The RadioTimes.com Awards are just around the corner and it’s time for you to vote for the Best Factual Show of the past 12 months.
TV undoubtedly got us through 2020, with documentaries in particular seeing a huge boom throughout the pandemic.
Stranger-than-fiction docuseries like Tiger King captivated the attentions of stuck-inside subscribers, while viewers donned their deer-stalkers whilst watching true-crime shows like Unsolved Mysteries.
Read on for the nominees, and be sure to vote in the poll – be quick as the poll is open between 2nd February 2021 (9am) and 14th February (5pm) so make sure you have your say.
The results of the RadioTimes.com Awards will be announced on 7th March 2021.
The Last Dance
Netflix scored a slam-dunk in July as far as basketball fans were concerned with the release of The Last Dance – a miniseries focussed on Chicago Bulls legend Michael Jordan. The 10-part sport doc, which featured interviews with NBA stars like Dennis Rodman, Phil Jackson, Steve Kerr and Jordan himself, looked back on the pro’s stellar career and picked up an Emmy as a result.
Arguably one of the biggest names of 2020, private zoo keeper Joe Exotic shot into the public consciousness after starring in Netflix’s record-breaking docuseries Tiger King. The seven-part show looks at the booming community of big cat owners in America, focussing in particular on the rivalry between Exotic’s G.W. Zoo in Oklahoma and conservationist Carole Baskin’s Big Cat Rescue in Florida. With the strange sequence of events resulting in Exotic’s imprisonment, Tiger King became many subscribers’ very first lockdown obsession.
The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty
In July, BBC Two aired The Rise of the Murdoch Dynasty – fascinating three-part documentary, examining media mogul Rupert Murdoch’s monopoly of power, his strong political links and the News International phone hacking scandal that closed News of the World. Featuring interviews with Michael Heseltine, Nigel Farage, Piers Morgan, Andrew Neil and Hugh Grant among other huge names, the docuseries shone a revealing light on Murdoch’s media empire, with many viewers noting similarities between the show and US drama Succession.
Viewers honed in on their amateur sleuth skills whilst watching Netflix’s reboot of true-crime show Unsolved Mysteries in July. The docuseries, which was released in two parts throughout the year, re-examined cold cases from the recent past by looking at established evidence, recording new interviews and urging fans to come forward with tips – resulting in the FBI re-opening the case of Alonzo Brooks’ death.
Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich
Based on James Patterson’s book of the same name, Netflix docuseries Jeffrey Epstein: Filthy Rich looked at the life of the convicted paedophile, who died in prison in August 2019. The four-part Netflix docuseries speaks to a “sisterhood of survivors” who allege they were abused by Epstein and his close circle whilst following the criminal case against him.
In February, Netflix released The Pharmacist – a docuseries focussing on small-town pharmacist Dan Schneider and his efforts to identity his son’s killer. The series, told from Schneider’s perspective, follows the Louisiana-based pharmacist as he investigates the murder of his son Danny, who was killed whilst purchasing crack cocaine, and how he built evidence against a prolific ‘pill mill’ doctor as a result.
I’ll Be Gone in the Dark
Another true-crime doc that caught the attention of viewers was I’ll Be Gone in the Dark – Sky/HBO’s series focussing on late author Michelle McNamara’s investigation into the Golden State Killer. Featuring interviews with McNamara’s widower, actor Patton Oswalt, as well as police officers and forensic scientists, this six-part series looks at the serial killer’s horrific crimes throughout the 70’s and 80’s and McNamara’s pain-staking efforts to catch him before she died in 2018.
David Attenborough: A Life on Our Planet
This list wouldn’t be complete without the king of nature documentaries himself – Sir David Attenborough. The 94-year-old’s latest series, A Life on Our Planet, looked at humanity’s impact on nature, with Attenborough sharing his first-hand concerns for the health of the planet. From examining biodiversity loss in the African Serengeti to predicting the melting of the Arctic, this Netflix series is a moving cry for action from Attenborough and a dire warning of what the planet could become if we don’t act now.
Vote in all categories, including Best Factual below:
Find out more about the other RadioTimes.com Awards categories here:
- Best Drama
- Best Comedy
- Best Film
- Best Sci-Fi/Fantasy
- Best Entertainment
- Best Soap
- Sporting Moment of the Year
- TV Moment of the Year
If you’re looking for something to watch, check out our TV Guide.