David Tennant And Staged Both Win At The Broadcasting Press Guild Awards


David Tennant has scooped the prize for Best Actor in the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards for his portrayal of the serial killer Dennis Nilsen in the ITV drama Des and for his role as a spoof version of himself in the BBC lockdown comedy Staged. The latter was also awarded Best Comedy. 

Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic the 47th annual Broadcasting Press Guild Awards took place virtually today. The winners were announced on Twitter.

Des focuses on one of the most infamous criminal cases in UK history. The three-part series is based on the book Killing For Company by Brian Masters and premiered on ITV in the UK last year. 

Known as the ‘kindly killer’, Nilsen (David Tennant) was a local civil servant who spent five years murdering vulnerable and often homeless boys and young men he met on the streets of Soho from 1978 to 1983. He would meet and befriend these men before offering them food or lodgings for the evening back at his North London flat. When he was finally caught on 9 February 1983, Nilsen had murdered a total of fifteen men over a period of five years, making him Britain’s most prolific serial killer of the time. 

The story is told through the prism of three isolated men - Detective Peter Jay (Daniel Mays), who arrested Nilsen and sought to get justice for his many victims, his biographer Brian Masters (Jason Watkins) and Nilsen himself. Des was written by Luke Neal and directed by Lewis Arnold. 

Staged sees Michael Sheen and David Tennant (playing spoof versions of themselves) about to star in a production of Six Characters In Search Of An Author in the West End. The pandemic has put paid to that, but their director (Simon Evans - also playing himself) is determined not to let the opportunity pass him by. He knows how big a chance this is for him and turns his attention to cajoling his stars into rehearsing over the internet. Nina Sosanya, Georgia Tennant and Anna Lundberg also co star with a smattering of A List guests popping up along the way. 

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