BBC gets four gongs at Creative Diversity Network Awards

Growing Up Down's contributors Growing Up Down's was commissioned through a scheme that looks for up-and-coming filmmakers

The BBC outperformed other broadcasters in awards that recognise excellence in diversity, on and off screen.

The Corporation triumphed in four out of eight categories at the Creative Diversity Network Awards on Tuesday.

BBC Three's Growing Up Down's took the ground-breaking programme award. The documentary, made by Maverick and Dartmouth Film, followed members of the The Blue Apple Theatre Company, all of whom have learning difficulties.

The film was commissioned through the BBC Fresh scheme, which gives up-and-coming filmmakers the chance to have their programme broadcast on the youth channel. Six films, with a budget of up to £100,000, are selected each year.

Elliot Reed, an executive producer in factual commissioning, said: 'Growing Up Down's is BBC Three at its best. Jealousy, the search for true love, confronting one's sexuality, facing fears are all familiar rites of passages for any young adult. But first-time documentary-maker Will Jessop's BBC Fresh film captures it all through the eyes of four young actors with learning difficulties. Perfect storytelling with raw intimacy and honesty.'

David Olusoga was a double winner on the night, taking gongs for best on-screen talent and best writer/director for The World's War: Forgotten Soldiers of Empire.

The two-part series for BBC Two told the story of the millions of Indian, African and Asian troops and ancillaries who fought during the Great War.

The broadcaster and filmmaker explained the series was a team effort that 'set out to challenge our collective understanding of the First World War'.

Olusoga added: 'We've been overwhelmed by the positive reaction this series and their stories have received.'

There was also an accolade for Holby City's production and editorial team, winning for achievement in production. The prize recognised the fact that the programme's regular cast is 35% BAME, with 40% of its editorial staff also from minority backgrounds.

Executive producer Oliver Kent said: 'Holby has become a top destination for diverse talent on and off screen and we hope to keep it that way.'

Commenting on the BBC's achievement, director of television Danny Cohen said: 'We are still a work in progress when it comes to diversity and we need to keep pushing hard on it, but it's great to see the steps we are taking being recognised.'

Director general Tony Hall added: 'I'm so pleased to see these great programmes and talented colleagues being recognised in the CDN awards. Getting our diversity right on air is about making the best programmes for all of our audiences and these are fine examples of some of our best work this year. My congratulations to everyone involved.'

The CDN brings together the UK television industry to promote, celebrate and share good practice around the diversity agenda. Current members are BAFTA, BBC, Channel 4, Creative Skillset, PACT, ITN, ITV, Media Trust, S4C, Sky and Turner Broadcasting.

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