Success for crime favorite Vera at the North East Royal Television Society Awards

ITV’s popular crime drama Vera, filmed across Tyneside and Teesside, won big at the 2022 Royal Television Society Awards.

The program, starring Brenda Blethyn as tenacious detective Vera Stanhope, won the prestigious Best Drama award and the actress won Best Dramatic Performance.

Brenda and her team received the accolades at the star-studded event at the Hillton Newcastle-Gateshead, which celebrates the region’s television, media and creative industries.

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On receiving the award, addressing the hundreds of guests gathered, Brenda Blethyn said: “Thank you very much to the Royal Television Society for giving me this. I am absolutely thrilled.

“This year we are embarking on season 12 of Vera, which means we will have made 50 Vera feature films.

“So you can see, we love coming to the North East and that’s partly because we feel very, very welcome.

“And, of course, the creator of Vera, Ann Cleeves, lives in the North East and I want to thank her very, very much for giving us 12 years of work and thank you to the Royal Television Society for giving me this I’m really over the moon.

Vera’s production team also won the Drama Pandemic Innovation Award recognizing their ingenuity in continuing to produce the ITV series during shutdowns with significant restrictions in place.

Filming for the next series begins at locations in the region from March.

Brenda Blethyn as Vera

More than 40 media professionals from broadcasters and production companies across the UK have been tasked with judging the incredible volume of entries submitted for the 2022 awards which spanned an extended period due to the impact of the pandemic.

Other winners included BBC Look North weather presenter Jen Bartram, who won the News and Factual Pandemic Innovation Award for her ingenious use of home weather forecasts.

Best current affairs program was awarded to BBC Look North, with judges praising the program for bringing personal stories to life, gripping interviews and warmth from the presenters.

Among other BBC successes, the Best Sports Presenter award went to Look North’s Jeff Brown with Dawn Thewlis winning the Best Presenter award.

ITV Tyne Tees scooped three awards at the ceremony hosted by Tyneside comedian and writer Jason Cook.

News correspondent Rachel Bullock received the award for best journalism. While ITV camera operator Paul Kingston had double reason to celebrate by winning both the Rising Star category and Professional Excellence in Photography.

After a difficult few years for the region’s media industry, Alison Gwynn, Managing Director of Northern Film and Media, received the Outstanding Contribution award.

She helped secure future investment in the region from the BBC and other companies exploring the potential of bringing productions to the North East.

Will Nicholson, Chairman of the North East & Border Centre, said: “The past two years have been incredibly difficult for all of us. I am extremely proud of the creative and emotional tenacity shown by the region’s creative industries. »

The ceremony also included a performance by musician Kema Kay: an alumnus of Excelsior Academy in Newcastle’s West End.

As an early career rapper and actor, he performed throughout the county and starred in the critically acclaimed “I, Daniel Blake”.

He is returning to Zambia, where he was born, for a documentary with the BBC World Service next week and he is also featured for a BBC North East & Cumbria documentary.

The Best Child award went to Sunderland-based MCC Media’s ‘My Life: My New Heart’ for CBBC.

The documentary follows the inspiring story of a 12-year-old boy awaiting a heart transplant at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital.

Middlesbrough independent production company Ithica Films meanwhile won the prestigious Center Award.

Growing production company Tees Valley works with creative agencies, charities, brands and other businesses, and they have ambitions to break into broadcasting.

The region’s favorite faces gathered at the awards show which opened with a champagne reception and saw former ITV Tyne Tees & Border presenter Pam Royle with Robson Green, the voice of Strictly Come BBC One’s Dancing, Alan Dedicoat and Oscar-winning producer David Parfitt (Shakespeare in Love, The Father) presenting the awards.

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