BAFTA TV awards right winners?

Killing Eve killed it as stars of the small screen were honoured

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Did the BAFTA TV awards choose the right winners?

By Daniel J. McLaughlin

BAFTA selected the crème de la crème of what television has to offer on Sunday night. Stars of the small screen were honoured at the awards ceremony, held at London's Royal Festival Hall.

Killing Eve killed it by picking up three awards in some of the night's biggest categories.

It was an evening where women's role in "our current TV golden age" was celebrated.

However, some argue that there were notable snubs from the winners' list.

The Claim

The Daily Telegraph's Michael Hogan praises the "night of girl-powered glory", calling the awards ceremony "refreshingly female-dominated".

He writes: "Throughout TV’s most prestigious award ceremony, we saw female winners, female speech-makers and female scene-stealers.

"Cameras repeatedly caught women cheering each other on and sharing mutually supportive moments.

"It made a bracing change and if the odd male viewer felt excluded or even threatened, that was a small price to pay for a feelgood night of gong-giving."

Hogan says it was a night where women's role in "our current TV golden age" was rightly celebrated. He argues that "the sound of ceilings being broken was everywhere", from the leading actress to The Huw Wheldon Award for Specialist Factual, the Special Award to the BAFTA Fellowship.

The Counterclaim

However, the Guardian's Mark Lawson says that the BAFTA TV awards ceremony was "riddled with inexplicable snubs".

He argues: "A current risk in artistic awards ceremonies – and culture more generally – is the suggestion that a progressive message matters more than creative innovation."

Lawson criticises the "inexplicable overlooking" of Channel 4's Derry Girls and the "shocking underperformance" of the BBC’s farcical bio-drama, A Very English Scandal.

He explains that the night's most unexpected winners reflected "industry politics". Sky took home three of the first four awards, including Best Mini-Series for Patrick Melrose.

Lawson argues: "Impressive as the adaptation of Edward St Aubyn’s novels was, few expected it to beat A Very English Scandal. So Sky’s exceptionally good night may also have reflected a continuing resistance among voters to the BBC’s long dominance of these awards."

Netflix's Black Mirror: Bandersnatch, a "truly innovative interactive edition", was also overlooked, which could reflect the hostility to the streaming service.

He concludes: "In a year when some exceptional work was honoured, the fear is that moral and maker sometimes trumped content in the judging rooms."

Who were the winners?

Killing Eve was the big winner at the BAFTA TV awards, winning a hat-trick of trophies: best actress for Jodie Comer, best supporting actress for Fiona Shaw, and best drama series.

Benedict Cumberbatch won best actor for his Sky's Patrick Melrose, which was also named best mini-series. Ben Whishaw won best supporting actor for A Very English Scandal.

I'm A Celebrity... Get Me Out Of Here (best reality and constructed reality) and Britain's Got Talent (best entertainment programme) also picked up awards, despite co-host Ant McPartlin taking time out from both series last year after his drink-drive conviction.

You can see the full list of winners here.

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