Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You dominates TV BAFTAs

Michaela Coel was the big winner of the BAFTA TV Awards, with two of the top awards on the night to add to two technical awards, already under her belt. At a socially-distanced – part virtual and part in-person – ceremony at Television Centre in West London, she added best Leading Actress and best Mini Series for I May Destroy You to the writing and directing awards she’d already collected.

Coel dedicated the mini-series prize to her crew who, she said, were “the unsung heroes who create everything you see, hear and feel”.

The best Leading Actor prize went to Normal People’s Paul Mescal.

The supporting actor awards both honoured stars playing real-life black characters. Rakie Ayola was named the best Supporting Actor for Anthony, in which she played the mother of Anthony Walker – a black teenager murdered in a racist attack. Malachi Kirby won the best Supporting Actor prize for playing the civil rights activist Darcus Howe in the Mangrove episode of Sir Steve McQueen’s Small Axe anthology series.

Another real-life black story to be recognised on the night was Sitting In Limbo – telling a tale from the Windrush scandal – which was named the best Single Drama.

Casualty was named the Best Soap, while Best Drama Series went to Sky Atlantic’s Save Me Too. Another Sky show, Life & Rhymes, was named the best entertainment programme, ahead of Strictly Come Dancing and Saturday Night Takeaway.

In the comedy categories, The Big Narstie Show was named the best comedy entertainment programme, Romesh Ranganathan won the best entertainment performance for The Ranganation and Inside No 9 picked up the best scripted comedy prize.

The best comedy actor was This Country’s Charlie Cooper and Aimee Lou Wood won the best comedy actress prize for Sex Education.

The one award of the night voted for by the public was the “must-see moment,” which went to Diversity’s Black Lives Matter routine on Britain’s Got Talent – which was also the most complained about moment on British TV last year.

And here is a list of the TV BAFTA winners in the main categories:

Leading actress

  • WINNER: Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You – BBC One

Leading actor

Supporting actress

  • WINNER: Rakie Ayola, Anthony – BBC One

Supporting actor

  • WINNER: Malachi Kirby, Small Axe – BBC One

Entertainment performance

  • WINNER: Romesh Ranganathan, The Ranganation – BBC Two

Male performance in a comedy programme

  • WINNER: Charlie Cooper, This Country – BBC Three

Female performance in a comedy programme

  • WINNER: Aimee Lou Wood, Sex Education – Netflix

Drama series

  • WINNER: Save Me Too – Sky Atlantic

Single drama

  • WINNER: Sitting In Limbo – BBC One


  • WINNER: I May Destroy You – BBC One

Soap and continuing drama

  • WINNER: Casualty – BBC One


  • WINNER: Welcome To Chechnya: The Gay Purge – BBC Four

Entertainment programme

  • WINNER: Life & Rhymes – Sky Arts

Comedy entertainment programme

  • WINNER: The Big Narstie Show – Channel 4

Scripted comedy

  • WINNER: Inside No 9 – BBC Two


  • WINNER: Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace – ITV


  • WINNER: The Great House Giveaway – Channel 4

Must-see moment

  • WINNER: Diversity on Britain’s Got Talent

Current affairs

  • WINNER: America’s War On Abortion – ITV

Single documentary

  • WINNER: Locked In: Breaking The Silence – BBC Four

Factual series

  • WINNER: Once Upon A Time In Iraq – BBC Two

Reality and constructed factual

  • WINNER: The School That Tried To End Racism – Channel 4

Specialist factual

  • WINNER: The Surgeon’s Cut – Netflix

News coverage

  • WINNER: Sky News: Inside Idlib – Sky News


  • WINNER: England v West Indies Test Cricket – Sky Sports Cricke

Live event

  • WINNER: Springwatch 2020 – BBC Two

Short-form programme

  • WINNER: They Saw The Sun First – Red Bull TV

Writer: Comedy

  • WINNER: Sophie Willan, Alma’s Not Normal – BBC Two

Writer: Drama

  • WINNER: Michaela Coel, I May Destroy You – BBC One