British Academy Television Awards

British Academy Television Awards
2016 British Academy Television Awards

British Academy Television Awards logo
Awarded for The best in television
Country United Kingdom
First awarded 1955
Official website

The British Academy Television Awards are presented in an annual award show hosted by the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA). They have been awarded annually since 1955.


The first ever Awards, given in 1955, consisted of six categories. Until 1958, they were awarded by the Guild of Television Producers and Directors. From 1958 onwards, after the Guild had merged with the British Film Academy, the organisation was known as the Society of Film and Television Arts. In 1976, this became the British Academy of Film and Television Arts.

From 1968 until 1997, the BAFTA Film and Television awards were presented in one joint ceremony known simply as the BAFTA Awards, but in order to streamline the ceremonies from 1998 onwards they were split in two. The Television Awards are usually presented in April, with a separate ceremony for the Television Craft Awards on a different date. The Craft Awards are presented for more technical areas of the industry, such as special effects, production design, or costumes.

Richard Armitage attending the British Academy Television Awards in 2007.

The Awards are only open to British programmes—with the exception of the audience-voted Audience Award and the International Award (this is for a single programme or series acquired from the international marketplace, covering all genres)—but any cable, satellite, terrestrial or digital television stations broadcasting in the UK are eligible to submit entries, as are independent production companies who have produced programming for the channels. Individual performances, such as from actors, can either be entered by the performers themselves or by the broadcasters. The programmes being entered must have been broadcast on or between March and February of the following year to be eligible for the year's awards. Entry is free, and entry forms are made available between November and January each year.

After all the entries have been received, they are voted for online by all eligible members of the Academy. The programmes and performances attracting the most votes, usually four in each category, are shortlisted as the nominees for each award. The winner is chosen from the four nominees by a special jury of nine academy members for each award, the members of each jury selected by the Academy's Television Committee. Each jury is designed to have a balance in areas such as sex, age and experience, and have experience related to the categories concerned but no direct connections to the short-listed programmes or performers.

There are also a number of non-competitive honorary Awards—the Dennis Potter Award for Outstanding Writing for Television; the Alan Clarke Award for Outstanding Creative Contribution to Television; the Richard Dimbleby Award for Outstanding Presenter in the Factual Arena; the Fellowship for individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to television across their careers, and various Special Awards given on an ad hoc basis. These Awards are suggested by the Television Committee and awarded by the Academy's Council. They are not necessarily always given every year, but as and when appropriate.

The Awards ceremony is broadcast on British television, usually the day after it has taken place. Between 1998 and 2006, it was alternated between ITV and BBC One. But since 2007, it has been broadcast by BBC One.


In 1991, a controversial selection was made in the Best Drama Serial category, when Prime Suspect beat G.B.H. to win the award.[1] Following the ceremony, four of the seven voting members of the jury signed a public statement declaring that they had voted for G.B.H. to win.[1] Irene Shubik, who as chairman did not cast a vote, refused to comment publicly on the affair, but BAFTA Chairman Richard Price stated that the ballot papers passed on to him by Shubik had shown four votes for Prime Suspect and three for G.B.H.[1] Price claimed that the ballot papers could not be recounted as they had subsequently been destroyed. No blame was ever attached to Shubik by the four judges, and it was to her that they had initially turned to raise the apparent discrepancy with BAFTA.[2]


The main competitive Award categories presented every year are:

In 2010 the YouTube Audience Award was added.

See also


  1. 1 2 3 Wittstock, Melinda (8 April 1992). "Confusion becomes the Bafta prime suspect". The Times. London. p. 1.
  2. Wittstock, Melinda (2 May 1992). "'Fibs' slur incenses Bafta award judges". The Times. London. p. 18.
  3. 1 2 Brook, Stephen (5 January 2007). "Current affairs category dropped from Bafta TV awards". Retrieved 30 July 2016.

External links

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