‘Relevant and accessible programming’
Following wins at the Edinburgh TV Awards, RTS Programme Awards and Broadcast Awards, Sky Arts impressed the judges with its “relevant and accessible” programming. Its shows also won accolades of their own, with Life & Rhymes beating off long-standing Saturday night entertainment stalwarts to win the Bafta for Entertainment Programme.
One judge said the channel keeps the arts feeling contemporary, while another said Sky Arts has been providing support that is crucial to the recovery of cultural communities.
Sky Arts’ aim for 2021 was to focus on cultural recovery by breathing life back into a sector devastated by the pandemic. The Live Revival, featuring acts such as Paul Weller, Amy McDonald and Sleaford Mods, shone a light on hard-hit small music venues across the country and the importance of these venues for musicians on the way up.
Sky Arts also committed to finding the next generation of talent by launching its Ambassador’s Scheme, a £300,000 investment in the cultural sector that will enable five ambassadors to create their own bursary schemes for up-and-coming individuals.
Crime and Investigation UK
The judges were impressed with how C&I manages to stand out and provide a distinctive brand in a crowded true-crime landscape. The channel’s social purpose and local relevance were also praised, whether it be partnering with UK charity Refuge in continuing the effort to End Abuse Against Women or becoming the inaugural sponsors of CrimeCon UK.
Six-part crime drama Annika, starring Nicola Walker (The Split, Unforgotten), was Alibi’s most watched title ever, helping the channel attract its highest average audience since 2013. Progress was also made in terms of diversity, with Ragdoll star Thalissa Teixeira becoming the first black female lead in an Alibi original.
No other channel provides anything close to the range and volume of British-made programmes for kids, with more than 350 hours in 2021, despite continuing headaches caused by the pandemic. The channel’s Newsround bulletin is used by teachers in schools to keep pupils informed of world events and to promote discussion of topical and critical issues.
Whether it is the invasion of Ukraine or the enduring impact of Covid, Sky News continues to provide the highest level of eyewitness journalism and is always one of the first news organisations on the scene. In April, the channel launched the UK’s only daily news programme dedicated to climate change, The Daily Climate Show, which showcases the ingenuity and technological solutions emerging from those impacted by the crisis.
Sky Sports Racing
The breadth of coverage on screen and online were praised by one judge, who recognised the channel’s effort to target content to those signed up to email alerts. The Uncomfortable Race, which shines a light on diversity issues by taking three aspiring, ethnic minority talents to The Jockey Club Rooms, was picked up by broadcasters around the world.