SOUTH BANK SKY ARTS AWARDS ANNOUNCE WINNERS OF AWARDS IN THEIR 20TH YEAR CELEBRATION

SOUTH BANK SKY ARTS AWARDS ANNOUNCE WINNERS OF AWARDS  IN THEIR 20TH YEAR CELEBRATION

EDDIE IZZARD RECIEVES OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD OF THE EVENING

GUESTS TREATED TO A WORLD PREMIERE PERFORMANCE BY TIM MINCHIN FROM NEW MUSICAL GROUNDHOG DAY

JOYCE DIDONATO PERFORMS ARIA FROM HANDEL’S RINALDO

IZZY BIZU PERFORMS SONG FROM FORTHCOMING ALBUM ‘A MOMENT OF MADNESS’

CATCH THE FULL AWARDS SHOW ON SKY ARTS ON WEDNESDAY 8TH JUNE AT 8PM


Winners of the 20th South Bank Sky Arts Awards were announced at a prestigious star-studded ceremony at London’s Savoy Hotel, which included a world premiere performance by Tim Minchin from his upcoming musical Groundhog Day, an aria from Handel’s Rinaldo by celebrated lyric-coloratura mezzo soprano Joyce DiDonato and singer-songwriter Izzy Bizu performed a song from her forthcoming debut album ‘A Moment of Madness’

Other guests included Sherlock actor Martin Freeman, pop singer Will Young, choreographer Dame Gillian Lynne, actor Jeremy Irons and comedian Shappi Khorsandi.

Eddie Izzard was presented with the Outstanding Achievement award by Lenny Henry, joining previous winners from Tracey Emin to J.K Rowling. Host of the awards Melvyn Bragg said “Eddie Izzard is a marvel. He works across such a wide waterfront with an unmatchable, often uncatchable style and wit.  We're delighted that he joins the ranks of those who have won this Outstanding Achievement Award.”
 
The Times Breakthrough Award went to UK rapper Stormzy who joins previous recipients Tom Hiddleston and Billie Piper as this year’s artist pinpointed as being on the brink of widespread success.

In the TV categories, Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney’s Catastrophe was awarded Best Comedy, seeing off tough competition from Peter Kay and Michaela Coel. While Best Drama, Doctor Foster, starring Suranne Jones, continued its remarkable run of success with a coveted award - marking a second consecutive win for writer Mike Bartlett, who won in 2015 for his play King Charles III. 

This year Reece Shearsmith took to the stage to receive the Theatre award for the Royal Court’s production of McDonagh’s Hangmen.

Andrew Haigh’s bitter sweet love story 45 Years starring Charlotte Rampling and Tom Courtenay won Best Film, beating off stiff competition from Brooklyn and Ex Machina.  In Literature Sunjeev Sahota’s second novel, The Year of the Runaways was chosen as the winner. Pop was picked up by poet and singer songwriter Benjamin Clementine, Visual Art by Lynette Yiadom-Boakye for her exhibition at the Serpentine Sackler gallery and Opera by the ENO for Calixto Bieito’s production of Verdi’s Force of Destiny.

It was a good year for the Arts in the regions with Northern Ballet taking home Best Dance for their production of 1984 and Liverpudlian composer Mark Simpson succeeding in the classical category.  Mark Simpson is a previous recipient of the Sky Academy Arts Scholarship, and the winning piece “The Immortal” was composed as his Scholarship project in 2014-15.  

The five winners of this year’s Sky Academy Arts Scholarships were also announced by Melvyn Bragg at the ceremony, supporting five emerging artists with £30,000 funding and mentoring to take their careers to the next level.  Scholarships were presented to: Yinka Ayinde (Creative Producer from London), Sarah Grant (Animator from Glasgow), Jasdeep Singh Degun (Indian Classical Sitarist and Composer from Leeds), Caitlin McLeod (Theatre Director from London) and  Gearoid O’Dea (Visual Artist from Dublin). Sky Academy Arts Scholarships are part of Sky Academy, which works with young people from primary school right through to starting their career, using the passion Sky shares for TV, creativity and sport, to build skills and experience.

Winners were presented with a unique serpentine award designed by artist Polly Morgan to reflect the creativity the Awards have championed over the past 20 years. 

In their 20th year the South Bank Sky Arts Awards are still unique in focussing on all genres of the arts. They continue to celebrate culture in all its forms with a diverse array of winners and performers, showcasing the South Bank Sky Arts Awards’ ability to pinpoint the best of what the arts community has to offer.

