The BBC was the biggest Bafta TV award winner but that’s no surprise

By Jack Rear

With 16 wins in 24 categories, no one could possibly deny the BBC was the big victor of the Bafta TV awards.

The television network walked away with major wins for Peaky Blinders as Best Drama Series and Undercover: Britain’s Immigration Secrets as Best Current Affairs Programme.

There was also major success for the BBC’s new online-only channel BBC Three which launched in 2016. The channel, which is hosted through BBC iPlayer, took home four awards including Best Comedy or Comedy Entertainment Programme, Best Single Drama, Best Scripted Comedy, and Best Female Performance in a Comedy Programme.

There was also a surprise victory for retired football player Rio Ferdinand. A documentary about his family life Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum And Dad picked up a win for Best Single Documentary

Bafta TV award winners 2018:

Drama series

  • Peaky Blinders (BBC) – WINNER
  • The Crown (Netflix)
  • End of the F***ing World (Channel 4)
  • Line of Duty (BBC One)

Leading actress

  • Molly Windsor – Three Girls (BBC One) – WINNER
  • Claire Foy – The Crown (Netflix)
  • Sinead Keenan – Little Boy Blue (ITV)
  • Thandie Newton – Line of Duty (BBC One)

Leading actor

  • Sean Bean – Broken (BBC) – WINNER
  • Jack Rowan – Born To Kill (Channel 4)
  • Joe Cole – Hang The DJ: Black Mirror (Netflix)
  • Tim Pigott-Smith – King Charles III (BBC)

Comedy and comedy entertainment programme

  • Murder In Successville (BBC Three) – WINNER
  • Taskmaster (Dave)
  • The Last Leg (Channel 4)
  • Would I Lie to You (BBC One)

Sport

  • The Grand National (ITV) – WINNER
  • Anthony Joshua v Wladimir Klitschko (Sky)
  • Six Nations: Wales v England (BBC One)
  • Uefa Women’s Euro Semi-final (Channel 4)

International

  • The Handmaid’s Tale (Channel 4) – WINNER
  • Big Little Lies (Sky Atlantic)
  • Feud: Bette and Joan (BBC Two)
  • The Vietnam War (BBC)

News coverage

  • The Rohingya Crisis (Sky) – WINNER
  • The Battle For Mosul (Sky)
  • The Grenfell Tower Fire (Channel 4)
  • The Grenfell Tower Fire (ITV)

Current affairs

  • Undercover: Britain’s Immigration Secrets – Panorama (BBC One) – WINNER
  • Raped: My Story (Channel 5)
  • Syria’s Disappeared: The Case Against Assad – Dispatches (Channel 4)
  • White Right: Meeting The Enemy – Exposure (ITV)

Supporting actor

  • Brian F O’Byrne – Little Boy Blue (ITV) – WINNER
  • Adrian Dunbar – Line of Duty (BBC One)
  • Anupam Kher – The Boy with the Top Knot (BBC Two)
  • Jimmi Simpson – USS Callister: Black Mirror (Netflix)

Mini-series

  • Three Girls (BBC One) – WINNER
  • Howards End (BBC One)
  • The Moorside (ITV)
  • The State (Channel 4)

Reality and constructed factual

  • Love Island (ITV) – WINNER
  • Celebrity Hunted (Channel 4)
  • Old People’s Home For Four-Year Olds (Channel 4)
  • The Real Full Monty (ITV)

Supporting actress

  • Vanessa Kirby – The Crown (Netflix) – WINNER
  • Anna Friel – Broken (BBC One)
  • Julie Hesmondhalgh – Broadchurch (ITV)
  • Liv Hill – Three Girls (BBC One)

Specialist factual

  • Basquiat: Rage to Riches (BBC Two) – WINNER
  • Blitz: The Bombs That Changed Britain (BBC Two)
  • Blue Planet II (BBC One)
  • Elizabeth I’s Secret Agents (BBC Two)

