Bafta TV awards 2023: Netflix’s ridiculous win, the Holly and Phil joke and 3 other talking points

·13 min read

The Bafta Television Awards took place at the Royal Festival Hall in London on Sunday (14 May).

Comedy duo Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan hoested the ceremony, which saw nominations for Kate Winslet, Ben Whishaw, Billie Piper, Daisy May Cooper and Gary Oldman.

Other shows in contention included Slow Horses, Mood and The Responder, which received the most nominations when they were announced in March.

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The ceremony, which was broadcast on BBC One, featured numerous surprises.

Below are the five biggest talking points from the 2023 Bafta TV Awards.

1. Bad Sisters stuns Sherwood

The Drama Series category became a two-horse race after BBC series Sherwood and Apple TV Plus’ Bad Sisters won awards for their supporting stars Adeel Akhtar and Anne-Marie Duff, respectively. It was the latter that reigned supreme, though, with visibly surprised co-writer Sharon Horgan accepting the award on the show’s behalf.

2. Kate Winslet wins out hotly contested leading actress category

No category was tougher to call than Leading Actress. Billie Piper (I Hate Suzie Too), Imelda Staunton (The Crown), Kate Winslet (I Am Ruth), Maxine Peake (Anne), Sarah Lancashire (Julia) and Vicky McClure (Without Sin) were the stars in contention, and it was Oscar winner Winslet who was ultimately named as the victor. During her emotional speech, Winslet said she would share the trophy with her 22-year-old daughter Mia Threapleton, with whom she starred in I Am Ruth.

3. The International award goes to the worst-nominated show

Casting your eyes over the nomination list for Best International Series, it would been no stretch to assume The Bear, Pachinko or The White Lotus to be the frontrunners. The fact that the award went to Ryan Murphy’s ridiculously titled Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story was an unwelcome shock – not least because family members of Dahmer’s victims have criticised the series for “making money” off of the murders.

4. The Masked Singer usurps the big hitters

The Entertainment Programme category is usually won by either Strictly Come Dancing, Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway or, for some reason, Britain’s Got Talent. ITV has a new champion in town, though: The Masked Singer. Yes, the series in which hidden celebrities perform wearing panda and traffic cone costumes, among many others, is officially a Bafta winner. It’s hard not to be happy for the show. However, if The Traitors had been nominated in this category and not Reality and Constructed Factual (which it won), The Masked Singer probably would have lost.

5. Rob and Romesh can’t resist a Holly and Phil joke

Days after claims of a feud between This Morning hosts Holly Willoughby and Phillip Schofield, hosts Beckett and Ranganathan cracked a joke at their expense during their opening monologue. At the start of the event, Beckett told the crowd: “Imelda Staunton is here. It’s exciting, isn’t it? She’s nominated for her performance in The Crown. Apparently, Phil and Holly got to watch that a couple of days before everybody else.” Beckett’s joke was a reference to the TV stars being accused of jumping the queue to see the Queen lying in state last year, which was met with a nationwide backlash.

Key Points

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INCYMI – Claudia Winkleman’s hilarious plea to her husband during her acceptance speech.

Claudia Winkleman makes hilarious plea to husband in Bafta TV acceptance speech

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The winner is Kate Winslet!

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Time for the final award of the night now – it’s leading actress, presented by Damian Lewis. Here are the nominees:

Billie Piper – I Hate Suzie Too (Sky Atlantic)

Imelda Staunton – The Crown (Netflix)

Kate Winslet – I Am Ruth (Channel 4)

Maxine Peake – Anne (Channel 4)

Sarah Lancashire – Julia (Sky Atlantic)

Vicky McClure – Without Sin (ITVX)

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And, of course Derry Girls wins.

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Time for scripted comedy – and the nominees are:

Am I Being Unreasonable? (BBC One)

Big Boys (Channel 4)

Derry Girls (Channel 4)

Ghosts (BBC One)

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And the winner is: Ben Whishaw for This is Going to Hurt.

