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Top Boy, Happy Valley and The Sixth Commandment were the big winners at this year’s BAFTA TV Awards, taking home two prizes apiece.

The final season of the critically acclaimed Netflix series Top Boy was named best drama, with star Jasmine Jobson also named best supporting actress for her portrayal of Jaq Lawrence.

Happy Valley picked up the award for most memorable moment, the only prize voted for by the public, while star Sarah Lancashire was named best actress once again for her portrayal of no-nonsense police sergeant Catherine Cawood – after first winning the prize for the role in 2017.

The Sixth Commandment picked up the awards for best limited drama and best actor for its star, Timothy Spall.

Despite leading the nominations race with eight nods in total, royal drama The Crown left empty-handed.

‘You changed my life’

Crime drama Top Boy follows the lives of Sully (Kane “Kano” Robinson) and Dushane (Ashley Walters) and deals with themes of crime, drugs and violence on the Summerhouse estate in Hackney, east London.

Picking up the best drama award ahead of Happy Valley, Slow Horses and The Gold, producer Charles Steel paid tribute to stars Walters and Robinson.

Jasmine Jobson in the press room after winning the Best Supporting Actress award for Top Boy at the BAFTA TV Awards 2024, at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Picture date: Sunday May 12, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story SHOWBIZ Bafta. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
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Top Boy’s Jasmine Jobson with her BAFTA. Pic: PA

Jobson also took the chance to tell the BAFTAs audience: “I just want to say I am the woman who has been standing in a group full of men, you have shown me what it is to be strong and independent and how important it is to stand out in a crowd full of people where it’s easy to be invisible.

“Netflix, Top Boy, you changed my life.”

Read more on the TV BAFTAs:
The full list of winners
All the best red carpet looks
The awards as they happened

Yorkshire-based crime drama Happy Valley was another show that came to an end in 2023, bringing to a close the story of Sgt Cawood and Tommy Lee Royce (James Norton), the criminal who destroyed her family.

Accepting the award for best actress, Lancashire said it was an honour to win and praised Sally Wainwright, the writer and creator of the show.

“I would like to acknowledge my fellow nominees and their tremendous work,” she said. “Sally Wainwright, I shall forever be grateful to you for this opportunity.

“I feel very, very privileged to have been surrounded by these brilliant actors and I thank each and every one of you.”

The series also won the memorable moment award for her character’s explosive final kitchen showdown with Royce, beating fellow shortlisted moments including David Beckham teasing wife Victoria about her “working class” roots in the Beckham documentary, and Logan Roy’s death in Succession.

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BAFTA winner Spall: Acting is ‘stupid thing’

Baroness Floella Benjamin in the press room after being presented with the BAFTA Fellowship award at the BAFTA TV Awards 2024, at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Picture date: Sunday May 12, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story SHOWBIZ Bafta. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
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Baroness Floella Benjamin was presented with the BAFTA Fellowship award. Pic: PA

‘Look it up on IMDB’

Picking up the leading actor award for The Sixth Commandment, a true crime drama exploring the murders of Peter Farquhar and Ann Moore-Martin in Buckinghamshire in 2014 and 2017, as well as the subsequent investigation and trial, veteran British star Timothy Spall joked: “Look it all up on IMDB [movie database] and you will see who was involved because to each and every soul of them, they are brilliant.”

He continued: “Acting is a stupid thing, it’s a soppy old thing, standing up pretending to be someone and p*ssing around in costume. Sixty-seven and you think ‘am I still doing this?’

“But sometimes you get the chance to play people that have had a terrible thing happen to them and all they wanted was love, and it’s a beautiful thing to be able to tell a story about that. It’s about crimes but it’s also about love.”

Looking at his award, he added: “I’ve always wanted one of these. I’m just so pleased to be amongst you lot.”

Romesh Ranganathan and Rob Beckett with their comedy entertainment award for Rob & Romesh Vs.. at the BAFTA TV Awards 2024. Pic: Ian West/PA
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Hosts Romesh Ranganathan and Rob Beckett also secured a win, for Sky show Rob & Romesh Vs.. Pic: PA

Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman after winning the Best Entertainment award for Strictly Come Dancing. Pic: PA
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Tess Daly and Claudia Winkleman celebrate for Strictly Come Dancing. Pic: PA

Elsewhere, Matthew Macfadyen won in the supporting actor category for his performance in the final series of Succession, the conclusion of the drama about the struggle for power in a media dynasty, while Strictly Come Dancing won the best entertainment prize in its 20th year on the air.

Tess Daly, who co-hosts with Claudia Winkleman, described the win as “the best birthday present”.

Squid Game: The Challenge was named best reality TV series, while last year’s Eurovision Song Contest won the award for live event coverage.