Phil Edgar Jones, Director of Sky Arts said  "Once again the range of creative talent on show at this year's South Bank Sky Arts Awards demonstrates the Arts are in rude health in the UK. We are delighted to be able to recognise a broad range of incredibly imaginative and talented people - and to announce our next set of Sky Academy scholars who will be receiving a £30,000 bursary, plus mentoring for a year to pursue their chosen practice and set them on the path to winning their own South Bank Sky Arts Awards in the future."

Later this month the longest-running flagship arts show, The South Bank Show returns to Sky Arts with brand new episodes, subjects include Russell T Davies and Ballet Black. Viewers can also look forward to Melvyn Bragg revisiting classic interviews in The South Bank Show Originals, which comes to Sky Arts this year. A stellar line up includes Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Attenborough.

Directors Cut Productions is an independent television production company based in Central London. Set up in 2010 by Melvyn Bragg and Cathy Haslam, who had worked together for 10 years at ITV, the company produces Arts and History Documentaries for UK television broadcasters. Directors Cut Productions produce all South Bank Show branded programmes for Sky Arts as well as producing the Sky Arts South Bank Awards event.

A unique event in the British awards calendar, this year’s ceremony was held at London’s Savoy Hotel on Sunday 5th June, and will be broadcast on Sky Arts on Wednesday 8th June.

For further information and details visit:
www.sky.com/watch/channel/sky-arts
@SkyArts

- ENDS -
Notes to Editors

Full Winners List – 2016 Awards

CLASSICAL MUSIC
WINNER: Mark Simpson, The Immortal
PRESENTER: Danielle de Niese
 
LITERATURE
WINNER: Sunjeev Sahota, The Year of the Runaways
PRESENTER: Monica Ali
 
THEATRE
WINNER: Hangmen, Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre
PRESENTER:?Kenneth Cranham?
 
POP
WINNER: Benjamin Clementine, At Least for Now
PRESENTER: Will Young 
 
COMEDY
WINNER: Catastrophe, Channel 4
PRESENTER: Shappi Khorsandi
 
TV DRAMA
WINNER: Doctor Foster, BBC One
PRESENTER: Martin Freeman
 
OPERA
WINNER: The Force of Destiny, English National Opera
PRESENTER: Angel Blue

VISUAL ART
WINNER: Lynette Yiadom-Boakye, Verses After Dusk
PRESENTER: Isaac Julien
 
FILM
WINNER: 45 Years
PRESENTER: Jeremy Irons
 
DANCE
WINNER: 1984, Northern Ballet
PRESENTER: Dame Gillian Lynne
 
THE TIMES BREAKTHROUGH AWARD
WINNER: Stormzy
PRESENTER: Jessica Hynes
 
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD
WINNER: Eddie Izzard
PRESENTER: Lenny Henry


The Four Pillars

The South Bank Show and Sky have formed a unique relationship, working together through four ‘pillars’ to support the arts both on and off-screen 

The South Bank Show 

The longest-running flagship arts show on television, The South Bank Show returns to Sky Arts in June with brand new episodes on subjects including Russell T Davies and Ballet Black. 

The South Bank Sky Arts Awards 

Celebrating their 20th anniversary this year, The South Bank Sky Arts Awards are the only awards in the world that focus on every genre of the arts, right across the board. This year’s ceremony will take place on Sunday 5 June at The Savoy in London, and will be shown on Sky Arts on Wednesday 8 June. 

The South Bank Show Originals 

Melvyn Bragg revisits classic interviews from The South Bank Show archive in 30 new episodes arriving on Sky Arts this year. A stellar line-up includes Elizabeth Taylor, Björk, Richard Attenborough, Kay Mellor and many more. 

Sky Academy Arts Scholarships 

We believe that every young person has potential; they just need the right opportunities to unlock it.  Sky Academy works with young people from primary school right through to starting their career, using the passion we share for TV, creativity or sport, to build skills and experience. 
We link up with schools and bring together inspirational role models to offer a range of opportunities, supported by Sky staff and well-known faces from our TV channels.
One way we do this is through Sky Academy Arts Scholarships, which support five emerging artists from the UK and Ireland each year, providing mentoring and financial support to give them the time and freedom they need to develop their creative practice and take their work to the next level. Each artist receives £30,000 – more than the winner of the Turner Prize. 

For more information, visit our website www.sky.com/academy 

Media Contacts:

For all media enquiries please contact:

southbank@ijpr.co.uk or call 0207 836 3030