Normal People star Paul Mescal, Diversity and I May Destroy You's Michaela Coel were among the big winners at this year's Bafta TV Awards.
Michaela Coel's sexual consent drama I May Destroy You won top prizes at the TV Baftas, where Diversity’s Black Lives Matter routine also scored a gong.
Ashley Banjo thanked the thousands of people who complained about the dance troupe’s performance on Britain’s Got Talent as the routine won the only award voted for by the public, the Must-See Moment.
"This is so much more than just an award!" @AshleyBanjo and @Jordan_Banjo accept the award for @virginmedia's #MustSeeMoment Diversity’s routine inspired by the events of 2020 on Britain’s Got Talent! @BGT @ITV @Diversity_Tweet pic.twitter.com/nxfj0zw1O1— BAFTA (@BAFTA) June 6, 2021
The performance saw a man in a police uniform kneel on Banjo, echoing the killing of unarmed black man George Floyd and sparking more than 24,000 complaints to the UK's Ofcom.
But the TV watchdog dismissed the complaints, concluding that the routine’s "central message was a call for social cohesion and unity".
Banjo and his brother Jordan covered their faces in their hands as it was announced the dance troupe had won.
Ashley Banjo said: "This is mad, this is so much more than just an award.
"I want to just say first thank you to every single person who voted for us, it means so much.
"Thank you to everyone who stood by us.
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"Every phone call, text, comment, DM, you guys made the difference to what was a really dark time, being in the storm of 30,000 complaints and just a torrent of racially charged abuse, threats, all of it, it was a dark time and that support made all the difference.
"In a way, I have to say thank you to the people that complained, the people that did all of that abuse because you showed the truth.
"You showed exactly why this performance, this moment, was necessary.
"But for all of those people, just take a look, because as much as there are so many conversations and so much that needs to change, this is what change looks like.
"And I’m so proud to be standing here and so thankful to all of those people.
"And for me, this is about not representing the minority.
"It felt like we weren’t at the time, but standing here right now, this represents the majority.
"So thank you all so much.
"Let’s keep having those difficult conversations, let’s keep standing up for what’s right regardless of the colour of our skin and we will achieve that equality."
Leading Actress winner @MichaelaCoel pays a special tribute to I May Destroy You's intimacy coordinator, @ItaOB, in recognition of the safety and freedom she brought to the production ❤️️ #VirginMediaBAFTAs #BAFTATV pic.twitter.com/H75lTXpmcZ— BAFTA (@BAFTA) June 6, 2021
Coel was named best actress at the ceremony, where gongs were handed out at Television Centre in London in front of a live but socially distanced audience of nominees, while I May Destroy You was named best miniseries.
Collecting the Leading Actress prize, she dedicated the award to the show’s director of intimacy Ita O’Brien, saying: "Thank you for your existence in our industry, for making the space safe for creating physical, emotional, and professional boundaries so that we can make work about exploitation, loss of respect, about abuse of power, without being exploited or abused in the process.
"I know what it’s like to shoot without an intimacy director, the messy, embarrassing feeling for the crew, the internal devastation for the actor.
"Your direction was essential to my show.
"And I believe essential for every production company that wants to make work exploring themes of consent."
Coel has been vocal about abuse in the television industry and previously said she stands with actor and producer Noel Clarke’s accusers "in their indignation" after 20 women made allegations of misconduct.
Clarke has "vehemently" denied the allegations.
Paul Mescal was named Leading Actor for his turn in Normal People, which also used the same intimacy co-ordinator, and thanked "the best scene partner," his co-star Daisy Edgar-Jones.
Actress Rakie Ayola paid a moving tribute to murdered black teenager Anthony Walker and his mother as she won a Bafta for her role in a TV drama about the life he might have lived.
She was recognised for her performance as Gee Walker in Anthony, a one-off film written by Jimmy McGovern about the life her son might have lived had he not been murdered by two white men in an unprovoked racist attack in a Liverpool park in 2005 when he was just 18.
Collecting the Best Supporting Actress Bafta, she said: "I would ask anyone, if you think for a second to take the life of another, do whatever you can to stop.
"Gee Walker said to me the one reason she wanted her son’s story to be told is they might watch it and they might think about it long enough for someone to get away, just a few seconds to get up off the floor and run."
Malachi Kirby was named Best Supporting Actor for his role in Steve McQueen’s anthology series Small Axe, while Sex Education star Aimee Lou Wood won the gong for female performance in a comedy programme and This Country’s Charlie Cooper won the male comedy performance prize.
Congratulations to another first time winner, Malachi Kirby, who wins the Supporting Actor BAFTA for his role as Darcus Howe in Mangrove, part of Steve McQueen's Small Axe anthology. 🏆🎭 #VirginMediaBAFTAs #BAFTATV pic.twitter.com/iFM1JMsFbl— BAFTA (@BAFTA) June 6, 2021
Sitting In Limbo, inspired by the Windrush scandal, was named Best Single Drama.