And there was a surprise in the international category, when French series Class Act beat huge shows including The Bear and Succession.

Mawaan Rizwan in the press room after winning the Male Performance in a Comedy award for Juice at the BAFTA TV Awards 2024, at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Picture date: Sunday May 12, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story SHOWBIZ Bafta. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire
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Juice star Mawaan Rizwan and Black Ops star Gbemisola Ikumelo (pictured below) were the winners in the comedy performance categories. Pic: PA

Gbemisola Ikumelo in the press room after winning the Female Performance in a Comedy award for Black Ops at the BAFTA TV Awards 2024, at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Picture date: Sunday May 12, 2024. PA Photo. See PA story SHOWBIZ Bafta. Photo credit should read: Ian West/PA Wire

Comedy prizes include the hosts

In the comedy categories, Mawaan Rizwan won the award for best male performance for his role in Juice, about a young gay man who desperately wants to be the centre of attention as his family continuously steals his thunder, while Gbemisola Ikumelo won the female performance award for Black Ops.

Accepting his award, Rizwan said: “Thank you to my therapist – we had a conversation last week where we said I had to stop relying on external forms of validation.”

There was even an award for the ceremony hosts, comedians Rob Beckett and Romesh Ranganathan, who took home the comedy entertainment prize for Sky show Rob And Romesh Vs.

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Former Play School children’s presenter Baroness Floella Benjamin was presented with BAFTA’s highest honour, the Fellowship, by newsreader Clive Myrie, while daytime TV queen Lorraine Kelly was also honoured with a special prize, presented by Succession’s Brian Cox.

“Don’t pull up the ladder” to those from working-class backgrounds, Kelly told the crowd as she accepted her prize.

The ceremony also paid tribute to the stars of TV we have said goodbye to in the past year, including talk show host Sir Michael Parkinson, Lord Of The Rings actor Bernard Hill, newsreader George Alagiah, Hairy Biker Dave Myers, film and TV director Roy Battersby and Friends star Matthew Perry.

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Refusing mandatory National Service won’t lead to prison, home secretary says after Tory policy launch

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Refusing mandatory National Service won't lead to prison, home secretary says after Tory policy launch

Nobody would go to jail for refusing to comply with National Service under a Conservative government, the home secretary has said.

In the Conservatives’ first policy announcement of the general election campaign, Rishi Sunak said on Saturday he would introduce a new form of mandatory National Service for 18-year-olds if his party wins the vote in July.

They would be given the choice of a full-time military placement for 12 months or a scheme to volunteer for one weekend a month for a year.

The announcement came two days after defence minister Dr Andrew Murrison told the Commons the government has “no plans” to reintroduce National Service and doing so would “damage morale, recruitment and retention and would consume professional military and naval resources”.

Follow live – general election latest:
Cleverly questioned on National Service plan

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‘Refusing National Service won’t lead to jail’

The military option would be selective but questions have arisen over whether any teenager who refuses to do either option would be punished.

Talking to Sky News’s Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips, Home Secretary James Cleverly said: “There’s going to be no criminal sanctions, nobody’s going to jail over this.”

He added that “nobody will be compelled to do the military element” but said those who do will be paid – while those who choose to volunteer will not be paid.

Mr Cleverly said the main point of the policy is to make sure “people mix with people outside their bubble” for “community cohesion”.

He said those who choose the military option “will be motivated to join the military” after spending a year with the Armed Forces.

Mr Sunak released a video on TikTok on Sunday explaining the new policy to young adults.

No plans to reintroduce National Service

The military service announcement came just two days after defence minister Dr Andrew Murrison answered a question from fellow Conservative Mark Pritchard about whether an assessment had been made to reintroduce National Service.

Dr Murrison said: “The government has no current plans to reintroduce National Service.”

He said the “demanding, increasingly technical, nature of defence” means highly trained, professional men and women are needed to best defend the country.

“If potentially unwilling National Service recruits were to be obliged to serve alongside the professional men and women of our Armed Forces, it could damage morale, recruitment and retention and would consume professional military and naval resources,” he said.

Dr Murrison added that if National Service recruits were in separate units it would be “difficult to find a proper and meaningful role for them, potentially harming motivation and discipline”.

‘Surprise’ policy move dreided as ‘deeply cynical’ by defence insider


Deborah Hayes

Deborah Haynes

Security and Defence Editor

@haynesdeborah

The prime minister appears to have had what some insiders regard as a belated epiphany about the critical importance of defence – and now even National Service.

It was just four months ago that Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson slapped down the outgoing head of the army for advocating the need for civilians to be trained to fight given the dangers of living in what the defence secretary has called “a pre-war world”.

General Sir Patrick Sanders had simply been using a speech to state a blunt reality – war and preparing for war is a whole-nation effort as demonstrated daily by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, where Ukrainian citizen soldiers are fighting and dying on the frontline.

Rather than support him, a Downing Street spokesperson at the time said that “hypothetical scenarios” involving possible wars were “not helpful” and ruled out any move towards a conscription model for the military.

Read full analysis here

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Cohesive society

Despite this clear rejection of the idea, the Conservatives have made it their first new major policy announcement.

Mr Cleverly said: “We want to build a society where people mix with people outside their own communities, mix with people from different backgrounds, different religions, different income levels.

“The bulk of this is about helping build a cohesive society where people mix outside their bubble.”

The Conservatives said the National Service programme would cost £2.5bn a year and would be funded by cash previously used for the UK Shared Prosperity Fund and cracking down on tax avoidance and evasion.

Read more on Sky News:
Labour could lose votes on defence – but probably not because of Sunak’s big bet on security

James Cleverly speaking to Trevor Phillips on Sky News
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James Cleverly speaking to Trevor Phillips on Sky News

But Labour’s shadow work and pensions secretary, Liz Kendall, accused the policy of being “yet another unfunded spending commitment”.

She told Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips: “That UK Prosperity Fund is supposed to be used to tackle economic inactivity and helping people get back into work so that really undermines another one of their arguments.

“This is an unfunded commitment, a headline-grabbing gimmick.”

She added that it does not deal with the big challenges facing young people, and said Labour has a “fully costed, fully funded plan to give young people those real opportunities that they need to build up”.

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‘Deeply cynical’ Sunak’s ‘policy surprise’ doesn’t change the fact next PM will have no time to play politics with defence

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'Deeply cynical' Sunak's 'policy surprise' doesn't change the fact next PM will have no time to play politics with defence

The prime minister appears to have had a belated epiphany about the critical importance of defence – and now even National Service.

It was just four months ago that Rishi Sunak’s spokesperson slapped down the outgoing head of the army for advocating the need for civilians to be trained to fight given the dangers of living in what the defence secretary has called “a pre-war world”.

General Sir Patrick Sanders had simply been using a speech to state a blunt reality – war and preparing for war is a whole-nation effort as demonstrated daily by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, where Ukrainian citizen soldiers are fighting and dying on the frontline.

Read more on Russians winning production war:
Ukrainians forced to pretend in training

Rather than support him, a Downing Street spokesperson at the time said that “hypothetical scenarios” involving possible wars were “not helpful” and ruled out any move towards a conscription model for the military.

Admiral Sir Tony Radakin, the chief of the defence staff, and David Williams, the top civil servant at the Ministry of Defence (MoD), apparently even summoned General Sanders for a dressing down over the remarks.

But the army chief had not been suggesting conscription then – just as the prime minister is not doing so now.

He had simply been talking about the need for civilians to be ready to serve.

Given that context, Mr Sunak’s sudden announcement that he would introduce a new form of National Service for 18-year-olds, including the chance to spend 12 months serving in the armed forces, sent eyebrows within the MoD soaring skyward.

“Deeply cynical,” was the verdict of one insider.

Another told Sky News: “This is a policy surprise to me. I haven’t seen it discussed in the Ministry of Defence.”

The need for greater national resilience is a theme that Sky News has been exploring as part of its series Prepared for War?

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Sky News asks: Is the UK ready for war?

We revealed in April that the government has no national plan for the defence of the UK or the mobilisation of its people and industry in a war.

The rallying cry from Mr Sunak for National Service comes after he chose to make defence a central theme of his election campaign even though as prime minister and chancellor he was accused by insiders of pushing back against demands from the military for more funding.

He only finally committed last month to a timeframe for a pledge to lift defence spending to 2.5% of national income from just over 2% at present – saying this would happen by 2030.

Mr Sunak then turned on Sir Keir Starmer, the leader of the Labour party, for failing to give the same guarantee – even though that had previously been his position, too.

The main problem facing either the Conservative or Labour leader when it comes to defence is that repeated cost-saving cuts to the armed forces under both administrations since the end of the Cold War have left the UK weaker.

Russia’s full-scale war in Ukraine, growing threats from China, an increasingly aggressive North Korea, and the potential for war with Iran in the Middle East means the world is more dangerous now than at any time since the Cold War.

Read more:
Teenagers will not be jailed for evading National Service
Adam Boulton: Labour could lose votes on defence

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Could China invade Taiwan?

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This will force defence to be a priority in terms of actions rather than just words for whoever becomes the next prime minister.

In fact, their first foreign trip will likely be to Washington on 9 July – just four days after taking office – for a major NATO summit against the backdrop of looming US presidential elections and a potential return of Donald Trump to the White House.

