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2024 TV BAFTAs: Happy Valley two-win swansong, Lorraine Kelly sweary career highlight and Liverpool Eurovision live event prize

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Yorkshire TV drama Happy Valley, which bowed out with its third and final series last year, was among the biggest winners at last night’s BAFTA TV Awards, picking up a duo of awards for Memorable Moment, for the show finale, and a second Leading Actress prize for Coronation Street graduate Sarah Lancashire.

The show’s Yorkshire writer Sally Wainwright was first on Lancashire’s list of thank yous picking up the award, although sections of social media were fixated on the fact that Oldham-born actress Lancashire doesn’t actually speak with the broad Yorkshire accent of her character, police officer Catherine Cawood:

Who’d have thought a BAFTA-winning actor would be able to do accents?

Joining Happy Valley at the top of the leaderboard with two awards were Top Boy and The Sixth Commandment.

Elsewhere regionally, Scottish daytime TV mainstay Lorraine Kelly picked up BAFTA’s Special Award for her four-decade career. The Lorraine host, who started out on TV AM in the eighties, listed a surprise career highlight as being told to “eff off” on live TV by fellow Scot Brian Cox, who also presented her with the award. Admittedly Cox was in character as sweary Succession lead Logan Roy: “At least I think he was in character,” Kelly quipped from the stage of London’s Royal Festival Hall.

The BBC’s coverage of Liverpool’s 2023 Eurovision Song Contest extravaganza scooped the prize for Live Event Coverage, and there was also a Factual Series prize for Sky Documentaries’ Scottish terror doc Lockerbie, and a Scripted Comedy gong for Simon Bird and Kat Sadler’s Merseyside-shot BBC Three comedy Such Brave Girls.

With no direct Northern link, but picking up the prize for best acceptance speech regardless, was Timothy Spall, who won the Male Lead prize for his role in The Sixth Commandment.

Spall trotted out the usual cliché about not expecting to win the award and having written nothing down.

“Look it all up on IMDB and you’ll see who was involved,” he added, in a refreshing dose of decidedly un-luvvie realism.

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