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Lesley Manville is here to present the leading actor category:

Ben Whishaw – This is Going to Hurt (BBC One)

Chaske Spencer – The English (BBC Two)

Cillian Murphy – Peaky Blinders (BBC One)

Gary Oldman – Slow Horses (Apple TV Plus)

Martin Freeman – The Responder (BBC One)

Taron Egerton – Black Bird (Apple TV Plus)

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Some awards are not being televised, but you can find the full list of winners here:

See the winners at this year’s Bafta TV Awards

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Meera Syal, who never went to drama school, says the award “represents change”, but says “there’s still work to do”.

 (BBC)
(BBC)

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The Bafta Fellowship – presented by Adrian Lester – goes to the one-and-only Meera Syal.

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Woah, Bad Sisters beats Sherwood to take home one of the evening’s top prizes.

 (BBC)
(BBC)

20:27 , Jacob Stolworthy

We’re into the home stretch now, and next up is Drama series:

Bad Sisters (Apple TV Plus)

The Responder (BBC One)

Sherwood (BBC One)

Somewhere Boy (Channel 4)

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Adeel Akhtar wins for Sherwood! Been a big fan of Adeel’s ever since Utopia.

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Supporting actor now – and here are the nominees:

Adeel Akhtar – Sherwood (BBC One)

Jack Lowden – Slow Horses (Apple TV Plus)

Josh Finan – The Responder (BBC One)

Salim Daw – The Crown (Netflix)

Samuel Bottomley – Somewhere Boy (Channel 4)

Will Sharpe – The White Lotus (Sky Atlantic)

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Among the nominees are the Derry Girls finale, documentary The Real Mo Farah, the “first kiss” from Netflix series Heartstopper, the final Traitors showdown, the “Running Up That Hill” scene in Stranger Things and Paddington bear having tea with the Queen during the Platinum Jubilee: Party At The Palace celebrations.

Paddington Bear’s lunch with the late Queen wins.

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Now, it’s the onlky award that’s been voted for by the public – the year’s most memorable moment.

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The special award goes to historian David Olusoga for his documentary work.

 (BBC)
(BBC)

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It could only be The Traitors host Clauda Winkleman!

 (BBC)
(BBC)

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Oti and Motsbi Mabuse here now to announce Best Entertainment performance:

Big Zuu – Big Zuu’s Big Eats (Dave)

Claudia Winkleman – The Traitors (BBC One)

Lee Mack – The 1% Club (ITV1)

Mo Gilligan – The Lateish Show With Mo Gilligan (Channel 4)

Rosie Jones – Rosie Jones’ Trip Hazard (Channel 4)

Sue Perkins – Sue Perkins: Perfectly Legal (Netflix)

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Aaaand the winner is... Mood!

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Foru great titles nominated in the Mini-series category.

A Spy Among Friends (ITV)

Mood (BBC Three)

The Thief, His Wife and the Canoe (ITV)

This is Going to Hurt (BBC One)

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Now it’s time for the In Memoriam segment. Some big names were lost this year, including Paul O’Grady, Bernard Cribbins, Nichelle Nichols, Raymond Briggs, Jerry Springer, Bill Turnbull, Lance Reddick and Len Goodman.

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No offence to Lewis Capaldi, who is now performing, but this is a good time to grab a tea in between the awards action.

 (BBC)
(BBC)

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And the winner is Joe Lycett Vs Beckham: Got Your Back!

Lycett has had quite a few years...

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Next up is Features:

Big Zuu’s Big Eats (Dave)

Joe Lycett Vs Beckham: Got Your Back (Channel 4)

The Martin Lewis Money Show Live (ITV1)

The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan (BBC Two)

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Next up it’s single drama:

I Am Ruth (Channel 4)

The House (Netflix)

Life and Death in the Warehouse (BBC Three)...and the winner is I Am Ruth.