Goals for the summit – which will mark 75 years of the alliance – will include a collective bolstering of defences and resilience to deter external threats as well as a need to demonstrate internally to Mr Trump that NATO is value for money.

Given the gravity of the moment, there will be no time for playing politics with defence.

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Nicki Minaj’s show at Co-op Live in Manchester postponed after star’s arrest in Netherlands

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Nicki Minaj's show at Co-op Live in Manchester postponed after star's arrest in Netherlands

Nicki Minaj’s concert at the Co-op Live arena in Manchester, attended by thousands of fans, has been postponed at the last minute after she was arrested hours earlier in the Netherlands.

The American singer and rapper, 41, was held at Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport on suspicion of possession of soft drugs.

And fans had been let into the Manchester indoor venue on Saturday evening despite the star’s detention.

A post on the arena’s X account said shortly after 5.15pm: “Please note that general admission and premium doors for tonight’s Nicki Minaj show will now open at 19:00.”

What’s going on at Manchester’s Co-op Live?

Minaj was later released from custody just before 9pm but she will have to pay an undisclosed fine for “illegally exporting soft drugs from the Netherlands to another country”, Dutch police told Sky News.

Despite her release, she was not able to make it to Manchester and the gig will be moved to a later date with a statement from promoters Live Nation saying: “Tickets will remain valid for the rescheduled performance which will be announced ASAP.”

More on Nicki Minaj

It added: “Despite Nicki’s best efforts to explore every possible avenue to make tonight’s show happen, the events of today have made it impossible. We are deeply disappointed by the inconvenience this has caused.”

In a series of social media posts on X and Instagram, Minaj earlier claimed police said they found drugs in her luggage after items were checked by customs.

She wrote on X that “they said they found weed”. She also claimed “they took my luggage without consent” and “they’re trying to keep me from MANCHESTER”.

The messages also included one where she wrote: “This is Amsterdam btw, where weed is legal.”

The Co-op Live in Manchester. Pic: PA
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The Co-op Live arena in Manchester. Pic: PA

The star, whose hit songs include Starships, Super Bass and Anaconda, also filmed what appeared to be an airport official asking her to have her luggage checked.

Minaj later wrote: “It’s a 45 minute to an hour flight. So they’re probably trying to stall for about 4 hours.”

And she added: “Now they said I have to go 5 mins away to make a statement about my security to the police precinct.”

Asked about Minaj, Robert van Kapel, a spokesman for the Royal Netherlands Marechaussee military police, earlier told Sky News’ US partner network NBC News: “We can confirm that we have arrested a 41-year-old American woman at Schiphol Airport because of possession of soft drugs.”

Fans of the singer expressed their dismay at the decision to postpone the concert.

“Die-hard Nicki fan” Charu, who had travelled from Liverpool for the show, said the evening was “so ridiculously disappointing”.

“My sister and I had been looking forward to this for months. I’m in the middle of taking my medical school exams and I had been working around this day and was so looking forward to it,” they said.

“People around us said they’d travelled from Ireland and Scotland, paid for hotels for the night in Manchester, which is not cheap.

“So the fact that tickets will be refunded or still valid for another concert doesn’t really put into perspective the time and money that we have all spent on this night.”

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They added: “Her team surely would have known that the concert tonight was not going to be possible but to wait until 9.30pm to let us know feels disrespectful of our time and efforts.”

Charu said that concert-goers were “sobbing” after the announcement, and they will not be getting their hopes up about attending the rescheduled concert.

“Whenever she may postpone it to, it isn’t guaranteed that people can take time off work, be able to afford trains, flights, hotels to be able to make it to the show. It’s just very disappointing and upsetting.”

As part of her Pink Friday 2 World Tour, Minaj is due to perform in Birmingham on Sunday, followed by a concert at London’s O2 arena next Tuesday.

Then on Wednesday, she is due to play in Glasgow followed by a gig on Thursday, again at the Co-op Live in Manchester.

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The beleaguered £365m arena – the UK’s largest indoor entertainment venue – opened earlier this month after it was plagued by a series of problems.

There had been weeks of setbacks, cancellations and postponements, before live music finally got under way there on 14 May when Manchester rock band Elbow took to the stage.

The problems included part of the building’s ventilation and air conditioning system falling to the ground from the ceiling during a soundcheck in early May.

The 23,500-capacity venue was initially due to fully open with two Peter Kay stand-up shows on 23 and 24 April, but these dates were pushed back when problems emerged at a test event headlined by Ricky Astley.

The arena then planned for US rapper A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie to open the arena on 1 May, but it was called off just over an hour before his performance and after doors had opened to fans – because the ventilation system became detached.

The ventilation issue meant scheduled performances by US pop star Olivia Rodrigo and British band Keane were postponed, while a series of shows by Take That were moved to the AO Arena in Manchester.

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