”

The Hackney-born Horgan, who fell pregnant six months into her relationship with advertising executive Jeremy Rainbird, said she mined her own experiences for the “unromantic comedy” Catastrophe.

The series pushed boundaries by throwing issues such as cervical dysplasia and foetal abnormalities into the comedic mix.

Boston-born Delaney, voted the “funniest person on Twitter”, has moved to London with his family following the success of Catastrophe, which is set to return for a third Channel 4 series. He accepted the awards on behalf of Horgan at the Theatre Royal ceremony.

The BPG breakthrough award, given to the an individual who has attained a new level of success, went to to Aidan Turner for his roles in Poldark and And Then There Were None, both on BBC1.

Suranne Jones won the award for best actress for her performance as Gemma Foster in Doctor Foster on BBC One.

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Mark Rylance added a Best Actor honour to the Oscar he won last month. Rylance was recognised for his role as Thomas Cromwell in Wolf Hall, the BBC2 series which also won the award for Best Drama.

The BBC is poised to make a second series when author Hilary Mantel finishes The Mirror and The Light, the third novel in the Thomas Cromwell trilogy.

Peter Kosminsky, Wolf Hall director, has been given a brief synopsis by Mantel and hopes to reunite Rylance and Damian Lewis, who played Henry VIII, on screen.

Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney star in Catastrophe

Mary Berry collected the award for best entertainment or factual entertainment show which went to The Great British Bake Off. The award for best single drama went to JB Priestley’s An Inspector Calls on BBC1. Two of its stars, Miranda Richardson and Ken Stott collected the award.

Veteran broadcaster Sue MacGregor won Radio Programme of the Year for The Reunion. The former Today programme presenter, 74, has brought together leading figures from the Spycatcher trial, the Birmingham Six trial and Alan Bennett’s Talking Heads plays in the series.

Channel 4 won both documentary categories at the BPG awards, voted for by television and radio industry commentators. My Son The Jihadi was voted best single documentary and The Murder Detectives, which told followed the aftermath of the fatal stabbing of a Bristol teenager, won the award for best documentary series.

The annual BPG award for innovation went to Russell T Davies, for the multiplatform series: Cucumber, Banana and Tofu (C4, E4 and All 4).

The Harvey Lee award for an outstanding contribution to broadcasting, was presented to John Lloyd, creator of many of Britain’s most innovative and enduring comedy series including Not the Nine O’Clock News, Blackadder, Spitting Image and QI.

Comedy writer and performer John Finnemore was named Radio Broadcaster of the Year for John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme. The judges also commended his writing and in particular the series John Finnemore’s Double Acts

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