The winners of this year’s 24th annual South Bank Sky Arts Awards were announced yesterday in a socially distanced ceremony at the London Coliseum, home of English National Opera. Hosted by Melvyn Bragg, the awards continue their legacy as the only awards ceremony in the world to represent the entire spectrum of the arts, with categories for TV Drama, Classical Music, Theatre, Comedy, Dance, Film, Visual Art, Pop, Literature and Opera. The awards will be free for everyone to watch on Sky Arts, Freeview channel 11, at 8pm on Sunday 20th December.
Ian McKellen took to the stage to accept the Outstanding Achievement Award, recognising his incomparable contribution to theatre and film. He joins Tracey Emin, Harold Pinter, Julie Walters, Sylvia Guillem, Benedict Cumberbatch, Andrew Lloyd Webber, The Who, Paul Abbott, Simon Rattle, Eddie Izzard, and Sir Lenny Henry in the Outstanding Achievement hall of fame. He was also congratulated via video by Dame Judi Dench and Dame Helen Mirren.
In television, Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s renowned series Fleabag won the Comedy category, seeing off Netflix’s Sex Education and Channel 4’s Home. Meanwhile, Sky Original drama Chernobyl won out in the TV Drama category for its unflinching portrayal of the nuclear accident.