Entertainment & Arts

Baftas 2012: Surprises and celebrations

Image caption Brendan O'Carroll's Mrs Brown's Boys beat the likes of Rev and Fresh Meat to the best sitcom prize

Fred West drama Appropriate Adult may have taken the main acting prizes at the Bafta Television Awards, but there were many other winners with cause to celebrate.

Here is a taste of what went on backstage at the Royal Festival Hall on London's South Bank

With so many of the Bafta awards going to shows set to return to our screens , there was a certain irony when the first prize of the night went to a series that had recently been axed.

The Fades, a supernatural drama broadcast on BBC Three last year, won best drama series. It was revealed in April that it has not been recommissioned.

The central premise was that dead people not allowed into heaven could come back to earth as vengeful beings. The cast included Daniel Kaluuya, Johnny Harris and Daniela Nardini.

"A couple of years ago we were thrilled to even get a commission for a show that was this ambitious," said producer Caroline Skinner backstage.

"Obviously we would have loved to do several series, and we had ideas for at least another two when we were making it."

She said fans had taken their show to their hearts and the Bafta win did not feel like a "bittersweet" victory.

Writer Jack Thorne said: "We still had stories to tell, and it's a shame we're not getting to tell those stories."

It was the hope of executive producer Susan Hogg that the Bafta accolade would get the six episodes that were made a wider audience.

"The people who commissioned it were taking a massive risk with a show like this and it paid off," she said.

By contrast, Shane Meadows' This is England '88 - which won the mini-series prize - is set to continue with a new story set against the rave culture of 1990.

Co-written by Jack Thorne, This is England '88 beat ITV1's Appropriate Adult, Channel 4's Top Boy and BBC Two's The Crimson Petal and the White.

The hard-hitting Channel 4 drama stars Thomas Turgoose as Shaun, Vicky McClure as Lol and Joe Gilgun as Woody.

Image caption Shane Meadows said his win was as exciting as the Stone Roses reuniting

"This is England started out as my story, the character of Shaun was me in a lot of ways," said Meadows.

He said the win was all the more exciting as it came in the same week as the Stone Roses reunion concert in Warrington.

"The Stone Roses are my all-time favourite band," confessed Meadows. "I thought there's no way we can top seeing the Stone Roses coming back after 15 years - and somehow it happened."

The film-maker is making a documentary about the Roses, and the band will figure in Meadows' final sequel This is England '90, about "the Hacienda and Madchester".

Said Meadows: "Skinhead culture was something I attached myself to as an 11-year-old boy, but the Stone Roses I loved, so This is England '90 is me signing off with something that I truly loved."

Ab Fab return

Jennifer Saunders received the female comedy performance award for her reprisal of her role as PR agent Edina Monsoon in Absolutely Fabulous.

She was nominated for the same role in 1992.

Ab Fab returned at Christmas and New Year with two specials, with a third story to air before the Olympics.

"It felt it was right to bring it back because there was a different feel in the world, and we thought let's see what they're doing now," said Saunders backstage.

She said it hadn't been difficult getting back into character as Eddy for the Christmas special.

"She's such a part of me anyway that actually it's very hard to shake her off."

Saunders hopes to start filming a big screen version of the show next year.

Also on the comedy front, BBC1's Mrs Brown's Boys won the sitcom category, beating competition including Rev and Fresh Meat.

Its star, Brendan O'Carroll, said: "All we wanted to do was make people laugh and it seems to have worked."

The show had missed out on the same award last year.

O'Carroll, who plays the loud Irish matriarch Agnes Brown, said he hadn't expected to win.

"I didn't think I'd win a raffle - I was expecting to be clapping for someone else."

He recalled how the character started out as a five-minute slot on Irish radio in 1992.

"We got paid 50 T-shirts a week from the radio station which we sold at the gigs. That's how we financed ourselves. It's taken them 20 years to get the joke."

After the success of the TV series, a film is in the pipeline, due to shoot in 2013.

O'Carroll said not to expect any foreign locations or Hollywood guest stars.

"Having said that, if Eddie Murphy wants to be in it, who's going to stop him? He can play my sister," he laughed.

Image caption Coronation Street received its first Bafta since 2004

Corrie crowned

In the annual battle of the soaps, Coronation Street walked away with the soap and continuing drama award, its first Bafta since 2004.

"It's the big one," said William Roache, who plays Ken Barlow, "and we feel we deserved it, after all the work that we did on the 50th anniversary and I didn't feel that we got the just desserts for that."

Coronation Street producer Phil Collinson said the episode judged by Bafta had focused on the aftermath of Carla Connor's rape by her fiance Frank Foster.

"We followed what happens after a rape is reported. It was a different, bold and unusual episode for Coronation Street and I'm really proud of it," he said.

Pratchett's 'strange subject'

The BBC enjoyed a strong showing in the factual categories: best factual series went to Our War; current affairs was won by Undercover Care: The Abuse Exposed (Panorama) and the single documentary award was given to Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die - the best-selling author's examination of euthanasia.

Pratchett, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer's, thanked the BBC for "allowing us to tackle this rather strange subject for a documentary".

He paid tribute to the family of Peter Smedley, who allowed the documentary team to film his final days at a clinic.

Asked about his own health, Pratchett said: "It is said that knowing that one day you will die is the beginning of wisdom.

"I have no fear whatsover of death, although I've got a dreadful fear of a bad death."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites