Coronavirus: RTS TV awards held behind closed doors as others are axed

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Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Paul Merton and Stephen GrahamImage source, BBC/RTS/Getty Images
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Left-right: Phoebe Waller-Bridge, Paul Merton and Stephen Graham

Fleabag won two prizes at this year's Royal Television Society Programme Awards, which were held behind closed doors due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Comic Paul Merton revealed the winners in a live stream on the RTS website.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge was named best comedy writer for her BBC show, which also won the scripted comedy prize.

A number of other award ceremonies, including the Oliviers, the Bafta TV awards and the Billboard Music Awards, have been cancelled or postponed.

In the virtual RTS ceremony, Stephen Graham was named best male actor for his role in Channel 4's The Virtues, while the best actor (female) award went to The Long Song's Tamara Lawrence.

The BBC's adaptation of Andrea Levy's novel about slavery in 19th Century Jamaica was named best mini-series and Gentleman Jack picked up the award for best drama series, while Casualty won the prize for soap and continuing drama.

Channel 5 was named channel of the year for the first time since the award was introduced in 2017.

Awards chair Wayne Garvie said the society had made "responsible changes to the format" of this year's event, which was held at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Image source, Getty Images
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Legendary lyricist Don Black was due to receive a special award at this year's Oliviers

The organisers of the West End's biggest annual award ceremony, the Laurence Olivier Awards, announced "with deep regret" on Tuesday that this year's event would not be held on 5 April as intended.

The Society of London Theatre (Solt) said it was "no longer... feasible to host the ceremony that we had planned to deliver" at London's Royal Albert Hall.

The society said it was "working through plans on how to properly honour and announce this year's winners from the nominees it announced earlier this month".

Bafta also announced on Tuesday it was postponing its annual television awards until later in the year.

Its television craft awards and main television awards had been due to be held on 26 April and 17 May respectively.

"We're working with all our partners to explore options for new dates," the organisation said in a statement.

The Billboard Music Awards, which were due to be held in Las Vegas on 29 April, is another high-profile event to be have been postponed.

In a statement, NBC and Dick Clark Productions said the decision had been made "to ensure the health and safety of our artists, fans, guests and staff".

Image source, Disney/Marvel
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Scarlett Johansson's Black Widow will no longer be released in May

US advocacy group Glaad (Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) has also cancelled its two media awards ceremonies.

The first had been due to be held this Thursday in New York, with a second to follow on 16 April in Los Angeles.

Meanwhile, Marvel's Black Widow has become the latest major film to have its release postponed as coronavirus continues to disrupt the world of entertainment.

The female-led superhero film, starring Scarlett Johansson and Britain's Florence Pugh, had been set for release on 1 May.

The Golden Raspberry Awards, or Razzies, was another awards event to be held via video link this year.

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