Sarah Lancashire and Tom Hollander win at Royal Television Society Programme Awards

Sarah Lancashire in Happy Valley.
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Sarah Lancashire and Tom Hollander picked up acting honours at this year’s Royal Television Society Programme Awards, which also saw BBC drama controller Ben Stephenson recognised for his successes at the Corporation.

The ceremony rewards excellence in all genres of television, and saw Lancashire pick up the award for best actress for her turn in Happy Valley on BBC1. She beat Georgina Campbell, for Murdered By My Boyfriend, and Sheridan Smith, who was up for Cilla.

In what was a particularly strong night for BBC2, Hollander won the best actor award for the channel’s A Poet In New York. He beat Adeel Akhtar in the second series of Utopia on Channel 4, as well as Toby Jones, who was nominated for Marvellous on BBC2.

Although Jones lost out, the writer of Marvellous – Peter Bowker – won the best drama writer award, with Harry Enfield, Paul Whitehouse and Charlie Higson winning the comedy writing section for Harry and Paul’s Story of the Twos on BBC2. Story of the Twos also won the scripted comedy prize.

The single drama category was won by Murdered By My Boyfriend, on BBC3, with BBC2’s The Honourable Woman scooping the drama serial prize.

The second series of Line of Duty, also shown on BBC2, won the drama series award.

Reece Shearsmith and Steve Pemberton jointly won the comedy performance prize, for Inside No.9 on BBC2.

BBC drama controller Stephenson was awarded the judges’ award for building “BBC2 drama into a formidable creative force”. The judges praised shows he had commissioned, including The Fall, Peaky Blinders and The Honourable Woman, as well as Call the Midwife for BBC1.