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Sarah Lancashire ‘shell-shocked’ after special recognition award win at NTAs

Happy Valley actress Sarah Lancashire has said that she feels “shell-shocked” after winning the special recognition gong at the National Television Awards.

The award recognises individuals or programmes that have made an impact in television or broadcasting for their exceptional contributions to the industry.

After Sir Ian McKellen announced Lancashire, 58, as the winner, the actress gave an acceptance speech and said: “You have no idea what it’s like to have so many lovely things said about you by so many people that you love and admire.

National Television Awards 2023 – London
Sarah Lancashire, winner of the Special Recognition award and the Drama Performance award for her work in Happy Valley, with Sir Ian McKellen (Lucy North/PA)

She added: “I have been so very fortunate to spend my working life doing a job that I love, made possible by brilliantly talented people, producers, directors, writers, actors and I am exceptionally lucky to have enjoyed every moment of it.

“But there are also enablers, who stand quietly in the wings without expectation for credit, they are my family, my husband, my children, my friends, my agent…

“And of course a very vital component in all this is you, the audience, because without you all this would grind to a crashing halt.”

Following her win, the actress spoke at the winners’ room and said that she felt “shell-shocked”.

“I’m just absolutely shell-shocked”, she said.

“It’s a tremendous moment, I’m so thrilled…

“I received this from Sir Ian McKellen and that’s remarkable.”

Lancashire also won an award for best drama performance for her role as Catherine Cawood in TV series Happy Valley.

Previous recipients of the NTA’s special recognition award include Doctor Who’s David Tennant, comedian Sir Lenny Henry and journalist David Dimbleby.

Other celebrities to have won at the NTA’s this year include singer Lewis Capaldi, who won in the authored documentary category for Lewis Capaldi: How I’m Feeling Now, and the late TV star Paul O’Grady who won posthumously in the factual entertainment category for his show For The Love Of Dogs.