Strong slate of programmes including Planet Earth II and Three Girls help channel see off rivals

BBC1 weathered the loss of The Great British Bake Off with a wide-ranging roster of hits to be crowned Channel of the Year at the Broadcast Awards 2018.

The PSB channel powered past 2016 and 2017 winner Channel 4, as well as ITV, Channel 5 and youth channels ITV2 and BBC3, to win the trophy at this year’s event, which took place at London’s Grosvenor Hotel on Wednesday 7 February.

Rio Ferdinand

Rio Ferdinand

BBC1, which was last named Channel of the Year in 2015, earned the accolade on the strength of a schedule that boasted powerful dramas The Moorside, Taboo and Three Girls, factual hits such as Planet Earth II and Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum And Dad, plus a new Saturday night entertainment hit in the shape of Michael McIntyre’s Big Show.

Netflix’s growing influence was recognised as House of Tomorrow’s anthology series Black Mirror won the Best Single Drama award for the San Junipero episode. Charlie Brooker’s critically admired story beat five BBC singles to the prize, including BBC1’s Damilola, Our Loved Boy and BBC3’s Murdered For Being Different.

The Crown producer Left Bank Pictures lost out in the Best Drama Series category to Studio Lambert’s true-life BBC1 drama Three Girls, but the ambition, scale and creative success of the Sony producer was reflected in its award for Best Independent Production Company.

Left Bank beat scripted rivals Kudos and Two Brothers Pictures, plus Love Productions, Twofour and Wall to Wall, to the prize.

BBC Studios’ Natural History Unit added to the celebrations of its 60th year with a Best Documentary Series win for Planet Earth II, while the event marked Sir David Attenborough’s extraordinary broadcasting career with a Special Recognition Award.

Love Island

Love Island

Elsewhere, UKTV’s Taskmaster surged ahead of big hitters including BBC1’s Strictly Come Dancing, ITV’s I’m A Celebrity… and ITV2’s Love Island to be named Best Entertainment Programme – the broadcaster’s first win in the category since Dynamo: Magician Impossible in 2013.

But Avalon’s comedy format missed out in the Best Multichannel Programme category, which was won by Love Island’s summer 2017 series, after the reality show more than doubled its audience year on year to 2.5 million.

The BBC won seven of the programming awards, including Best Children’s Programme for long-running CBBC show Horrible Histories, its first ever win in the category, and Best Popular Factual for Danny Dyer’s edition of Wall to  Wall’s Who Do You Think You Are?.

Channel 4 was close behind with five awards, including Best Original Programme for CPL Productions’ Old People’s Home For 4 Year Olds.

Broadcast Awards 2018: winners