Newsnight’s Emily Maitlis was last night named Royal Television Society’s news presenter of the year for her bombshell Prince Andrew interview.
In a triumphant night for the BBC’s flagship show, it also picked up daily news programme of the year and the Andrew interview was named scoop of the year.
Maitlis defeated ITN’s Tom Bradby, who secured the revealing interview with the Duke and Duchess of Sussex in Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, and Victoria Derbyshire, who was nominated despite her show being axed by the BBC.
In announcing Maitlis as the winner of presenter of the year, judges said: “In a year of political chaos, her nose for nonsense led to bruising encounters with politicians and her interview with a member of the Royal family will live on in history.”
Stepping out: Victoria Derbyshire arrived at Park Lane’s Hilton Hotel on Wednesday evening showcasing her quirky style in a pastel colour block dress
The competition: Victoria’s nomination for Victoria Derbyshire Programme will see her pit against [L-R] Tom Bradby of ITV News and Emily Maitlis of Newsnight
Newsnight’s bombshell interview with Andrew at Buckingham Palace made headlines around the world, was branded a “car crash” for the prince and was followed by his withdrawal from public duties.
Overall, the BBC won 10 of the 19 categories during the ceremony in London, followed by Sky News on five.
For Sama, the Oscar-nominated documentary, won in the international current affairs category.
Judges praised the Bafta-winning film as “outstanding”, adding that co-director and narrator Waad Al-Kateab old her story, combining the intimate with the macro, with breathtaking courage, stamina and determination. Already a winner of many awards, here is another”.
Broadcast journalist Christiane Amanpour won the outstanding contribution award.
Quirky: She’s nominated for Network Presenter of the Year at the 2020 RTS Television Journalism Awards
Retaliation: Victoria hit back at BBC News’ editorial director Kamal Ahmed earlier this month, after he hailed the corporation for its original journalism, despite her own programme being cancelled
Low blow: Ahmed shared a post about a probe by the flagship current affairs programme that had resulted in the Government announcing measures to ban putting children under the age of 16 in unregulated accommodation
Don’t mess with Derbyshire: She retweeted Ahmed’s tweet urging him to reconsider the BBC closing down her programme – which won a Bafta in 2017 and has been nominated for several awards
The awards ceremony, which was hosted by Sky News presenter Anna Botting, seeks to recognise creative and excellent journalism by organisations whose broadcasts are transmitted on a UK-based platform, or who create online video content from a UK production base.
Simon Bucks, Chair, RTS Television Journalism Awards, said, when the nominees were announced: ‘The quality of entries this year has been better than ever. With such a high bar, competition to reach the short list was hotly contested and all the nominees in every category would be worthy winners.’
Derbyshire hit back at BBC News’ editorial director Kamal Ahmed earlier this month, after he hailed the corporation for its original journalism, despite her own programme being cancelled.
The presenter told him to ‘reconsider the decision to close our programme then’ after he tweeted his praise for a Newsnight investigation.
Arrival: The ensemble was designed in pink, purple and green, with puffed shoulders and sleeves and a black sash around the waist
He had shared a post about a probe by the flagship current affairs programme that had resulted in the Government announcing measures to ban putting children under the age of 16 in unregulated accommodation.
Ahmed wrote: ‘Investigations matter. Original journalism matters.’
Victoria discovered that her show was being axed as part of a string of cuts when it was reported in a newspaper before the official announcement was made last month.
Nominated: The nomination comes after her show was axed by the BBC at the beginning of the year – surely making her appearance at the ceremony on Wednesday bittersweet
She has since made her feelings known about her programme’s cancellation, and has condemned the BBC’s claims that it pulled the show off air because it had failed to grow its live audience.
During a briefing to BBC staff about the cost-reduction cuts, she tweeted: ‘We were NEVER asked to grow the linear TV audience. Ever. We were asked to grow our digital audience – we did – our digi figures are huge (our successful digital figures appear to be an inconvenience to those making the decisions).’
Hitting back: The presenter told him to ‘reconsider the decision to close our programme then’ after he tweeted his praise for a Newsnight investigation
Lauded: Newsnight was granted a rare audience with Prince Andrew in December, helmed by Emily Maitlis, about his links to Jeffrey Epstein
Candid: Tom Bradby fronted Harry & Meghan: An African Journey, which caused waves when it was broadcast in 2019
She added: ‘Our remit when we were set up: 1. Original journalism 2. Reaching underserved audiences 3. Growing the digital figures We achieved all 3.’
