Gogglebox boss criticizes government’s ‘destructive plan’ to privatize Channel 4

The media manager behind Channel 4’s Gogglebox series has slammed the government’s ‘destructive plan’ to privatize the broadcaster while he was on stage at TV Baftas.

The popular program won the reality award and built facts at the event at the Royal Festival on London’s South Bank.

With the show’s cast around him, Stephen Lambert, managing director of Studio Lambert, took aim at the government’s plans to privatize the broadcaster.

Ant and Dec (Ian West/PA)

He said: “Googlebox might have ended when it started nine years ago because it had low ratings, but a risk-taking public channel, Channel 4, believed in it and stuck to it.

“If the government goes ahead with its destructive plan to shut down Channel 4, these kinds of risks will not be taken and much of what makes British television great will have come to an end for no good reason.”

Hosted by comedian Richard Ayoade, the Bafta TV Awards celebrate the best of British television through multiple awards.

Bafta Chairman Krishnendu Majumdar opened the event with a speech on diversity and the changing media landscape, before paying tribute to television journalists working in Ukraine and Sir Billy Connolly, who will receive the Bafta Fellowship during of the ceremony.

Ant and Dec’s Saturday Night Takeaway won the event’s top prize, for Best Entertainment Program – marking the fourth time they have won in the category.

On stage, Ant McPartlin said: ‘What a great start to the evening’ before Declan Donnelly added: ‘We were convinced we weren’t going to get it this year so we came to party.’

The TV Bafta for supporting actor went to Succession star Matthew Macfadyen, with writer Jesse Armstrong receiving the award and reading glowing messages from his co-stars.

Virgin BAFTA TV Awards 2022 – London
Ncuti Gatwa (Ian West/PA)

Newly announced Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa received a round of applause from the audience on Baftas TV as he took the stage to present the award for scripted comedy alongside his Education co-star sexual, Aimee Lou Wood. The gong went to the Fatherland.

The Earthshot Prize took home the award for Best Live Event, marking Sir David Attenborough’s 96th birthday.

Accepting the award on stage, Dermot O’Leary said it was a “privilege” to work on such a vital program.

He also sent a ‘special thank you’ to the Duke of Cambridge because it’s ‘easy to be cynical about someone who comes from privilege’, but the Earthshot Prize was ‘his baby’.

The single drama gong went to BBC drama Together with Sharon Horgan and James McAvoy.

Taking the stage, screenwriter Dennis Kelly read a letter from Covid-19 Bereaved Families for Justice criticizing the government and calling for a public inquiry.

The Underground Railroad won Best International.

The film powerfully depicts slavery in the pre-war American South, based on the 2016 Pulitzer Prize-winning novel by Colson Whitehead.

Receiving the award on stage, Sheila Atim, who played Mabel, said, “It’s a really amazing moment.

“Thank you Barry (Jenkins) for doing this production. I’m extremely proud to be a part of it.

“I think it’s a standout piece that will stand the test of time.”

Lorraine Kelly sent a ‘special hello’ to Prime Minister Boris Johnson as she took the stage to present the media coverage award.

She joked: “Hello and a special hello to Boris. I am from Lorraine. Nice to see you,” drawing cheers and laughter from the audience.

Mr Johnson appeared unsure who Kelly was during an interview with Good Morning Britain earlier this week.

The award was given to ITV News At Ten for its coverage of the storming of the US Capitol.

The ceremony continues.

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