Top Boy and Happy Valley triumph at TV Baftas

Sarah Lancashire accepts the Leading Actress Award for 'Happy Valley' onstage during the 2024 BAFTA Television Awards with P&O Cruises at The Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2024 in London, England.
Sarah Lancashire won best actress for her performance in the final series of Happy Valley [Getty Images]

The final seasons of Top Boy and Happy Valley were among the big winners at the Bafta TV Awards on Sunday.

Top Boy, which first aired on Channel 4 but was revived by Netflix, won the prestigious best drama award.

It held off competition from Happy Valley, but the BBC drama won best actress for Sarah Lancashire as well as the memorable moment prize.

There were also special awards for daytime TV star Lorraine Kelly and Baroness Floella Benjamin.

Happy Valley star Lancashire thanked the BBC "for giving this very British drama a very British home".

She said winning the award was "an honour" and thanked the show's "formidable cast and crew".

The actress paid tribute to creator and writer Sally Wainwright. "I shall forever be grateful to you for this opportunity," she said.

Happy Valley also won most memorable moment, the only prize voted for by the public.

The scene which won was the dramatic conclusion of the series which saw Sergeant Catherine Cawood have a final showdown with Tommy Lee Royce in her kitchen.

"Thanks to Sally Wainwright for writing that memorable scene where my dad blows himself up in front of my grandma," joked actor Rhys Connah.

Top Boy wins top prizes

Top Boy, a series about the lives of two drug dealers on a Hackney estate, won the prestigious best drama trophy.

The show's producer Charles Steel paid tribute to the drama's stars Ashley Walters and Kane Robinson, who "created these incredible characters and brought them to life".

Jasmine Jobson was named best supporting actress for her performance in the show.

The actress told the audience she was "overwhelmed" to win the prize, and concluded with a tribute to her niece.

Jobson said: "My baby girl, Auntie Jasmine did it - I did it! The girl finally brought it home."

Speaking backstage, Jobson added: "I was just a normal girl from west London that was just trying to do better for myself and was just wishing and hoping for the best."

"And one day I went from working in a bar full time and acting part time to suddenly acting full time, and now acting pays my bills. So Top Boy changed my life."

Jobson held off competition from The Crown's Elizabeth Debicki and Lesley Manville.

It was a bad night overall for Netflix's royal series, which went home empty handed.

Timothy Spall endorses IMDB

Timothy Spall accepts the Leading Actor Award for 'The Sixth Commandment' onstage during the 2024 BAFTA Television Awards with P&O Cruises at The Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2024 in London, England.
Timothy Spall joked viewers could "look [the show] up on IMDB" in place of his acceptance speech [Getty Images]

Timothy Spall was named best actor for his performance in The Sixth Commandment, about the deaths of Peter Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin.

"This is a story about many things, about terrible crimes, but it's also about love," Spall said of the series, which also won best limited drama.

"We're privileged, particularly when you're telling real stories about real lives, that people give you permission to do this. We're just storytellers really."

Spall said he had not prepared an acceptance speech because he did not expect to win.

He joked viewers should instead "look it all up on IMDB, and you'll see who was involved" in making the series.

Elsewhere, the In Memoriam section was accompanied by an instrumental version of Friends theme tune I'll Be There For You, and included a tribute to actor Matthew Perry.

It also featured talk show host Sir Michael Parkinson, Strictly professional Robin Windsor, newsreader George Alagiah and Dad's Army star Ian Lavender.

Floella Benjamin wins Bafta Fellowship

 Baroness Floella Benjamin accepts the Fellowship Award onstage during the 2024 BAFTA Television Awards with P&O Cruises at The Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2024 in London, England.
Baroness Floella Benjamin won the prestigious Bafta Fellowship [Getty Images]

Baroness Benjamin won the prestigious Bafta Fellowship, an award which was introduced by a video message from the Prince of Wales.

He paid tribute to her "groundbreaking work with children and young people; her longstanding commitment to television broadcasting; and for her work as an unwavering champion of inclusion".

In her acceptance speech, Baroness Benjamin said: "I feel blessed, looking back at my adventurous journey, sparkled with affection but also challenges and adversities."

"I've been told 'shut up, or you'll never work again' when I spoke out. But my mission over the last 50 years has been to get broadcasters to have diversity and inclusion in their DNA.

"And I am so proud of my work for children, making them feel loved, confident, hopeful and worthy, as I took them through the windows of imagination."

