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Ben Whishaw and Kate Winslet scoop top gongs at Bafta TV awards

British talent Ben Whishaw and Kate Winslet have won the top acting prizes at the Bafta TV awards ceremony at Royal Festival Hall on Sunday evening.

Winslet, 47, won the best actress award for her performance in Channel 4’s drama I Am Ruth, which sees a mother and her real-life daughter Mia Threapleton work through emotional turmoil on-screen.

In an emotional speech, the Titanic star said: “If I could break it in half, I would give the other half to my daughter, we did this together, kiddo.”

Bafta Television Awards 2023
Kate Winslet and daughter Mia Threapleton attending the Bafta Television Awards 2023 (Yui Mok/PA)

The actress also said that “small British television dramas can be mighty” and mental health stories such as this one “need to be heard”.

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Winslet added: “To people in power, please criminalise harmful content, we don’t want it… to any young person listening, please ask for help, it will be there just ask for it.”

It was the second appearance from Winslet who joined the team of I Am Ruth on stage earlier in the night as they accepted the Bafta TV award for single drama.

Meanwhile, James Bond and Paddington star Whishaw also collected a top acting gong during the ceremony for his performance as an under pressure doctor in BBC series This Is Going To Hurt.

On stage, the 42-year-old actor said “everybody in the show is just mind-blowing” and “most of all thank you, Adam Kay, for writing this wonderful role”. He added: “I’m very humbled, and blessed.”

This Is Going To Hurt – BBC One
Ben Whishaw in BBC One’s adaptation of This Is Going To Hurt (BBC/PA)

The medical drama is based on Kay’s book This Is Going To Hurt: Secret Diaries Of A Junior Doctor which chronicles his work training to be a doctor in the NHS.

It was also the second time Whishaw had appeared on stage to collect the prize for most memorable moment for his sketch as Paddington Bear featuring the late Queen in honour of her Platinum Jubilee celebrations.

The ceremony also saw Channel 4 comedy Derry Girls win two awards, with creator Lisa McGee collecting the award for best scripted comedy and actress Siobhan McSweeney winning best female performance in a comedy programme for her role as eye-rolling principal Sister Michael.

In the humorous speech, which she said in double speed given the short time given, she said: “To the people in Derry, thank you taking me into your hearts and your living rooms.

“I am daily impressed with how you encompass the spirit of compromise and resilience despite the indignities, ignorance and stupidity of your so-called leaders (in) Dublin, Stormont and Westminster.

“In the words of my beloved Sister Michael, ‘it’s time they started to wise up’.”

The comedy about a group of teenagers growing up during the trouble’s in Londonderry in the 1990s was a sleeper hit that built a large and committed following across its three series.

The night also saw Sir Mo Farah win a Bafta award for his BBC One documentary The Real Mo Farah which revealed he had been illegally trafficked to the UK as a child.

Collecting the best single documentary prize, the four-time Olympic champion dedicated the award to “children who are being trafficked”.

In his speech, he said: “The kids have no say at all, they are just kids and no child should ever go through what I did, I hope my story shows they aren’t alone, we are in it together.”

Mo Farah revelations
Sir Mo Farah with Alan Watkinson during the filming of the BBC documentary, The Real Mo Farah (Andy Boag/BBC/PA)

The 40-year-old thanked the team at the BBC because it “wasn’t easy” to film and he wouldn’t have been able to it “without them”, while his wife Tania Nell said it was the couples children who “empowered” them to tell the story.

It was also a big night for entertainment programmes, as ITV’s The Masked Singer fought off competition from Ant And Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway and Strictly Come Dancing to win best entertainment programme.

Bafta Television Awards 2023
Joel Dommett and Hannah Cooper attending the Bafta Television Awards 2023 at the Royal Festival Hall, London (Yui Mok/PA)

Host Joel Dommett joked in his speech: “I really didn’t expect this, Strictly normally wins everything.

“Thank you so much to ITV firstly for believing in this silly show, it is so silly and it’s so wonderful, it has brightened up so many families and homes.”

Meanwhile, the reality and constructed factual award went to hit BBC One psychological adventure show The Traitors which sees strangers play “the ultimate game of detection, backstabbing and trust” at a Scottish Highlands castle in the hope of winning big.

Host Claudia Winkleman, 51, later picked up the Bafta for entertainment performance for the series, saying she didn’t want to get emotional as her mascara “will run” before asking her husband: “Please, can we have a dog?”

She also “thanked” her mother and father and said it was “for you” before saying: “You can’t have it… no, but you can touch it.”

The Uefa Women’s Euro 2022 coverage also won a Bafta TV award for best sports coverage, after the Lionesses became the first England football team to win an international tournament since 1966.

Meanwhile Channel 4 News: Live In Kyiv won a Bafta TV award for best news coverage, beating Susanna Reid’s Good Morning Britain interview with then prime minister Boris Johnson.

Channel 4’s Europe editor and presenter Matt Frei, who took to the stage alongside anchors including Krishnan Guru-Murthy, said in a speech: “Let’s remember the people of Ukraine who cannot be here tonight, who cannot leave their country. Lets also remember the 11 journalists who have been killed in covering just this conflict alone.

“And also I would like to say, Channel 4, we have had the privatisation hanging over us, which makes Penny Mordaunt’s sword look like a toothpick. But it’s gone, spirited away.

“Let’s not forget the public service news broadcasting, it’s complicated, it’s costly, and sometimes it can be tedious and really depressing but it also really matters.”

Bafta Television Awards 2023
Chairman of Bafta, Krish Majumdar (Yui Mok/PA)

His speech followed the speech from Bafta chairman Krishnendu Majumdar describing public service broadcasting as a “fundamental” part of TV culture in a speech.

The awards also paid tribute to stars including talk show host Jerry Springer, Strictly Come Dancing’s Len Goodman and presenter and drag queen Paul O’Grady who have died over the last year.

Doctor Who actor Bernard Cribbins, comedian Barry Humphries, Hi-De-Hi! actress Ruth Madoc and Emmerdale star Dale Meeks were also named by the ceremony.

Lewis Capaldi gave his first televised performance of new single Wish You The Best alongside DJ Jax Jones and singer Calum Scott who took to the stage performing their song, Whistle.

Jones said: “Big up Kate Winslet” ahead of performing the track which also saw dancers dressed as fish on stage.