Strictly Come Dancing and Will Sharpe among early winners at Bafta TV Awards

Strictly Come Dancing, Will Sharpe and Naomi Ackie were among the early winners at the first socially distanced Bafta TV Awards.

The ceremony is being broadcast as live on BBC One from behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic, with nominees accepting their awards virtually.

BBC One’s Strictly won the gong for entertainment programme – the second time the show has won the award.

Strictly judge Shirley Ballas thanked the celebrities who she said “throw themselves into the world of Strictly”.

Her fellow judge Bruno Tonioli added: “The biggest thank you goes to all of you, our viewers, without you we would not be here and we hope to keep you entertained and happy for many years to come.”

Ackie secured best supporting actress for her turn in Channel 4’s The End Of The F***ing World, accepting the prize over video call.

EE British Academy Film Awards 2020 – Arrivals – London
Naomi Ackie (Matt Crossick/PA)

She dedicated the win to her father and late mother, saying: “I love my dad and he has been so supportive… and I know my mum up in the clouds would be so happy.”

She added: “This makes lockdown so much better.”

And Sharpe won the award for best supporting actor for his role in BBC Two crime drama Giri/Haji.

Speaking in a pre-recorded clip, he said: “It was enough for me to have had the opportunity to play the role, and so whether this clip sees the light of day or not, I have been and will remain incredibly grateful for all of it.”

Mo Gilligan won the award for best entertainment performance for The Lateish Show With Mo Gilligan, while Race Across The World was named winner of the reality and constructed factual.

Richard Ayoade is hosting for the first time, while actor Idris Elba will receive the special award, one of Bafta’s highest accolades, presented by a surprise guest.

Some winners recorded their acceptance speeches in advance not knowing whether they had won or not, while others appeared via video call.

The show features guest presenters including Himesh Patel and Adrian Lester, presenter Stacey Dooley and comedian Aisling Bea.

They are being joined virtually by Billy Porter, Chris O’Dowd, David Tennant, Jeff Goldblum, Kermit the Frog, Miss Piggy, Michael Sheen and Ruth Madeley, all guest presenting via video-link.

Virgin Media BAFTA TV Awards 2020 – Arrivals – London
Stacey Dooley (Dominic Lipinski/PA)

Australian comedian and musician Tim Minchin also performed a satirical song written for the ceremony via video link, about the coronavirus pandemic’s impact on the film, TV and theatre industries.

The Bafta TV awards were due to take place on May 17, while the craft awards, which celebrate technical achievements, were to be held on April 26, but were postponed because of the coronavirus crisis.

The craft awards were streamed online on July 17, hosted by Stephen Mangan.

Sky drama Chernobyl and Netflix’s royal saga The Crown lead the way at the awards, securing three nominations each.

The event comes after Boris Johnson pushed back the date on which theatres and music venue would be able to host indoor performances.

The event continues on BBC One.