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The Masked Singer is officially a Bafta winner.

19:38 , Jacob Stolworthy

Now, it’s the turn of entertainment programme – and the nominees are:

Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway (ITV)

Later … With Jools Holland (BBC Two)

The Masked Singer (ITV)

Strictly Come Dancing (BBC One)

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Here’s that Holly and Phil joke INCYMI.

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The winner is Anne-Marie Duff for Bad Sisters!

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Now, it’s supporting actress:

Adelayo Adedayo – The Responder (BBC One)

Anne-Marie Duff – Bad Sisters (Apple TV Plus)

Fiona Shaw – Andor (Disney Plus)

Jasmine Jobson – Top Boy (Netflix)

Lesley Manville – Sherwood (BBC One)

Saffron Hocking – Top Boy (Netflix)

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Lenny Rush wins! And gives the sweetest speech there will be probably be tonight.

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Next up is Male performance in a comedy programme – and the nominees are:

Daniel Radcliffe – Weird: The Al Yankovic Story (The Roku Channel)

Jon Pointing – Big Boys (Channel 4)

Josept Gilgun – Brassic (Sky Max)

Lenny Rush – Am I Being Unreasonable? (BBC One)

Matt Berry – What We Do In The Shadows (Disney Plus)

Stephen Merchant – The Outlaws (BBC One)

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And the winner is, quite obviously, The Traitors.

 (BBC)
(BBC)

19:23 , Jacob Stolworthy

Next up is Reality and Constructed Factual:

Freddie Flintoff’s Field of Dreams (BBC One)

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK (BBC Three)

The Traitors (BBC One)

We Are Black and British (BBC Two)

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She seems genuinely surprised, which is really nice to see. Quips that the joke’s on her mum who wanted her to be a teacher, but now she’s won a Bafta for playing a teacher.

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And the winner is...

Sioban McSweeney for Derry Girls! Look, here’s proof.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

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Female Performance in a Comedy Programme is up first

The nominees are:

Daisy May Cooper – Am I Being Unreasonable? (BBC One)

Diane Morgan – Cunk on Earth (BBC Two)

Lucy Beaumont – Meet the Richardsons (Dave)

Natasia Demetriou – Ellie & Natasia (BBC Three)

Siobhán McSweeney – Derry Girls (Channel 4) -

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I think they’ve said ‘let’s start the show’ about five times...

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They did make a joke about Holly and Phil, though, and the queuegate debacle, joking that they got to watch The Crown “a few days before everyone else”.

19:09 , Jacob Stolworthy

Here are Rob and Romesh hosting – aside from a slight jibe at the BBC, they’re playing it quite safe.

 (BBC)
(BBC)

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The ceremony is taking place at Royal Festival Hall. Bit of celebrity head bopping as Calum Scott and Jax Jones perform, giving off strong Eurovision vibes. But the celebs don’t look as excited as the crowd in Liverpool were last night...

19:02 , Jacob Stolworthy

Well, here we go – comedy duo Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan are hosting the Bafta Television Awards. Let’s see if they’ll be much cop.

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It’s worth noting that the Baftas are in full swing in central London, so the winners are out there – but, this blog will be following along with the BBC broadcast, which begins at 7pm.

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Comedy star Daisy May Cooper is nominated for Am I Being Unreasonable? – will she win? Time will tell! Until then, here’s a picture of the star arriving at the Baftas.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

18:48 , Jacob Stolworthy

Martin Freeman is nominated for his lead role in BBC drama The Responder.

He faces tough competition from Ben Whishaw, Cillian Murphy, Gary Oldman, Chaske Spencer and Taron Egerton.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

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Kate Winslet, Leading Actress nominee for I Am Ruth, arriving at the Baftas.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

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Traitors host Clauda Winkleman arriving at the Baftas – with the word “faithful” emblazoned on her jacket.

