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Sir Lenny Henry awarded RTS fellowship and judges award

Sir Lenny Henry has been awarded a fellowship of the Royal Television Society alongside a judges award at the RTS Programme Awards.

The actor and comedian said at the London ceremony he was surprised to receive the fellowship, saying it was beyond his “wildest expectations”.

Sir Lenny won the judges award for his work raising awareness of diversity within the industry.

Other winners included actress Suranne Jones and presenters Ant and Dec.

Ant and Dec, who won their first RTS award in 1995, took home the prize for best entertainment performance, but Dec admitted he had managed to break the award soon after receiving it.

Jones won the best female actor award for her role in BBC drama Dr Foster, adding to the National TV Award she won in January. Meanwhile Anthony Hopkins won the male actor award for BBC Two’s The Dresser.

Emmerdale beat rivals Coronation Street and EastEnders to win best soap and continuing drama.

The Lost Honour of Christopher Jefferies followed its Bafta success by winning two awards – best drama serial and best drama writing for Peter Morgan.

Another double winner was comedy series Catastrophe. The show’s creators and stars Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney won best scripted comedy and best comedy writers.

Rob Delaney and Mark Bonnar from CatastropheImage copyrightGetty Images
Image captionCatastrophe’s Rob Delaney attended the ceremony with co-star Mark Bonnar
Michaela CoelImage copyrightRTS
Image captionMichaela Coel said she was ‘amazed’ to win two awards and it was ‘comforting’ and she was ‘grateful’ that the RTS had become more inclusive this year

Michaela Coel, star of E4’s comedy Chewing Gum, won the breakthrough award, which was a new prize this year. She also won best comedy performance.

ITV2’s Release the Hounds beat The Graham Norton Show and The Last Leg to win best entertainment show.

The horror-themed game show sees contestants pushed to the limit in tests taken place during the night in a remote forest with the judges remarking it was “brilliantly made, with great production values which really move the genre forward”.

Reggie Yates, who hosts Release the Hounds, won the presenter award for his BBC Three programme Reggie Yates’ Extreme Russia.

ITV’s Judge Rinder beat This Morning to win best daytime programme, with judges calling it “incredibly watchable, distinctive and entertaining”.

BBC One’s DIY SOS: Homes for Veterans beat First Dates and SAS: Who Dares Wins to win the popular factual and features category.

In other drama awards, Paul Abbott’s No Offence won best drama series and Coalition won best single drama.

Broadcaster and journalist Joan Bakewell received the lifetime achievement award at the ceremony, hosted by Richard Madeley.

Earlier this month the Royal Television Society announced the judging panel this year had changed to include more women and people from minority backgrounds.

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