Belfast Telegraph

Smith named best actress at awards

Sheridan Smith was named best actress for her performance as Cilla Black at an industry awards and promptly set her sights on a more nine-to-five job - playing country legend Dolly Parton.

Her portrayal of the Liverpudlian singer in the ITV biopic was so successful it sent her 1964 hit Anyone Who Had A Heart back into the charts.

The actress picked up her gong at the Broadcasting Press Guild's (BPG) awards in central London and said playing the part had been "terrifying".

Speaking on the red carpet at Theatre Royal, Drury Lane, she said: "It's a great story, a rags to riches story. I'm thrilled people liked it as much as we enjoyed making it."

Asked who else she would like to play in a biopic, she s aid: "If I had the breasts Dolly Parton would be one I liked to play, but I'd need a lot of padding.

"They'd have to do some work, big hair, talon nails, I'd love it. It would be camp. I'm a big fan."

Toby Jones was named best actor at the awards which are voted for by journalists who report about TV and radio.

His performance as the irrepressible Neil Baldwin in the biopic about his life, BBC2's Marvellous, was also recognised when the one-off show was named best single drama.

The awards also saw wins for political drama The Honourable Woman which was named best drama series.

Lenny Henry picked up the BPG's highest honour, the Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting.

He said the win was " a huge honour".

He said: " I'm here on giant shoulders, you don't do these things on your own ... Everyone has had something to do with me being here today and I really know that."

Asked about his career which began when he won the talent show, New Faces, in 1975, he said: " I'm not done, often when you get a lifetime achievement award it's like people saying 'yeah, your done, it's over, you're finished' but I've got a production company, we're making stuff, documentaries, dramas, I'm writing stuff for Radio 4, for television, there's a lot going on. I'm not done."

Women's Hour host Jane Garvey was named radio broadcaster of the year, while Radio 4's Germany: Memories of a Nation was named best radio programme.

Channel 4's Benefits Street was named best documentary series and Gogglebox won the award for best factual entertainment.

The award for best single documentary went to Baby P: The Untold Story on BBC One.

The BBC spoof W1A was named best comedy, with adult storytelling show Crackanory won the multichannel award.

Vice News won the award for Innovation in Broadcasting and Sally Wainwright, who penned Last Tango in Halifax and Happy Valley, won the writer's award.

Brothers Harry and Jack Williams, who wrote the BBC One drama The Missing, won the Breakthrough Award.

The 41st Broadcasting Press Guild Television and Radio Awards:

Best Actress - Sheridan Smith

Best Actor - Toby Jones

Best Factual Entertainment - Gogglebox

Best Single Drama - Marvellous

Best Drama Series - The Honourable Woman

Best Single Documentary - Baby P: The Untold Story

Best Documentary Series - Benefits Street

Best Multichannel Programme - Crackanory

Radio Programme of the Year - Germany: Memories of A Nation

Radio Broadcaster of the Year - Jane Garvey, Woman's Hour

Best Entertainment/Comedy - W1A

Writer's Award - Sally Wainwright

Breakthrough Award - Harry and Jack Williams, The Missing

Innovation in Broadcasting Award - Vice News

Harvey Lee Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting - Lenny Henry

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