The winners of the Royal Television Society Northern Ireland (RTS NI) 7th Programme Awards were announced last night (26th May) at a glittering awards ceremony in City Hall, Belfast hosted by actress and TV presenter Denise Van Outen and sponsored by Ka-Boom.
A local broadcasting legend who has enthralled audiences across the UK and Ireland for more than 60 years and continues to do so today, Gloria Hunniford, OBE was awarded the coveted Brian Waddell Award for her outstanding contribution to the broadcast industry.
Born in Portadown, Gloria started her media life at the launch of Ulster Television in 1959 when the late Brian Waddell took her on as a production assistant behind the scenes. It wasn’t long before her talent shone through and she worked as both a journalist and presenter at Radio Ulster and on UTV’s Good Evening Ulster during the 70s and 80s before moving to London and becoming a household name with her own radio show on BBC Radio 2. Since then, Gloria has presented her own TV shows on both BBC and ITV including chat show Sunday Sunday, Gloria Live, Holiday and Songs of Praise amongst many more for which she won prestigious awards including TV Personality of the Year, Radio Personality of the Year and a Lifetime Achievement Award. More recently she gave Channel 5 some of its highest ratings with Open House with Gloria and she is still a familiar face on TV today on BBC’s Rip off Britain and The One Show and ITV’s This Morning and Loose Women.
Gloria Hunniford said: “I am so honoured and thrilled to receive this award, especially as Brian Waddell gave me my first major daily TV programme with Good Evening Ulster, he was a great inspiration and friend to me. I have truly enjoyed an amazing career and been lucky enough to have been given some fantastic opportunities throughout my career to promote the wealth of creative talent from Northern Ireland. It’s an extremely exciting time for our local film and television industry and it’s a privilege to be part of it, long may our work continue to flourish on the global stage.”
Fiona Campbell, Chair of RTS NI said: “It is an honour to celebrate the incredible talent of Gloria Hunniford. Back in the 70s Gloria paved the way for others like me to break into the all too often male dominated newsrooms, she is a true trailblazer and one of our own who continues to be a role model for women in the creative industries. Very few women can claim a career in broadcasting like Gloria spanning almost 60 years and she is as strong on TV today as she ever was. Congratulations to all our winners and nominees this year, who represent the best of the exceptional talent now so evident in Northern Ireland.”
The Entertainment Award went to Stellify Media for Celebrity Snoop Dogs for Channel 4 and Fired Up Films was awarded the Best Documentary for Delorean: Back from the Future for BBC NI with Paper Owl Films picking up the best Children’s and/or Animation Award for Sol shown on TG4, S4C and BBC Alba.
High Road: Low Road from Green Inc Film and Television for RTÉ was the winner in the Features and/or Factual Entertainment category with the award for Outstanding On-Screen Talent featured in a Production going to Patrick Kielty for One Hundred Years of Union by Dragonfly Film and Television and Open University for BBC One.
Colm Tóibín – On Memory’s Shore by Below the Radar for RTÉ One won the Specialist Factual Award with the award for Scripted Comedy going to The Paddy Raff Show by Nice One Productions for BBC One NI.
The Current Affairs Award went to Spotlight: Undercover Pups for Sale for BBC NI and the Original Music Score was won by Hannah Peel, New Pictures for The Deceived for Channel 5.
UTV LIVE picked up the News Award for its Ballymurphy News Special and the Drama Award went to Studio Lambert for Three Families for BBC One.
Maeve McLoughlin, Chair of RTS NI Awards Committee said: “This is the seventh year of our programme awards and the high quality of all the entries is hugely reflective of our dynamic creative community and the tremendous programmes created during lockdown to entertain the nation. The judges had a tough time deciding the eventual winners so congratulations to everyone who was nominated as well as tonight’s winners. The RTS NI is an educational charity and events like tonight give us the opportunity to highlight and celebrate the wonderful achievements of our vibrant film and TV industry.”
The RTS NI Programme Awards 2022 are delivered in partnership with BBC Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen and Channel 4, along with headline sponsor Ka-Boom. The full list of winners and finalists are:
Entertainment – sponsored by NEP UK & Ireland
Winner: Stellify Media: Celebrity Snoop Dogs for Channel 4.
Finalists: Nice One Productions & Fizz TV: Lightning and BBC Northern Ireland: Music Collaborations.
Documentary – sponsored by Ulster Screen Academy
Winner: Fired Up Films: Delorean: Back from the Future for BBC Northern Ireland
Finalists: Alleycats: Unspoken and Dragonfly Film and Television & Open University: Patrick Kielty: One Hundred Years of Union.
Children’s and / or Animation – sponsored by Millar McCall Wylie
Winner: Paper Owl Films: Sol for TG4, S4C and BBC Alba.
Finalists: Tyrone Productions: My Life: Made to Measure and Zodiak Kids Studios: Secret Life of Boys.
Features and / or Factual Entertainment sponsored by Performance Film and Media Insurance
Winner: Green Inc Film and Television: High Road, Low Road for RTÉ
Finalists: Big Mountain Productions: Peataí and BBC Northern Ireland: Ulster by the Sea.
Outstanding On-Screen Talent Featured in a Production sponsored by Minted Content Ireland
Winner: Patrick Kielty: One Hundred Years of Union: Dragonfly Film and Television & Open University for BBC One
Finalists: Josh Jones: Fast Food Face Off: Stellify Media and Stephen Nolan: BBC Northern Ireland.
Specialist Factual sponsored by Abbas Media Law
Winner: Below the Radar: Colm Tóibín – On Memory’s Shore for RTÉ ONE
Finalists: State of Grace Films / Stray Bear Films: Different League: The Derry City Story And Fired Up Films: Delorean: Back from the Future.
Scripted Comedy sponsored by City Air Express
Winner: Nice One Productions: The Paddy Raff Show for BBC One Northern Ireland
Finalists: Green Inc Film and Television: Free Gaff and The Hole in the Wall Gang: Give My Head Peace: Christmas Special.
Current Affairs sponsored by Queen’s University, Belfast
Winner: Spotlight: Undercover: Pups for Sale for BBC Northern Ireland
Finalists: UTV: Up Close: Minority Report and UTV: Up Close: An Island’s Shame
Original Music Score– sponsored by Screenskills
Winner: New Pictures: Hannah Peel: The Deceived for Channel 5
Finalists: Studio Lambert: Andrew Simon McAllister: Three Families and World Productions: Carly Paradis: Line of Duty.
Winner: UTV Live: Ballymurphy News Special for UTV
Finalists: BBC Northern Ireland’s Political Unit: The View and UTV: UTV Live
Drama sponsored by Yellowmoon
Winner: Studio Lambert: Three Families for BBC One
Finalists: World Productions: Line of Duty and New Pictures: Dalgliesh
The Winner of the Brian Waddell Award for Outstanding Contribution – sponsored by Kaboom is Gloria Hunniford, OBE.