Marcus Rashford interview nets BBC scoop of the year at RTS awards

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media captionMan United's Marcus Rashford spoke about his tough upbringing in bid to end food poverty

The BBC has won scoop of the year at the Royal Television Society journalism awards for its interview with footballer Marcus Rashford about his experience of growing up in poverty.

Rashford spoke to BBC Breakfast in June as he urged the government to extend the provision of free school meals.

The awards' judges said it was the exclusive "everyone wanted".

Elsewhere, the BBC's Clive Myrie won television journalist of the year while Andrew Marr won interview of the year.

The corporation led the way at the RTS Television Journalism Awards, winning in nine of 19 categories.

Rashford had been urging the government to change its mind about not offering food vouchers during the summer holidays when he spoke to BBC Breakfast.

During the first lockdown - which began in March 2020 - the government had provided vouchers to families whose children qualify for free meals, but had insisted this would not continue outside of term time.

In the Breakfast interview, the Manchester United striker told the BBC about how, when he was growing up, his mother had struggled to feed her five children.

"It's the stress on her shoulders that affected her, after we've ate our dinner, because she knows she's worrying about the situation. She's trying to go to sleep but she can't because she's so worried," he told the BBC.

"Everyone wanted this exclusive but only one team got it and it made headlines everywhere for days," the judges said.

Following Rashford's intervention, the government ended up extending the provision of free school meals into the summer holidays.

'An astonishing year'

The BBC's Clive Myrie won network presenter of the year for what judges called his "versatile, measured and compelling style".

He had documented life on the front-line of the pandemic with reports from the Royal London Hospital, where he found staff struggling to cope.

media captionClive Myrie spoke to Martin Freeborn, whose wife, Helen, died from Covid at the Royal London Hospital

"The jury agreed the winner had had an astonishing year - as excellent as a package maker and interviewer as a studio and location presenter," the judges said.

The Andrew Marr Show was recognised for its interview with the Chinese Ambassador, Liu Xiaoming.

media captionAndrew Marr showed footage that appeared to show Uighur people being pushed on to trains

He was shown drone footage which appeared to show its Uighur population being blindfolded and led to trains, and which has been authenticated by Australian security services.

The judges described the interview as "a master class in technique, gutsy and went for the jugular".

'Remarkable coverage'

Sky News won five awards, including news channel of the year, while daily news programme of the year went to ITV's News at Ten.

The judges' award was given to all the technical teams in recognition of the "ingenuity, innovation and speed they demonstrated this year to keep journalism on the air".

Chair of the awards Simon Bucks said: "This has been an incredibly challenging year for all journalists and news organisations.

"Despite the difficulties of covering the Covid-19 pandemic, all the broadcasters who enter these awards have distinguished themselves with some remarkable coverage and every one of the nominees would have been a worthy winner.

"Moreover, many of them were not about the Coronavirus, but a range of other important stories which in any normal year would have dominated the agenda."

The other winners were:

  • Breaking news: Winner - Beirut Blast Al Jazeera English
  • Camera operator of the year: Winner - David McIlveen BBC News at Ten BBC News for BBC One
  • Current affairs - home: Winner - Panorama - The Forgotten Frontline BBC Panorama for BBC One
  • Current affairs - international: Winner - BBC News Arabic - The Schools that Chain Boys BBC News Arabic for BBC iPlayer
  • Daily news programme of the year: Winner - ITV News at Ten ITN / ITV News for ITV
  • Digital award: Winner - Need To Know - 2019 UK General Election Series Seth Goolnik & Warren Nettleford ntk.network
  • Nations and regions current affairs: Winner - Unequal Force? A BBC London Special BBC London for BBC One
  • Nations and regions news: Winner - Coronavirus in London: Who's hit the hardest? BBC London for BBC One
  • Nations and regions presenter of the year: Winner - Hannah Miller - Granada Reports ITV News Granada for ITV
  • News coverage - home: Winner - A Warning from Italy Sky News
  • News technology: Winner - The Trump data leak - Channel 4 News ITN for Channel 4
  • Specialist journalist of the year: Winner - Nick Martin Sky News
  • Young talent of the year: Winner - Renata Brito - Video Journalist The Associated Press
  • Judges' award: Winner - technical teams
  • Outstanding contribution: Winner - John Ryley, Sky News

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