Now Reading
Lennie James Wins Royal Television Society Programme Award For Writer of “Save Me”

Lennie James Wins Royal Television Society Programme Award For Writer of “Save Me”

Winners of the prestigious Royal Television Society Programme Awards (RTS) were this Tuesday 19th March by comedian Shappi Khorsandi at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. Sky Alantic’s Save Me was recognised in two separate categories: Drama Series and Writer – Drama for Lennie James. The show was praised by judges for “its authenticity as a series, and captivating performances throughout.” Save Me is written by and created by Lennie James. Six -part thriller Save Me is on Sky Atlantic and is about east Londoner Nelly (Lennie James), accused of kidnapping his estranged daughter after breaking up with her mother Claire (Suranne Jones). Image credit: Sky Atlantic

Guests in attendance included the cast of Hollyoaks and Coronation Street, star of Killing Eve and Actor (Female) winner Jodie Comer and legendary actress Lesley Manville, who picked up the award for Comedy Performance – Female for Mum.

The RTS Programme Awards seek to recognise programmes which, in the year in question, have made a material and positive contribution to their genre: either because their originality in form or content has in some way moved the genre on, or perhaps created a new genre; or because their quality has set standards which other programme-makers can learn from and emulate.

Full list of Winners:

Actor (Female)

WINNER – Jodie Comer Killing Eve (Sid Gentle Films for BBC One)

The judges described this performance as “already iconic, and impossible to imagine anyone else inhabiting the role in quite the same way”.


  • Sandra Oh Killing Eve (Sid Gentle Films for BBC One)
  • Michaela Coel Black Earth Rising (Forgiving Earth for BBC Two)

Actor (Male)

WINNER – Lucian Msamati Kiri (The Forge Entertainment for Channel 4)

The judges called the actor’s work in this piece “harrowing, unsentimental and nuanced…an extraordinarily brilliant performance”.


  • Ben Whishaw A Very English Scandal (Blueprint Pictures for BBC One)
  • Lennie James Save Me (World Productions for Sky Atlantic)


WINNER – The Art of Drumming (Wall to Wall Media for Sky Arts)

“A stand out piece of programming, presenting the familiar in a wholly new way without missing a beat”


  • Black Hollywood: “They’ve Gotta Have Us” (AFL Films for BBC Two)
  • Germaine Bloody Greer (Big Wheel Film & Television for BBC Two

Breakthrough Award

WINNER – Nabhaan Rizwan Informer (Neal Street Productions for BBC One)

“An exciting new talent who is clearly destined for an exceptional future. The performance was simply incredible.”


  • Mo Gilligan The Big Narstie Show (Expectation / Dice Productions for Channel 4)
  • Alice Feetham Save Me (World Productions for Sky Atlantic)

Children’s Programme

WINNER – Prosiect Z (Boom Cymru for S4C)

“Thoroughly engaging throughout, with a great narrative and a real sense of jeopardy at its centre”.


  • My Life: Locked in Boy (Sugar Films for CBBC)
  • Jacqueline Wilson’s Katy (BBC Children’s In-House Productions for CBBC)

Comedy Performance (Female)

WINNER – Lesley Manville Mum (Big Talk Productions in association with The Money Men for BBC Two)

“Extremely funny, nuanced and beautifully balanced” … “Her performance really did set a new benchmark for excellence in this genre”


  • Sian Gibson Peter Kay’s Car Share – The Finale (Goodnight Vienna Productions for BBC One)
  • Daisy May Cooper This Country (BBC Studios for BBC Three)

Comedy Performance (Male)

WINNER – Steve Pemberton & Reece Shearsmith Inside No. 9 (BBC Studios for BBC Two)

The judges called the work here “astonishing and committed, simply a masterclass in comedy performance at the very highest level”.


  • Alex Murphy & Chris Walley The Young Offenders (Vico Films for BBC Three)
  • Samson Kayo Famalam (BBC Studios for BBC Three)

Daytime Programme

WINNER – The Repair Shop (Ricochet for BBC Two)

“An original and engaging programme with lots of heart and great production values”


  • Moving On – Invisible (LA Productions for BBC One)
  • Murder, Mystery and My Family (Chalkboard TV for BBC One)

Documentary Series

WINNER – Prison (Spring Films for Channel 4)

“Cutting deeper than most immersive access documentaries, this series had a droll and provocative tone which emerged through astonishing scenes, encounters and characters”


  • Love and Hate Crime (Top Hat Productions for BBC One)
  • Drugsland (BBC Studios – Unscripted Productions and The Open University for BBC Three)

Drama Series

WINNER – Save Me (World Productions for Sky Atlantic)

“So fresh and authentic, it was if the dialogue was real rather than written. An astonishing achievement”


  • Killing Eve (Sid Gentle Films for BBC One)
  • Peaky Blinders (Caryn Mandabach Productions and Tiger Aspect Productions for BBC Two)


WINNER – The Last Leg (Open Mike for Channel 4)

“Bold and totally brilliant, entertaining its audience with seemingly endless creative inventiveness”.


  • Britain’s Got Talent (Syco / Thames for ITV)
  • Don’t Hate The Playaz (Monkey Kingdom for ITV2)

Entertainment Performance

WINNER – Big Narstie and Mo Gilligan The Big Narstie Show (Expectation / Dice Productions for Channel 4)

“A complete breath of fresh air, refreshingly raw, authentic and VERY entertaining.”


