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Scottish dramas, documentaries and presenters honored at Royal Television Society Awards

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Suranne Jones and Shaun Evans starred in the hit BBC nuclear submarine thriller Vigil.  Picture: Mark Mainz
Suranne Jones and Shaun Evans starred in the hit BBC nuclear submarine thriller Vigil. Picture: Mark Mainz

Documentaries exploring the hunt for serial killer Bible John, the life of Scottish boxing legend Ken Buchanan, the groundbreaking impact of Dolly the Sheep and the mental health struggles of some of the country’s leading traditional musicians were recognized at a gala ceremony in Glasgow.

Des Clarke, Shereen Cutkelvin and Lawrence Chaney hosted the ceremony at the Old Fruitmarket, which saw 25 awards handed out.

Among those honored were Steff Smith, who was named best writer for coming-of-age love story Float, which was set in a small town swimming pool broadcast as a six-part micro-drama which each episode lasting just 10 minutes.

Rappers, author and social commentator Darren McGarvey has been honored for his broadcasting work.

The second series of Neil Forsth’s dark crime mystery Guilt, which starred Mark Bonnar, Emun Elliott, Moyo Akande and Sara Vickers, was named best drama ahead of the show’s return for a third and final series.

Vigil, which saw Suranne Jones play a police detective sent aboard a nuclear submarine to investigate a mysterious death on a nuclear submarine based in Scotland, was recognized for best sound.

Former Rangers star Walters was honored in the history documentary category for a program which recalled the leading black footballing pioneers in Scotland, including Andrew Watson, the world’s first black international player, who captained Scotland against England, and explored Walters’ own experiences of racism from opposing fans.

BBC Scotland was recognized for the best current affairs program for a Panorama investigation into why black men are more likely than white men to die in police custody in the UK.

Mischa Macpherson spoke to musicians about their mental struggles for the BBC Alba documentary Ceol is Cradh.

Darren McGarvey’s Class Wars, which a series exploring the existence and impact of social class across Scotland, was recognized as best factual documentary, while the rapper-turned-writer and broadcaster was named “on-screen personality” of the year.

Dolly: The Sheep That Changed the World was named best science and natural history documentary, while Matt Pinder was named best director for two-part series The Hunt For Bible John.

BBC Alba’s live coverage of the 2021 Scots Trad Music Awards, which was made by Beezr Studios for the Gaelic challenge, was named best live event.

The entertainment and features award went to Extraordinary Escapes with Sandi Toksvig, which sees the comic take well-known female performers – Sarah Millican, Sara Pascoe, Jenny Eclair and Sue Johnston – to the “wildest, most remote, and beautifully designed holiday digs. ” Antique Road Trip was named best daytime program.

Former Rangers footballer Mark Walters was honored at the Royal Television Society Scotland Awards in Glasgow. Picture: Adam Boyd/RTS

STV was honored for best news coverage while BBC Scotland’s Katie McEvinney was named young journalist of the year.

Cèol is Cràdh, an hour-long documentary which saw singer Mischa MacPherson interview a host of leading Scottish musicians about their experiences of depression and anxiety, was named best arts documentary.

Stephen O’Donnell, chair of Royal Television Society Scotland, said: “TV continues to inform, entertain and inspire millions of people every single day and it was fantastic to welcome everyone back in person to recognize the great work that hit screens in 2021.

“It was a fiercely competitive shortlist and I’d like to wish huge congratulations to all the winners and the nominees.”