Her show began in 2015 and broadcasts live on BBC Two and the BBC News channel every weekday from 10AM.
The programme won a Bafta in 2017 and has been nominated for several awards, including the RTS presenter prize for which she stepped out on Wednesday.
No holds barred! Victoria, pictured on her show last month, had no qualms about confronting the chief of BBC News
Taking no prisoners: She live tweeted from a briefing to BBC staff about the cuts to the news division as part of a cost-reduction drive
RTS TELEVISION JOURNALISM AWARDS WINNERS 2020
Turkey’s Incursion into Syria – CNN International
Hong Kong – BBC Newschannel
WINNER: Hong Kong Protesters Storm Legislative Council – CNN International
Camera Operator of the Year
Ben Martin – Channel 4 News
Mstyslav Chernov – Associated Press
WINNER Wang Xiqing – BBC News for BBC One
Current Affairs – Home
Panorama – Undercover Hospital Abuse Scandal – BBC Panorama for BBC One
Exposure – The Priory: Teenage Mental Health Uncovered – Hardcash Productions for ITV
WINNER Spotlight on The Troubles: A Secret History – BBC NI for BBC Four and BBC One Northern Ireland
Current Affairs – International
This World – One Day in Gaza – BBC Current Affairs London for BBC Two
Exposure – Undercover: Inside China’s Digital Gulag -Hardcash Productions for ITV
WINNER For Sama – Channel 4 News/ITN Productions for Channel 4 and PBS Frontline
Daily News Programme of the Year
News at Ten – ITN for ITV
BBC News at Ten – BBC News for BBC One
WINNER Newsnight – BBC Two
WINNER Why are transgender people self-medicating? – Sky News for Snapchat Discover and YouTube
Modern Masculinity – Men need meaning and responsibility – The Guardian for The Guardian/YouTube
Uncovered – Mexico Femicide – ITN for Online
Interview of the Year
Harry and Meghan: An African Journey – Duchess of Sussex – ITN Productions and ITV News for ITV
Andrew Neil interviews Boris Johnson – BBC News for BBC One
WINNER The Prince Andrew Interview – Newsnight
Nations and Regions Current Affairs
The Pub Bombings – BBC Birmingham for BBC England
Spotlight – Paisley in Paradise – BBC Northern Ireland
WINNER Disclosure: Who Killed Emma? – BBC Scotland for BBC One Scotland
Nations and Regions Presenter of the Year
Mark Carruthers – The View; Sunday Politics NI; Election 2019 – BBC Northern Ireland
WINNER Riz Lateef – BBC London for BBC One
Tony Morris – ITV News – Granada Reports
Network Presenter of the Year
WINNER Emily Maitlis – Newsnight – BBC Two
Tom Bradby – ITV News – ITN for ITV
Victoria Derbyshire – Victoria Derbyshire Programme – BBC Two and BBC Newschannel
News Channel of the Year
WINNER Sky News
News Coverage – Home
Britain’s Hidden Children’s Homes – Newsnight
The Murder of Lyra McKee – Channel 4 News
WINNER The Death of Molly Russell – BBC News for BBC One
News Coverage – International
The Migrant Crisis: Death on the Channel – ITV News
Inside Syria – Channel 4 News
WINNER The Missing Muslims of Xinjiang – BBC News at Ten
Click 1000 – BBC Click
Vote Coder – BBC News
WINNER First Lives from the Deep – Sky News and Associated Press
Scoop of the Year
Undercover with the Clerics: Iraq’s Secret Sex Trade – BBC News Arabic for BBC News and BBC Two
Harry Dunn – Sky News
WINNER The Prince Andrew Interview – Newsnight
Specialist Journalist of the Year
Alex Crawford – War Crimes & Crimes Against Humanity – Sky News
Dan Rivers – ITV News
WINNER Rohit Kachroo – ITV News
Television Journalist of the Year
Gabriel Gatehouse – Newsnight
WINNER Nima Elbagir – CNN International
Stuart Ramsay – Sky News
Young Talent of the Year
Ben Hunte – BBC News for BBC One
WINNER Martha Kelner – Sky News
Yousra Elbagir – Channel 4 News
Nations and Regions News
ITV News London – Domestic Abuse: The Crime Behind Closed Doors – ITN for ITV
BBC Look North (Yorkshire) – Floods November 2019 – BBC Yorkshire for BBC One
WINNER BBC South East Today – Shoreham Special programme – BBC South East for BBC One