  • Jennifer Hudson The Voice UK (ITV Studios and Talpa for ITV)
  • Michael McIntyre Michael McIntyre’s Big Show (Hungry McBear for BBC One)

Formatted Popular Factual

WINNER – The Real Full Monty: Ladies Night (Spun Gold TV for ITV)

“A deftly handled, original piece of work which has genuinely made its own impact on the factual landscape”


  • Gordon, Gino and Fred’s Road Trip: The French Connection (Studio Ramsay for ITV)
  • Mortimer & Whitehouse: Gone Fishing (Owl Power for BBC Two)


WINNER – A Dangerous Dynasty: The House of Assad (72 Films for BBC Two)

“An accessible, compelling piece with some astonishing archive and telling an important story”


  • Holocaust: The Revenge Plot (Caravan for Channel 4)
  • The Ruth Ellis Files: A Very British Crime Story (Wall to Wall for BBC Four)

Live Event

WINNER – The Royal Wedding: Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (BBC Studios for BBC One)

“A very British spectacle captured with great style and flair”


  • The Real Full Monty Live (Spun Gold for ITV)
  • Glyndebourne Opera Cup (Factory Films for Sky Arts)


WINNER – A Very English Scandal (Blueprint Pictures for BBC One)

“An exceptionally confident drama that couldn’t be more relevant in these uncertain times, but written and performed with a sense of both lightness and outrage.”


  • The Cry (Synchronicity Films for BBC One)
  • Butterfly (Red Production Company and Aenon for ITV)


WINNER –  Romesh Ranganathan The Misadventures of Romesh Ranganathan (Rumpus Media for BBC Two)

The judges said, “brought genuine originality to every scene, making the whole endeavour distinctive and very special”.


  • Michael Palin Michael Palin in North Korea (ITN Productions for Channel 5)
  • Bobby Friction Pump Up the Bhangra: The Sound of Asian Britain (Pacific Quay Productions, BBC Studios for BBC Four)

RTS Channel of the Year

WINNER – Cbeebies

The winning channel “seems more important now than ever…commissioning programmes that entertain and educate its audience in equal measure.”


  • BBC One
  • Channel 5

Science and Natural History

WINNER – Drowning in Plastic (Raw TV for BBC One)

“Deeply emotionally engaging on a subject we thought we all knew about”

See Also


  • The Secret Life of Landfill: A Rubbish History (Tern Television Productions for BBC Four)
  • Blue Planet II (BBC Studios – The Natural History Unit for BBC One)

Scripted Comedy

WINNER – Derry Girls (Hat Trick Productions for Channel 4)

“Skilful, special and truthful, combining super-smart writing with outstanding acting”


  • Famalam (BBC Studios for BBC Three)
  • Detectorists (Channel X North, Treasure Trove Productions, and Lola Entertainment for BBC Four)

Single Documentary

WINNER – Raped: My Story (Lambent Productions for Channel 5)

“A shocking eye-opener of a programme” said the judges. “It was beautiful, powerful film making; carefully produced and edited brilliantly.”


  • Grenfell (Minnow Films for BBC One)
  • Married to a Paedophile (Brinkworth Films for Channel 4)

Single Drama

WINNER – Killed By My Debt (BBC Studios: The Documentary Unit for BBC Three)

“Devastating, with a true story unpacked expertly and brought to life by extremely well-judged performances”.


  • Mother’s Day (BBC Studios: The Documentary Unit for BBC Two)
  • Black Mirror: USS Callister (House of Tomorrow for Netflix)

Soap and Continuing Drama

WINNER – Hollyoaks (Lime Pictures for Channel 4)

“We were blown away by it!” … “Well written, beautifully acted, it was bold and confident with terrific central performances”.


  • Casualty (BBC Studios for BBC One)
  • Coronation Street (ITV Studios for ITV)

Sports Presenter, Commentator or Pundit

WINNER – Osi Umenyiora NFL This Week and The NFL Show (Whisper Films for BBC Two)

“Charismatic, knowledgeable, insightful and opinionated – a total joy to watch”.


  • Roy Keane 2018 FIFA World Cup (ITV Sport for ITV)
  • Gary Lineker MOTD: World Cup 2018 (BBC Sport for BBC One)

Sports Programme

WINNER – MOTD 2018 World Cup: Quarter Final – England v Sweden (BBC Sport for BBC One)

“Capturing all the intense emotion of the occasion, alongside some dazzling punditry and a thrilling commentary”.


  • Winter Paralympic Games (Whisper Films for Channel 4)
  • 2018 Ryder Cup (Sky Sports & European Tour Productions for Sky Sports)

Writer (Comedy)

WINNER – Stefan Golaszewski Mum (Big Talk Productions in association with The Money Men for BBC Two)

Writing that “just sings throughout this masterfully well observed, beautiful comedy”.


  • Jamie Demetriou and Robert Popper Stath Lets Flats (Roughcut TV for Channel 4)
  • Lisa McGee Derry Girls (Hat Trick Productions for Channel 4)

Writer (Drama)

WINNER – Lennie James Save Me (World Productions for Sky Atlantic)

“Witty, warm writing rubbed up against harsh, dark and truthful storytelling populated by wonderful rich characters”.


  • David Nicholls Patrick Melrose (Little Island Productions, Two Cities Television and Sunny March for Sky Atlantic)
  • Russell T. Davies A Very English Scandal (Blueprint Pictures for BBC One)

Judges’ Award

WINNER – Ben Frow (Director of Programmes, Channel 5

Outstanding Contribution to British Television

WINNER – Lorraine Kelly