Ant and Dec secure early success at Bafta TV Awards

The annual ceremony is taking place in London.
The annual ceremony is taking place in London.

Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway has claimed the first award of the TV Baftas, for best entertainment programme.

The presenting duo took to the stage at the Royal Festival Hall on London’s Southbank to collect their award, marking the fourth time they have won in the category.

Ant McPartlin said: “What a great start to the night” before Declan Donnelly added: “We were convinced we weren’t going to get it this year so we came for a bit of a party.”

Hosted by comedian Richard Ayoade, the event celebrates the best of British television across multiple awards.

Bafta chairman Krishnendu Majumdar opened the event with a speech addressing diversity and the changing media landscape, before paying tribute to TV journalists working in Ukraine and Sir Billy Connolly, who will receive the Bafta fellowship during the ceremony.

Lorraine Kelly sent a “special hello” to Prime Minister Boris Johnson as she took to the stage to present the news coverage award.

She joked: “Hello and a special hello to Boris. I’m Lorraine. It’s lovely to see you,” prompting cheers and laughter from the audience.

Mr Johnson appeared not to know who Kelly was during an interview with Good Morning Britain earlier this week.

The award went to ITV News At Ten for its coverage of the storming of the US Capitol.

Cathy Tyson won best supporting actress for Channel 4 series Help, which also stars Jodie Comer and Stephen Graham.

Virgin BAFTA TV Awards 2022 – London
Stephen Graham (Ian West/PA)

The 56-year-old actress struggled to hold back tears as she thanked the broadcaster during her speech.

She said: “I remember as a teenager when Channel 4 was born and it has had many good things to do with diversity and providing a voice for the people who were unheard.”

Tyson added: “I stand with Ukraine and the Russian people.”

Channel 4 series It’s A Sin leads the nominations with seven in total, after scooping up two Bafta TV Craft Awards last month.

The series, written and created by Queer As Folk and Doctor Who screenwriter Russell T Davies, follows a group of gay men and their friends as they navigate the UK’s HIV/Aids crisis throughout the 80s and early 90s.

Three of the show’s stars, Callum Scott Howells, Omari Douglas and David Carlyle, are going head-to-head in the best supporting actor category.

Years and Years singer Olly Alexander is in the running for the best leading actor award for his role in the show.

He faces competition from David Thewlis for Landscapers, Hugh Quarshie for Stephen, Samuel Adewunmi for You Don’t Know Me, Sean Bean for Time and Stephen Graham for Help.

Graham is a double nominee, also recognised for BBC prison drama Time in the supporting actor category.

Earlier, Brit award-winning singer George Ezra opened the red carpet with a performance of his new single Green Green Grass.