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RTS NI reveals winners of 2020 Programme Awards

Date Posted: November 13, 2020

The winners of the Royal Television Society Northern Ireland (RTS NI) Programme Awards were announced last night (Thursday 12th November) at a virtual awards ceremony hosted by Patrick Kielty.

My Left Nut by Rollen Productions was awarded Best Drama and The Original Music Score Award went to DoubleBand Films for Lost Lives by Mark Gordon, Neil Martin, Richard Hill and Charles Graham with Arena: The Changin’ Times of Ike White by Erica Starling Productions as the winners in the Documentary category. Each of these projects were funded by Northern Ireland Screen.

Critically acclaimed actress Michelle Fairley was awarded the coveted Brian Waddell Award for her outstanding contribution to the broadcast industry.

Born in Coleraine, Michelle has enjoyed huge success for her many roles on stage and screen, although she is perhaps best known for her portrayal of Catelyn Stark in HBO’s Game of Thrones which made her an international star.

Michelle Fairley says: “I am so incredibly thankful and honoured to be receiving this award for outstanding contribution. I feel very lucky to have been given some fantastic opportunities throughout my career and believe that my “outstanding contribution” really is just that; a contribution to fantastic productions and wonderful creative teams. We would be nothing in this industry without our collaborators and I have been truly blessed to work alongside some of the best. Long may it continue!”

Vikkie Taggart, Chair of RTS NI said: “It is a real pleasure to celebrate the incredible talent of Michelle Fairley who has won the hearts of audiences worldwide in a glittering career spanning more than 30 years with her many accomplished performances. Congratulations to all our winners and nominees this year, who represent the best of the exceptional talent in Northern Ireland.”

Maeve McLoughlin, Chair of RTS NI Awards says: “This has been a challenging year to say the least, and we no doubt have further difficulties to overcome in the next few months. It was my wish along with the whole of the RTS NI Committee to ensure that these awards took place this year regardless of the challenges we faced. We felt that the industry as a whole has worked tirelessly to adapt to new regulations and also social measures to ensure the creative industries keep powering on, and we wanted to acknowledge that hard work and dedication.”

The RTS NI Programme Awards 2020 are delivered in partnership with BBC Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen and Channel 4, along with headline sponsor Ka-Boom.

The Royal Television Society Northern Ireland Programme Awards 2020 winners are:

Children’s and / or Animation
WINNER: Jam Media: The Voyage for RTÉ
Finalists: Tyrone Productions NI: My Life: My Pigeons and Me and Paper Owl Films: Pablo

Current Affairs
WINNER: BBC Northern Ireland: Spotlight – Fear and Loathing in Quinn Country
Finalists: UTV: Up Close – The Poverty Spiral and UTV: Up Close – Tied to Terror

WINNER: Erica Starling Productions: Arena: The Changin’ Times of Ike White for BBC Four
Finalists: DoubleBand Films: Lost Lives and DoubleBand Films in association with Lone Star. Productions: Seamus Heaney and the music of what happens

WINNER: Rollem Productions: My Left Nut for BBC Three
Finalists: Out of Orbit: The Dig and BBC NI & The Lyric Theatre: BBC Arts NI presents: Splendid Isolation

WINNER: Stellify Media: There’s No Place Like Tyrone for BBC Northern Ireland
Finalists: Hindsight & Hat Trick Productions: Celebrity Mastermind Champion of Champions Special and Stellify Media: Pretty Single

News Coverage
WINNER: UTV: UTV Live at Six
Finalists: BBC Newsline: Coronavirus Living in a Pandemic and Tern TV: The People’s News

Original Music Score
WINNER: DoubleBand Films: Mark Gordon, Neil Martin, Richard Hill, Charles Graham – Lost Lives
Finalists: BBC NI: Sheridan Tongue – Spotlight on the Troubles: A Secret History and Rollem Productions: Andrew Simon McAllister – My Left Nut

Scripted Comedy
WINNER: The Comedy Unit: Soft Border Patrol for BBC Northern Ireland
Finalists: Nice One Productions: The Paddy Raff Show and Moondog Productions: The Blame Game

Specialist Factual
WINNER: BBC Northern Ireland: Peter Taylor: My Journey Through the Troubles
Finalists: Waddell Media: Dana: The Original Derry Girl and Waddell Media: Work on the Wild Side

Features and / or Factual Entertainment
WINNER: Alleycats: Pulling with My Parents for RTÉ2
Finalists: Stellify Media: Goodbye House and Rare TV: Mountain Vets

The Brian Waddell Award for Outstanding Contribution – sponsored by Carson McDowell
WINNER: Michelle Fairley

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