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BAFTA Television Fellowship and Special Award recipients announced

16 April 2019

Joan Bakewell to be honoured with the BAFTA Television Fellowship, Nicola Shindler to recieve the BAFTA Television Special Award, and Emma Thomas to receive BAFTA Television Craft Special Award. 

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced today that Joan Bakewell and Nicola Shindler will be recognised at the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards and Emma Thomas will be recognised at the British Academy Television Craft Awards with their highest accolades.

Joan Bakewell, broadcaster and journalist is to be honoured with the BAFTA Television Fellowship at the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards, on Sunday 12th May, in recognition of an illustrious career which has spanned over 50 years. Awarded annually, the Fellowship is the highest accolade bestowed by BAFTA upon an individual in recognition of an outstanding and exceptional contribution to film, games or television. Joan has presented some of the UK’s enduring factual programming including Late Night Line-Up (1965-72) and Heart of the Matter (1988 – 2000), as well as pioneering the role of BBC Television Art’s correspondent (1981-87) before writing and presenting a four-part series for the BBC called Taboo (2001), a personal exploration of the concepts of taste, decency and censorship. Currently Joan can be seen presenting Portrait Artist of the Year for Sky Arts.

Nicola Shindler will be presented with a Special Award at the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards on Sunday 12th May, recognising her outstanding contribution to the television industry. Nicola’s award is in recognition of her services to Television production. In 1998 Nicola founded the award-winning RED Production company which has been responsible for producing some of the most talked about series over the past few decades, including the groundbreaking seminal drama Queer as Folk (1999-2000), Clocking Off (2000-2003), Happy Valley (2014-2016) , Burn It (2003) and Harlan Coben’s Safe (2018). Forthcoming, their new series of Trust Me, starring Alfred Enoch and John Hannah starts tonight at 9pm on BBC One, and Russell T Davies’ highly anticipated new drama Years and Years starring Russell Tovey, Anne Reid, Rory Kinnear and Emma Thompson is coming this Spring to BBC One.

Emma Thomas will be recognised with a special award at the BAFTA Television Craft Awards on Sunday 28th April for her services in script supervision. Emma has acted as script supervisor on some of the most beloved Television shows including Goodnight Sweetheart (1993-95), Birds of a Feather (1989-98), Benidorm (2007), Bad Education (2012), Luther (2010-11) and The Bill (2008). Emma has also worked on a raft of high end International TV shows including The Bastard Executioner (2015), Tyrant (2016) and Guerrilla (2017).  

Most recently Emma was the script supervisior on Soon Gone: A Windrush Chronicle (2019) for BBC Four, a series of monologues that reveal the hopes, desires, achievements, shattered dreams and broken promises of a single fictionalised family over four generations.  

Joan Bakewell said: “I’m thrilled to see so many women nominated this year and delighted to share this great BAFTA occasion with them. I have been a broadcaster for many decades now and seen major changes along the way, not least the advancement of women both on the screen and in many roles behind it.”

Nicola Shindler said: “I am incredibly honoured to be the recipient of the BAFTA Television Special Award.  When I set up RED Production Company 20 years ago my goal was to make drama that I wanted to watch and that always challenged the audience as well as entertained. It hasn’t been easy but I am proud of the shows we make at RED and how hard we work. I have an amazing team, and have worked with a number of the most incredible people, who have made coming into work each day a joy. And I’m not done! I continue to be excited by new ideas everyday, and I can’t wait to see what the next 20 years brings.”  

Emma Thomas said:” I have had the privilege to work with a number of talented professionals on a huge variety of programming and films throughout my career and have been at the forefront of this ever-changing industry. It’s a privilege to have been awarded the prestigious British Academy Television Craft Special Award in a year where so many women have been recognised by BAFTA in front of and behind the screen.”

Amanda Berry CEO of BAFTA said: “This year BAFTA is thrilled to recognise three enormously successful women in the British Television industry. In their own fields their contribution to some of the most talked-about television programmes is truly outstanding.  We are delighted to honour their exceptional achievements.”

The Virgin Media BAFTA Television awards and the BAFTA Television Craft Awards champion excellence by recognising and celebrating the very best in British television programmes, performances and behind-the-scenes talent from 2018. Killing Eve leads this year’s nominations with 14 nominations, followed by A Very English Scandal with 12, six for Patrick Melrose, and five for Bodyguard and The Little Drummer Girl. The full nominations for this year’s awards can be found here.

This year’s BAFTA Television Craft Awards will be held at The Brewery on Sunday 28th April, available to watch live from BAFTAs YouTube channel here.

The Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards will be held at the Royal Festival Hall on Sunday 12th May and will be broadcast on BBC One, with live Red Carpet footage across BAFTA’s social channels (@BAFTA).

Photography is available at

For further information, please contact: 
Brogan Campbell
T 020 3003 6310
E [email protected]

Notes to editors:


Joan Bakewell is an author, journalist and broadcaster and currently presents Portrait Artist of the Year on Sky Arts. Joan has presented some of the UK’s enduring factual programming. Her credits include Late Night Line-Up (1965-72), Heart of the Matter (1988 – 2000) before writing and presenting a four-part series for the BBC called Taboo (2001), a personal exploration of the concepts of taste, decency and censorship. Joan was BBC televisions ’s first Arts correspondent (1981-87) and is also a well established author and has a number of published works, her most recent released in 2011, whilst she continues to regularly write for national newspapers and leading consumer publications in the UK. Joan was made a CBE in 1999 and Dame in 2008. In January 2011 she took her seat in the House of Lords as Baroness Bakewell of Stockport. In April 2013, she became President of Birkbeck College.


Nicola Shindler set up RED Production Company in 1998 to work with the best writers on original television drama. The Manchester-based indie, with Nicola at its helm, has since produced some of the UK’s most popular and award-winning series, working with esteemed writers including Russell T Davies, Harlan Coben, Matt Greenhalgh, Danny Brocklehurst, Sally Wainwright and Dan Sefton.  Nicola’s inaugural drama, written by Russell T Davies, was the seminal series Queer As Folk (1999-2000), starring Aiden Gillen, Craig Kelly and Charlie Hunnam.  Setting the bar for creating original and boundary pushing dramas, Nicola’s credits include the multi BAFTA award-winning and critically acclaimed Happy Valley (2014-2016) and Last Tango In Halifax (2012-2016), Danny Brocklehurst’s ratings-winning dramas Ordinary Lies (2015-2016), Clocking Off (2000-2003) and Come Home (2018), Dan Sefton’s Trust Me (2017-2019), Lenny Henry’s first screenplay Danny and the Human Zoo (2015), and Russell T Davies’ ambitious and acclaimed trilogy Cucumber (2015), Banana (2015), and Tofu (2015). Recent shows include Harlan Coben’s Safe, written by Danny Brocklehurst and starring Michael C Hall and Amanda Abbington for Netflix, and Butterfly by Tony Marchant, for ITV, starring Anna Friel. Trust Me series 2 written by Dan Sefton and starring Alfred Enoch and John Hannah premieres on BBC One on 16 April, and the highly anticipated new Russell T Davies drama Years and Years, starring Russell Tovey, Jessica Hynes and Emma Thompson will air on BBC One, HBO and Canal+ later this year.  Three new dramas have been announced; Traces for UKTV, The Stranger for Netflix and The Boys for Channel 4. RED Production Company is part of STUDIOCANAL’s international production network. In September 2018 Nicola was appointed CEO of StudioCanal UK. In her new role she will be in charge of setting up and spearheading a new in-house film production arm to develop British films, tapping into the U.K.’s vast talent pool. Nicola will undertake this alongside her work at RED and continue developing both TV and features.


It was in the studio audience of Terence Frisby’s sitcom Lucky Feller where a young Emma Thomas would get her first taste of the television industry. Regarded as a dry run for Only Fools and Horses, the early David Jason comedy, about two brothers in south-east London, piqued an interest and perseverance that would serve her well for a career spanning more than 30 years. Inspired further by her sister who was at drama school, she applied to the in-house ATV training scheme three times, eventually training at Central TV in Nottingham on its Script Supervisor course, specialising in drama production. Thomas fluctuates between television and film and has worked on more than 50 productions Her credits include Goodnight Sweetheart (1993-95), Birds of a Feather (1989-98), Benidorm (2007), Bad Education(2012), Luther (2010-11) and The Bill (2008) My Hero (2000-2001), Teachers (2002), two of The Canterbury Tales re-imaginations (‘The Knight’s Tale’ (2003) and ‘The Man of Law’s Tale’(2003), Benidorm (2007), Tyrant (2016) including (2nd Unit dalies) on Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens (2015) among others.  Thomas also spent 10 years working intermittently on The Bill, where she first met director Sam Miller (This Life, Luther) who helped to propel her career.


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is a world-leading independent arts charity that brings the very best work in film, games and television to public attention and supports the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – which includes workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK, USA and Asia – BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration. For advice and inspiration from the best creative minds in working in film, games and television, visit For more, visit

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