“Love Island punches above its weight class – and makes you feel every emotion you can watching TV”
Its success had been snowballing for some time, but in 2019, ITV2 really knocked it out of the park with the fifth series of Love Island.
Averaging 4.3million (19.1% share), it became the biggest show in the channel’s history. More than half of its episodes won the 9pm slot ahead of the big five channels – and every single one attracted the lion’s share of 16-34s.
Its secret? “It’s a masterclass in entertaining production,” said one judge, adding that it “entertains in a stylish, positive and seductive way”.
The producers upped their game even from series four’s dramatic heights, continuing to produce in the moment rather than plan out every stage of the contestants’ journeys.
From Tommy and Molly-Mae’s romance to the Yewande-Danny-Arabella love triangle, its compelling cast did not hold back, and their escapades gave rise to discussions about relationships, male bonding and the ‘girl code’.
But it was the big moments – Casa Amor delivering 12 new boys and girls into the mix or the Island Beach Club drama of Michael staying when Joanna was dumped – that lingered longest.
The judges praised ITV for keeping the show in its youth heartland rather than risk diluting it with a move to the main channel, concluding: “Love Island punches above its weight class – and makes you feel every emotion you can watching TV.”
Elegant choreography, choice locations and a cinematic style blended in this twist on the dating format, which nevertheless retained the vital ‘will they-won’t they’ tension the genre demands.
The production team rose to the challenges presented by both the range of settings and the unpredictability of the moment to deliver a warm hug of a show.
Holly Willoughby brought new sparkle to the 18th series of the reality juggernaut, while the late arrival of Noel Edmonds – by helicopter, and presiding over a Roman colosseum – was an inspired addition to the regular Bushtucker Trials.
Add in the likes of John Barrowman and The Chase’s Anne Hegerty, and this was an I’m A Celebrity… for the ages.
In another strong year for the dancing show, the judges were wowed by the movie special.
With 14 routines over two hours that took inspiration from everything from Dirty Dancing to Minions and The Matrix, capped with a Harry Potter number delivered in collaboration with Warner Bros Studios, shiny-floor entertainment doesn’t get much bigger than this.
In what turned out to be its final series on Dave, Taskmaster assembled one of its most compelling teams ever.
With some inspired new challenges, benefiting from a natural split between ‘oldies’ Jo Brand and David Baddiel and younger comics Rose Matafeo, Katy Wix and Ed Gamble, plus an escalation in the Greg Davies/Alex Horne bromance, it bowed out from UKTV on a high.
This was the year the BBC Two staple arguably escaped the shadow of the Jeremy Clarkson years after a rocky couple of series.
Experienced host Paddy McGuinness, daredevil Freddie Flintoff and car expert Chris Harris brought a perfect chemistry of humour, swagger and authority that emboldened producers to take on eye-catching set pieces – and brought viewers back in their droves.
Award sponsored by BBC Studioworks