Three Girls actress Molly Windsor was the shock recipient of the Leading Actress prize at the 2018 Bafta TV Awards, beating hot favourite Claire Foy, Line of Duty’s Thandie Newton and Sinead Keenan (Little Boy Blue).
Her win was one of two prizes for Three Girls, based on the real-life story of the Rochdale abuse ring, which also picked up the gong for Best Mini-Series.
This Country also took home an awards double, winning Best Comedy Programme and Best Female Comedy Performance for creator Daisy May Cooper, while Peaky Blinders saw off competition from The Crown to win Best Drama Series and Britain’s Got Talent beat Saturday Night Takeaway to claim Best Entertainment Programme.
The Detectorists may have only been nominated for Best Male Comedy Performance but Toby Jones was the victor, informing the audience that creator Mackenzie Crook had told him he would be spending his evening “training my robin in the back garden”.
Love Island was the odds-on favourite to win Reality and Constructed Factual and duly claimed victory, while Sean Bean (Broken) picked up Leading Actor and Vanessa Kirby (The Crown) and Brian F O’Byrne (Little Boy Blue) won in the supporting categories.
Murdered for Being Different beat Black Mirror episode Hang the DJ in the Best Single Drama category, while Casualty beat favourite Emmerdale to win Soap and Continuing Drama.
In a Bake Off-free Features category, the shock recipient was Cruising with Jane McDonald, with Ambulance winning Best Factual Series, and Rio Ferdinand delivering a moving acceptance speech after picking up Best Single Documentary for Being Mum and Dad.
The ceremony was presented by former Bake Off host Sue Perkins, who opened by quipping, “you might know me from leaving some of the most successful shows on television.”
Her monologue and subsequent gags were a highlight of the evening, which also collected together the previous winners of Strictly Come Dancing for a sequin-laden performance to A Chorus Line’s One.
The evening’s biggest ovation went to Sir David Attenborough whose programme Blue Planet was overlooked in the Specialist Factual category but claimed the viewer-voted Must-See Moment for its footage of a grieving pilot whale.
“We set out to try and show the seas, the oceans, for what they are – their beauty, their wonder, their splendour, their intricacy but also the truth about what we’re doing to them,” Attenborough told the audience. “The fact that one particular moment rang a bell in minds and consciences in this country is something that pleases us more than I can say.”