UK’s natural storytellers have created wealth of top TV, says Bafta chairwoman

The “natural storytellers” of the UK have crafted a “brilliantly mixed economy” of television, Bafta chairwoman Sara Putt said, ahead of the annual television awards.

The star-studded ceremony will see TV juggernauts such as The Crown, Slow Horses, Happy Valley and Succession compete for top prizes.

Speaking on the red carpet at the Royal Festival Hall, Putt told the PA news agency: “It is so lovely to be able to celebrate with shows like The Crown and Succession and Happy Valley as they came to their finales, shows that have given us so much challenge and delight are now over, so to be able to celebrate with them is brilliant.”

The Crown finale celebration
The Crown star Dominic West is among the nominees (Ian West/PA)

“At the craft awards a few weeks ago, the standard of writing for drama with Succession, Demon 79, Happy Valley etc is so high because of the brilliantly mixed economy we have, with public service broadcasters, other broadcasters and streamers, there are so many different routes to market, that really engenders a lot of quality.”

Slow Horses actress Aimee-Ffion Edwards discussed the appeal of the Apple TV+ spy show, which is filmed in the capital but has reached a global audience, as she arrived at the Bafta TV awards.

The Vanity Fair EE Rising Star Party
Slow Horses star Kadiff Kirwan (Ian West/PA)

Her co-star Kadiff Kirwan added: “No-one is perfect, usually spies are quite veneered and polished but you see the human side, the fallibilities.”

Heartstopper actor Bradley Riches, who recently competed in Celebrity Big Brother, was also among the attendees at the ceremony and said he was motivated to take part in the reality show by the opportunity to be an “advocate” for people who are neurodivergent.

Riches, known for portraying James McEwan in the Netflix teen series, opened up about his autism on the 23rd series of the show.

He said: “When I got offered to go on the show, it was like ‘do I do it, do I not?’.

“The main reason I said yes in the end is because I wanted to be an advocate for neurodivergence. I wanted to be that and give that to people.

“The response I got back from it was overwhelming and I’m very, very grateful. If people say ‘I feel seen on TV’, that’s all I could ever ask for.”

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