Writer Stephen S Thompson dedicated the win to the victims of the scandal, adding: "We see you, we hear you, and we honour you."
Save Me Too, starring Lennie James and Suranne Jones, was named Best Drama.
The Bafta TV Awards:
Comedy Entertainment Programme
Charlie Brooker's Antiviral Wipe
Rob & Romesh Vs
The Big Narstie Show - WINNER
America’s War On Abortion (Exposure) - WINNER
Italy’s Frontline: A Doctor’s Diary
The Battle For Hong Kong (Dispatches)
The Cyprus Papers Undercover (Al Jazeera Investigations)
Jimmy McGovern’s Moving On
Richard Osman’s House Of Games Two
The Great House Giveaway - WINNER
Gangs Of London
I Hate Suzie
Save Me Too - WINNER
Adam Hills – The Last Leg
Bradley Walsh – Beat the Chasers
Claudia Winkleman – Strictly Come Dancing
David Mitchell – Would I Lie to You? At Christmas
Graham Norton – The Graham Norton Show
Romesh Ranganathan – The Ranganation - WINNER
Ant & Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway
Life & Rhymes - WINNER
Strictly Come Dancing
The Masked Singer
Crime & Punishment
Losing It: Our Mental Health Emergency
Once Upon A Time In Iraq - WINNER
Big Zuu’s Big Eats
Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace - WINNER
Mortimer And Whitehouse: Gone Fishing
The Repair Shop
Female Performance In A Comedy Programme
Aimee Lou Wood – Sex Education - WINNER
Daisy Haggard – Breeders
Daisy May Cooper – This Country
Emma Mackey – Sex Education
Gbemisola Ikumelo – Famalam
Mae Martin – Feel Good
Welcome To Chechnya: The Gay Purge (Storyville) - WINNER
John Boyega – Small Axe
Josh O’Connor – The Crown
Paapa Essiedu – I May Destroy You
Paul Mescal – Normal People - WINNER
Shaun Parkes – Small Axe
Waleed Zuaiter – Baghdad Central
Billie Piper – I Hate Suzie
Daisy Edgar-Jones – Normal People
Hayley Squires – Adult Material
Jodie Comer – Killing Eve
Letitia Wright – Small Axe
Michaela Coel – I May Destroy You - WINNER
Life Drawing Live!
Springwatch 2020 - WINNER
The Royal British Legion Festival Of Remembrance
The Third Day: Autumn
Male Performance In A Comedy Programme
Charlie Cooper – This Country - WINNER
Guz Khan – Man Like Mobeen
Joseph Gilgun – Brassic
Ncuti Gatwa – Sex Education
Paul Ritter – Friday Night Dinner
Reece Shearsmith – Inside No 9
I May Destroy You - WINNER
BBC News At Ten: Prime Minister Admitted To Intensive Care
Channel 4 News: Deterring Democracy
Newsnight: Covid Care Crisis
Sky News: Inside Idlib - WINNER
Reality & Constructed Factual
MasterChef: The Professionals
Race Across The World
The School That Tried To End Racism - WINNER
The Write Offs
Inside No 9 - WINNER
Man Like Mobeen
Disabled Not Defeated: The Rock Band With Learning Disabilities
The Main Part
They Saw The Sun First - WINNER
American Murder: The Family Next Door
Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism & Me
Locked In: Breaking The Silence (Storyville) - WINNER
BBW (On The Edge)
Sitting In Limbo - WINNER
The Windermere Children
Soap & Continuing Drama
Casualty - WINNER
Extinction: The Facts
Putin: A Russian Spy Story
The Rise Of The Murdoch Dynasty
The Surgeon’s Cut - WINNER
Bahrain Grand Prix
England v France: The Final Of Autumn Nations Cup
England v West Indies Test Cricket - WINNER
London Marathon 2020
Kunal Nayyar – Criminal: UK
Malachi Kirby – Small Axe - WINNER
Michael Sheen – Quiz
Micheal Ward – Small Axe
Rupert Everett – Adult Material
Tobias Menzies – The Crown
Helena Bonham Carter – The Crown
Leila Farzad – I Hate Suzie
Rakie Ayola – Anthony - WINNER
Siena Kelly – Adult Material
Sophie Okonedo – Criminal: UK
Weruche Opia – I May Destroy You
Virgin Media’s Must-See Moment (voted for by the British public)
Bridgerton – Penelope is revealed as Lady Whistledown
Britain’s Got Talent – Diversity perform a routine inspired by the events of 2020 - WINNER
EastEnders – Gray kills Chantelle
Gogglebox – Reactions to Boris Johnson’s press conference
Nigella’s Cook, Eat, Repeat – Mee-cro-wah-vay
The Mandalorian – Luke Skywalker arrives