 (Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock)
(Anthony Harvey/Shutterstock)

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The Responder may be the second-most nominated show this year, but not everybody was a fan.

The Independent’s TV critic Sean O’Grady gave the show a middling three-star review.

“Freeman’s scouse cop must deal with the berserk and barmy dregs of society – but why is it all so dimly lit?” asked O’Grady, who said the storyline’s “chaos” unfortunately extends to the show’s “very construction”.

Martin Freeman is on the edge of a breakdown in grim cop drama The Responder – review

Somewhere Boy

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Among this year’s nominees is Channel 4 series Somewhere Boy, which earned rave reviews when it was released in October last year.

The serires stars Lewis Gribben as a teenage boy who has been locked up inside his father’s house for his whole life. Read our interview with Gribben below...

Somewhere Boy’s Lewis Gribben: ‘I know what it’s like to be an outsider’

Drum roll, please...

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Tonight isn’t all about TV. Lewis Capaldi and dance music chart-topper Jax Jones will be performing as musical guests at the ceremony.

 (Getty)
(Getty)

Don’t expect a political opening monologue

18:10 , Annabel Nugent

Well, we know one subject is off the table for tonight’s opening monologue, which will likely be devoid of any contentious topics.

In a recent interview, Beckett said he believed that he and Romesh Ranganathan were appointed as hosts because “we’ll talk about us and our relationship rather than a hit list of stuff”.

There is one subject in particular that they will be avoiding.

“I know that [with] JK Rowling and Harry Potter, there’s something’s going on with it, I don’t really know [what], though. All I know is: ‘Don’t mention JK Rowling or Harry Potter at all,’” he said.

“You just think, that’s a red zone, that’s going to cause problems, don’t mention that.”

Rob Beckett says it’s not worth joking about ‘red zone’ JK Rowling

Richard Ayoade cracks joke about Will Smith slap in 2022 opening monologue

17:50 , Annabel Nugent

Last year’s host Richard Ayoade didn’t hold back in his opening monologue.

The comedian couldn’t resist quipping about Will Smith’s infamous Oscars slap, telling the audience: “In 1955, there were only six categories. Barely enough time to get up from your seat and slap someone before the whole ceremony would be over.”

Last year’s winners...

17:20 , Annabel Nugent

Cast your mind back to 2022 for a moment. It was a brilliant year for TV with Sean Bean’s prison drama Time and Stephen Graham’s Help raking in the awards at last year’s Baftas.

See below for the full list of 2022 Bafta TV award-winners here...

See the winners at this year’s Bafta TV Awards

And overseas...

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In the international category, Jenna Ortega’s smash hit series Wednesday battles it out against HBO’s The White Lotus, Apple TV’s Pachinko, The Bear, the French historical drama series Oussekine, and Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story – Netflix’s hugely controversial series about serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer.

Who is hosting the 2023 Bafta TV awards?

16:16 , Annabel Nugent

Tonight is sure to be an entertaining affair with comedy duo Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan taking on hosting duties.

 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

Where is Happy Valley?

16:04 , Annabel Nugent

If you’re anything like us, you’re reading the nominee list and thinking, “Where on earth is Happy Valley?”

The series is notably missing from the line-up but no, it’s not because Sally Wainwright’s BBC show didn’t make the cut.

In fact, Happy Valley was broadcast too late in the year to be eligible for the ceremony. You can still find Sarah Lancashire in the nominee list, however, thanks to her stunning performance as Julia Child in Julia.

 (BBC)
(BBC)

Full list of nominees

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Ahead of tonight’s ceremony, you can find the nominee list in full below...

Who are the frontrunners?

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The most nominated programmes are This is Going to Hurt and The Responder, which have six nominations each including leading actor for Ben Whishaw and Martin Freeman, respectively.

 (BBC/Sister/AMC/Anika Molnar)
(BBC/Sister/AMC/Anika Molnar)