“Strictly Come Dancing” and BBC One among winners at RTS Programme Awards

The docuseries 9/11: One Day in America and the competition series Strictly Come Dancing were among the winners of the 2022 Royal Television Society (RTS) Programme Awards, which were handed ...
March 31, 2022

The docuseries 9/11: One Day in America and the competition series Strictly Come Dancing were among the winners of the 2022 Royal Television Society (RTS) Programme Awards, which were handed out at a ceremony in London.

“To be reunited in person this evening at the RTS Programme Awards, amongst the incredible community of talent from the television industry, is a truly remarkable moment,” said RTS Programme Awards chair Kenton Allen. “All of tonight’s winners are fantastic examples of the outstanding content that has been produced in the UK and has resonated with audiences not only here but globally.”

The RTS Programme Awards recognize programs that have made a positive contribution to their genre “worthy of acclaim by the industry and UK viewers.”

Winning the prestigious Judges’ Award this year was the popular dance competition Strictly Come Dancing (pictured), currently in its 19th season. Last fall the show welcomed its first Deaf contestant, Rose Ayling-Ellis, who became the first disabled person to win the show’s glitterball trophy.

Last year also saw the show’s first casting of a male dance couple, John Whaite and Johannes Radebe, a year after the first same-sex couple, Nicola Adams and Katja Jones, debuted on the show.

These casting decisions “showed just how hard the producers strive to keep Strictly Come Dancing fresh, modern, and ultimately reflective of its vast, diverse and appreciative audience,” RTS said in a statement.

BBC One took the prize for RTS Network of the Year, edging out fellow nominees ITV and Sky Arts. The judges’ statement said the network “is impressive because of its sheer quality… it is, quite simply, the best in class.”

The docuseries 9/11: One Day in America, produced by 72 Films for National Geographic and Hulu, was named best documentary series. “An exceptional series, amazingly well-produced and with exceptional storytelling,” said the judges in a statement.

Also nominated in the category were Undercover Police: Hunting Paedophiles (BBC Studios for Channel 4) and Liverpool Narcos (Blast! Films and Sky Studios for Sky Documentaries).

The Passion Pictures documentary Lady Boss: The Jackie Collins Story for BBC won the top prize in the arts category. The judges said the doc “showed a real honesty, great depth, and felt like a genuine appointment to view.”

African Apocalypse (Inside Out Films & Lemkino Pictures for BBC) and Freddie Mercury: The Final Act (Rogan Productions for BBC) were the other nominees in the category.

Chwarel’s The Great House Giveaway for Channel 4 was named best daytime program, with the judges saying that it “offered a refreshing new take and felt like a relevant, welcome addition to the daytime schedule.”

Also nominated in that category were Rare TV’s Expert Witness and Remarkable TV’s Richard Osman’s House of Games, both for the BBC.

Taking the prize for best entertainment program was The Big Breakfast from Lifted Entertainment for Channel 4, which the judges said “felt both joyful and timely, with a special chemistry all of its own.”

Also nominated in the category were Boom’s Big Zuu’s Big Eats (Dave) and Bandicoot Scotland’s The Masked Singer (ITV).

Five Mile Films’ The Dog House (Channel 4) took the award for best formatted popular factual program. “This is a great format which is incredibly well-cast and includes a bit of stealthy learning along the way,” said the judges.

Ricochet’s The Repair Shop (BBC) and Naked’s The Rap Game UK (BBC) were also up for the award.

Uprising, produced by Rogan Productions, Lammas Park and Turbine Studios for BBC, won the top prize in the history category, with the judges calling it “a landmark piece: impactful, intelligent, and a piece of contemporary history told with real skill.”

Other nominees in the history category were 9/11: Life Under Attack (Brook Lapping for ITV in association with France Télévisions, the History Channel and VPRO) and 9/11: Inside the President’s War Room (Wish/Art Films for BBC and Apple TV+).

The award for best single documentary went to Hardcash Productions’ Rape: Who’s On Trial? for Channel 4. “An extraordinary programme,” the judges said of the project, calling it “affecting, memorable and powerful — a truly admirable achievement in storytelling and access.”

The Return: Life After ISIS (Alba Sotorra Productions and MetFilm for Sky Documentaries) and Grenfell: The Untold Story (BBC Studios for Channel 4) were also nominated in the category.

Finally, the science and natural history award went to Twenty Twenty’s David Harewood: Why Is COVID Killing People of Colour? The judges said “this was broad, expansive and intelligent, and brought a different way of approaching science programme making.”

Wingspan Production’s Horizon Special: The Vaccine for BBC and Wonderhood Studios’ Baby Surgeons: Delivering Miracles for Channel 4 were also nominated.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.