Jack Thorne namechecked under-exposed disabled writers and Russell T Davies savaged the government’s position on Channel 4 at last night’s RTS Programme Awards.
Screenwriter Thorne won the outstanding contribution to British television and his C4 care home drama Help was named best single drama, while Davies’ C4 series It’s a Sin took home three awards – best writer, best drama mini series and best actor for Callum Scott Howells.
C4 won 12 awards in all, with the one-off Black to Front Day special of The Big Breakfast beating ITV’s The Masked Singer and Dave series Big Zuu’s Big Eats to win best entertainment show, plus awards for The Lateish Show with Mo Gilligan, We Are Lady Parts, Rape: Who’s On Trial?, The Dog House and The Great House Giveaway.
Accepting his award, Davies mentioned several of these winners and pointed out they were all C4 shows, adding: “What’s the channel the government want to sell off? Channel 4. What will it take to stop them?” In a reference to this week’s Oscars fracas, he suggested “slapping the Prime Minister”.
Thorne, who is campaigning to improve disabled access in TV through his Underlying Health Contribution lobbying group, chose to highlight “the disabled writers in our community, who have been excluded historically by the inequalities of television - these people are tremendous talents and I hope and I pray that they’re going to get the opportunities I’ve had."
He added: "I think that if we treasure these talents, there is no end to the good that television can do in dealing with the massive inequalities in our society and the way that disabled people were treated in this pandemic, which was barbaric."
In his speech, he listed:
Lettie Precious, Amy Trigg, Laurence Clark, Josh Merritt, Tim Renkow, Rosie Jones, Sophie Wooley, David Proud, Jamie Hale, Adam Fenton, Jackie Hagen, Lizzie Watson, Tom Wentworth, Charlie Swinbourne, Mat Fraser, Annalisa D’Innella, Matilda Ibini, Billy Major, Ruth Madeley and Genevieve Barr.
For a full list of RTS winners, click here