She added: "It's important that we provide high quality, regulated content, which reflects children's lives, no matter where or how they're watching."

Strictly winners

Tess Daley (L) and Claudia Winkleman (R) hold the award for the Best Entertainment category for 'Strictly Come Dancing' during the 2024 BAFTA TV Awards at the Royal Festival Hall in London, Britain, 12 May 2024.
Strictly Come Dancing host Tess Daly said it had been "the most wonderful series" [EPA]

Best scripted comedy went to Such Brave Girls, a BBC Three series which follows a single mother and her two daughters and how they cope after their husband and father leaves.

Creator and star Kat Sadler said: "Writing is really hard and this is really nice, so thank you."

Other winners included Strictly Come Dancing, which was named best entertainment programme.

Host Tess Daly said it had been "the most wonderful series", adding: "We may be tapping up a few of you in the room for the next series."

"Thank you Bafta for making it worth putting on Spanx on the hottest day of the year," she joked.

Joe Lycett, won best entertainment performance, holding off competition from Graham Norton and Ant and Dec.

Lycett paid tribute to the people of Birmingham and jokingly paid tribute to his parents, "Anne Boleyn and Henry VIII."

Referring to his extravagant outfit, he joked: "I lost a bet.. hence this."

Joe Lycett accepts the Entertainment Performance Award for 'Late Night Lycett' from Lenny Rush onstage during the 2024 BAFTA Television Awards with P&O Cruises at The Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2024 in London, England. (
Joe Lycett explained his unusual outfit was because he had "lost a bet" [Getty Images]

Mawaan Rizwan won best performance in a comedy for BBC Three's Juice.

In his acceptance speech, Rizwan joked: "Thank you to my therapist - we had a conversation last week where we said I had to stop relying on external forms of validation. Bad timing!"

There was a similarly humorous speech from Gbemisola Ikumelo, who won best female performance in a comedy for Black Ops.

She joked her agent would be telling her next employers: "Yesterday's price is not today's price!"

Collecting the award, she referred to recent efforts to diversify the Bafta Awards and the TV industry, commenting: "This is how you know diversity is working!"

Gbemisola Ikumelo holds her award for the Best Female Comedy performance during the 2024 BAFTA TV Awards at the Royal Festival Hall in London, Britain, 12 May 2024
Gbemisola Ikumelo said her win proved "diversity is working" [EPA]

Last year's Eurovision Song Contest won best live event coverage, the day after this year's contest was held in Sweden.

Hannah Waddingham, who hosted the 2023 event, said: "The week we had this time last year was, for everybody here, the most exceptional, stressful week, but so fabulous."

Matthew Macfadyen won best supporting actor for Succession, but was not at the ceremony in person to collect the award.

Read more about the winning shows:

Swimmer Ellie Simmonds won best documentary for her programme Finding My Secret Family.

"I wouldn't be here without my mum and dad adopting me and my four other siblings," she said.

"I love you, and my birth mum as well, for meeting me at the end and having all those answers."

Elsewhere, one of the night's biggest surprises was Class Act winning best international TV show, beating heavy hitters including Beef, The Bear and Succession.

Lorraine 'honoured' by special award

Lorraine Kelly accepts the Special Award onstage during the 2024 BAFTA Television Awards with P&O Cruises at The Royal Festival Hall on May 12, 2024 in London, England.
[Getty Images]

Actor Brian Cox presented Kelly's prize, paying tribute to her four decades in television.

Kelly said: "I've got to thank everybody that I've worked with over the past 40 years, and I'm really proud to work on breakfast and daytime telly, because we're campaigning, we're groundbreaking, but we also have an awful lot of fun."

"I'm so honoured our viewers think of me as a friend, that's incredible."

She referred to her "working class Glasgow background" adding that she "wants everyone to have those opportunities" in the TV industry.

Director Andy Mundy, whose programme White Nanny, Black Child won the specialist factual award, became emotional during his acceptance speech.

"This has been a tough, tough place to break into, I come from a council estate in Brixton," he said. "I've dreamed for many years about being on this stage.

"I just want to say to people who come from the same background as me, keep on dreaming, keep on working, keep on getting into good trouble."

Channel 4 News's Inside Gaza: Israel And Hamas At War won the news coverage award.

Journalist Matt Frei dedicated the award to all the journalists who had been killed covering wars this year.

Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan, who were also hosting the ceremony, won the prize for comedy entertainment programme.