Factual series

  • Ambulance (BBC One) – WINNER
  • Catching A Killer (Channel 4)
  • Drugsland (BBC Three)
  • Hospital (BBC Two)

Single drama

  • Murdered For Being Different (BBC Three) – WINNER
  • Against The Law (BBC Two)
  • Hang The DJ: Black Mirror (Netflix)
  • King Charles III (BBC Two)

Scripted comedy

  • This Country (BBC Three) – WINNER
  • Catastrophe (Channel 4)
  • Chewing Gum (Channel 4)
  • Timewasters (ITV2)

Virgin’s Must-See Moments

  • Blue Planet II – Mother Pilot Whale Grieves (BBC One) – WINNER
  • Love Island – Stormzy Makes a Surprise Appearance (ITV 2)
  • Game of Thrones – Viserion is Killed by the Night King (Sky Atlantic)
  • Doctor Who – The Thirteenth Doctor Revealed (BBC One)
  • Love Manchester – Ariana Grande Sings ‘One Last Time’ (BBC One)
  • Line of Duty – Huntley’s Narrow Escape (BBC One)

Entertainment performance

  • Graham Norton – The Graham Norton Show (BBC One) – WINNER
  • Adam Hill – The Last Leg (Channel 4)
  • Michael McIntyre – Michael McIntyre’s Big Show (BBC One)
  • Sandi Toksvig – QI (BBC Two)

Male performance in a comedy programme

  • Toby Jones – Detectorists (BBC Four) – WINNER
  • Asim Chaundry – People Just Do Nothing (BBC Three)
  • Rob Brydon – The Trip to Spain (BBC)
  • Samson Kayo – Famalam (BBC Three)

Female performance in a comedy programme

  • Daisy May Cooper – This Country (BBC Three) – WINNER
  • Anna Maxwell Martin – Motherland (BBC Two)
  • Sharon Horgan – Catastrophe (Channel 4)
  • Sian Gibson – Peter Kay’s Car Share (Channel 4)

Single documentary

  • Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad (BBC One) – WINNER
  • Chris Packham: Asperger’s and Me (BBC Two)
  • Louis Theroux: Talking to Anorexia (BBC Two)
  • One Deadly Weekend in America (BBC Three)

Entertainment programme

  • Britain’s Got Talent (ITV) – WINNER
  • Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (ITV)
  • Michael Mcintyre’s Big Show (BBC One)
  • The Voice UK (ITV)

Soap and continuing drama

  • Casualty (BBC One) – WINNER
  • Coronation Street (ITV)
  • Emmerdale (ITV)
  • Hollyoaks (Channel 4)

Short-form programme

  • Morgana Robinson’s Summer (Sky Arts) – WINNER
  • Britain’s Forgotten Men (BBC Three)
  • Eating With My Ex (BBC Three)
  • Pls Like (BBC Three)

An unsurprising victory for the BBC:

Still, before Lord Tony Hall breaks out the fancy champagne, it’s worth remembering that the BBC’s dominance of the BAFTAs was almost a given.

At this year’s awards show, there were 98 nominees. That’s four in each category and six in the Virgin Must-See moments category.

Of those, the BBC was by far the most-nominated. Across BBC One, Two, Three, and Four the company got 51 nominations, more than every other television network combined.

By contrast, ITV’s channels had 16 nominations, Channel 4′s had 17, Netflix and Sky‘s channels had six nominations apiece, and both Dave and Channel 5 got one each.

The BBC‘s 52% of nominations is hardly comparable with their viewership. According to Barb ratings, on any given week in 2018, the BBC‘s total viewership makes up around a third of Britain’s total TV watching.

It’s also worth noting that the BARB figures do not take into Netflix or Amazon viewers, so the BBC’s viewership may be an even smaller percentage of total television viewers.

Either the BBC’s programming is remarkably better in quality than its rivals, or the Bafta committee simply gives it unfair amount of attention compared to what audiences think.

It seems obvious which angle the BBC will be taking on last night’s events.