William hails small screen as ‘beacon of light’ ahead of Bafta TV awards

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The Duke of Cambridge has hailed television as a “collective beacon of light” during the coronavirus pandemic.

William praised the industry in Britain for maintaining its global significance as a vital connective force, ahead of the Bafta TV awards on Sunday.

The future king, who is Bafta president, said the benefit of the arts to wellbeing has become more apparent than ever in recent times.

In a foreword for the awards’ official programme, the duke wrote: “The screen arts have been a collective beacon of light during these challenging times, with British television maintaining its global significance as a vital connective force for information, education and entertainment.”

The Duke of Cambridge speaks at Bafta Piccadilly, London, in 2019
The Duke of Cambridge speaks at Bafta Piccadilly, London, in 2019 (Daniel Leal-Olivas/PA)

He added: “During a time when the benefit of the arts to our wellbeing has become more apparent than ever, Bafta has continued to engage the public through a series of virtual events and has expanded its initiatives globally to better support aspiring talent.”

William thanked all those who had helped Bafta continue its work “in a year like no other”.

The Bafta television awards will be handed out on Sunday.

Holograms of fans and stars who cannot attend the awards in person will be beamed on to the red carpet.

Sir Steve McQueen’s Small Axe anthology series leads the nominations for this year’s awards, where it is in the running for 15 gongs.

The Crown, Gangs Of London, I Hate Suzie and Save Me Too are also among the shows to have been nominated for prizes.

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