Normal People was among the headline winners in last night's inaugural RTS Ireland Television Awards 2021 event on Virgin Media One.

Accepting the award on behalf of Element Pictures, producer Emma Norton described it as a "total joy" to work with the cast, including Daisy Edgar-Jones and Paul Mescal as "our perfect Marianne and Connell".

Other RTS Ireland Television Award winners for 2021 included Dara Ó Briain, who received the BAI Outstanding Contribution Award, ShinAwiL Ltd for Dancing With The Stars, and Tyrone Productions for David Brophy’s Unsung Heroes, all broadcast on RTÉ.

Dara Ó Briain: outstanding 

Speaking after the broadcast, RTS Ireland Television Awards committee chairperson Niall Cogley said "What a great way to launch this new project - with such wholehearted support from such a wide cross-section of the Irish television industry and with so much top-level Irish talent on display.

"There seems to be an abundance of world-class television talent in this country and we are very grateful to all those who participated with entries, on juries, as sponsors, as patrons and as part of the team who pulled this event together.

Dancing With the Stars won the Entertainment award

"Congratulations to all those who were nominated and who were selected as winners. But in such an extraordinarily difficult year for all those who work in the creative industries, we would like to pay a special tribute to the resilience and talent of all those who work in the television industry, on all sides of the camera. We salute your excellence."

The RTS Programme Awards are among the international gold standard awards for the TV industry and represent an important showcase for the talent across the television industry in Ireland.

Abbeyfealegood won a factual award

This is the latest initiative of the Republic of Ireland Centre of Royal Television Society, which has been operating since 1996. RTS Ireland organises a range of other events and awards every year, including the awards ceremony for student productions in the categories of Drama, Short Form, Comedy, Animation, Factual and Craft Skills.

The full list of RTS Ireland Television Award winners for 2021 is:

Drama: Normal People (Element Pictures)

Entertainment: Dancing With The Stars (ShinAwiL Ltd)

Factual Series: David Brophy’s Unsung Heroes (Tyrone Productions)

Factual Single: Abbeyfealegood (Atom Films)

Sport: New Gaels (Poolbeg Productions)

News & Current Affairs: RTÉ Investigates - Inside Ireland's Covid Battle; Life & Death (RTÉ)

Animation: The Voyage (JAM Media)

Specialist Factual: The Funeral Director (GMarch TV for RTÉ)

Children’s: Tina Times Two (Dyehouse Films)

Outstanding Contribution: Dara Ó Briain