Little Simz and It’s A Sin secure wins at South Bank Sky Arts Awards

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Broadcaster Melvyn Bragg will host the South Bank Sky Arts Awards at the Savoy Hotel in July (Sky/PA)
Broadcaster Melvyn Bragg will host the South Bank Sky Arts Awards at the Savoy Hotel in July (Sky/PA)

British rapper Little Simz and Channel 4 mini-drama It’s A Sin have scooped accolades at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards at The Savoy Hotel in London.

The South Bank Sky Arts Awards, hosted by Melvyn Bragg, celebrate a broad range of artistic genres including dance, theatre, music, TV and film.

London-born Little Simz, 28, took home the pop award for her fourth studio album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, which also secured her a Brit award earlier this year.

British rapper Little Simz scooped the pop award for her album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (Ian West/PA) (PA Wire)
British rapper Little Simz scooped the pop award for her album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert (Ian West/PA) (PA Wire)

The multi-award-winning Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin – which follows a group of gay friends as the HIV/Aids crisis hits London – won the award for TV drama, triumphing over Time starring Sean Bean and Stephen Graham and This Is Going To Hurt, based on Adam Kay’s bestselling memoir.

Meanwhile, Monica Ali scooped the literature prize for her novel Love Marriage, a story of a young couple and their families from two different cultures trying to understand each other.

Nida Manzoor’s popular anarchic series We Are Lady Parts won for comedy, and The Dante Project, choreographed by Wayne McGregor for The Royal Ballet, picked up the accolade for dance.

This year’s recipient of the coveted outstanding achievement award was Tamara Rojo.

Tamara Rojo is credited with spearheading the transformation of the English National Ballet (David Jensen/PA) (PA Archive)
Tamara Rojo is credited with spearheading the transformation of the English National Ballet (David Jensen/PA) (PA Archive)

Rojo, 48, served as artistic director of the English National Ballet from 2012 to 2022 and was recently appointed to serve as the San Francisco Ballet’s first female artistic director.

Throughout her career, she has been recognised for her passionate advocacy for the arts, championing women in dance, and is credited for spearheading the transformation of the English National Ballet during her tenure.

The multifaceted Passing, written, produced and directed by Rebecca Hall, won for film.

The awards also celebrated emerging talent with The Times Breakthrough Award, which was presented to Liz Kingsman for her comedy One-Woman Show, written and performed by Kingsman at the Soho Theatre.

Other winners included Michael Armitage: Paradise Edict at the Royal Academy of Arts London in the visual art category, and The Young Vic and Headlong’s co-production Best Of Enemies by James Graham, which won the theatre award.

Opera North’s Rigoletto topped the opera category, while the classical music accolade went to Huw Watkins’ Symphony No. 2, performed by The Halle orchestra.

Critically acclaimed mini-series It’s A Sin, written by Russell T Davies, pictured, triumphed in the drama category (Ian West/PA) (PA Archive)
Critically acclaimed mini-series It’s A Sin, written by Russell T Davies, pictured, triumphed in the drama category (Ian West/PA) (PA Archive)

The ceremony also saw performances from singer-songwriter Tom Odell, opera star Freddie de Tommaso, and an orchestral performance from Chineke! – Europe’s first majority-black and ethnically diverse orchestra.

Speaking about the awards, author and broadcaster Bragg, 82, said: “While so much around us seems to be getting worse, the arts in this country continue to go from strength to strength.

“The South Bank Sky Arts Awards once again picked out a range of brilliant artists from across the landscape of the British arts, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy joining us to see them all in action.”

The director of Sky Arts Phil Edgar-Jones added: “After a rough few years, we can see the arts start to recover – some incredible work has been produced since we started to emerge from Covid and we are proud to celebrate that with all the brilliant singers, dancers, actors, visual artists and writers this country produces.

“We are committed to supporting the arts through the next few years, whatever life throws at us.”

The South Bank Sky Arts Awards will air on Sky Arts on July 13 at 10pm and also on streaming service Now.

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