Cultural Diversity Network Award winners announced
The winners of the Cultural Diversity Network Diversity Awards were announced last night (29 November) at a ceremony hosted by Gok Wan at The Royal Opera House, London.
The CDN is a voluntary collaboration across the television production and broadcast sector that works to improve diversity; its members include Channel 4, BBC, ITV, Sky, Bafta, Five, ITN, Skillset, Pact, Turner, LivingTV Group, MTV, S4C and the Media Trust.
As the current chair of the CDN, Channel 4 CEO David Abraham opened the awards, which were attended by a host of TV names; including Nathan Stewart-Jarrett and Antonia Thomas (Misfits), Omid Djalili, Kayvan Novak (Facejacker/Four Lions) Dispatches reporter Tazeen Ahmed, Nitin Ganatra (EastEnders), presenter Anita Rani, Lenny Henry, and Rageh Omar.
Tamanna Rahman, reporter on BBC1’s Panorama – Undercover: Hate on the Doorstep picked up the award for Best Breakthrough Production Talent. With limited TV experience, and a background in researching for radio, Tamanna was just 25 years old when she carried out this undercover investigation into racism in modern Britain, her first significant TV production role.
The production company behind The Inbetweeners, Bwark, were named Company of the Year, for their work in embracing diversity in their business.
Despite being a small company, Bwark impressed the panel with the way they have championed diversity through their casting, engagement with their local community in Tower Hamlets, and their significant involvement in training and development of entry level new talent from diverse backgrounds.
Victoria Wright, who starred as April in the darkly comic Channel 4 drama series Cast Offs, collected the award for Best On-Screen Performance – an award given to an actor who, via their on-screen character or personality, managed to impact upon and transform public perceptions of an under-represented group in society. The role of April was Victoria’s acting debut.
A judging panel, and the industry itself were unanimous in their winner for the Most Groundbreaking Programme category, awarded to a show which has changed public perceptions of a diverse topic, issue, or under represented group or given a voice to an under represented group or community.
Both the panel of judges, and a poll on www.broadcastnow.co.uk chose Firecracker films’ My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding (Channel 4). Gaining rare access to this fascinating and often misunderstood community, the film used the accessible prism of weddings to explore a group of people that live alongside but detached from mainstream society.
Mark Allen, Kate Monaghan, Aaqil Ahmed and Tommy Nagra were all honoured with Mentoring Recognition Awards. The awards were given to individuals who have worked tirelessly to improve representation in the industry, by going beyond the call of duty and most effectively guiding and supporting their more junior diverse contemporaries.
ITV’s Head of Employee Development and Diversity, Sara Hanson, received the Individual Special Recognition award which went to the individual at a broadcaster, in-house production unit or independent production company who has, through their work in the media, made an outstanding contribution to championing the cause of diversity.
The judges chose EastEnders as the recipient of the Sainsbury’s Mainstreaming Disability Award, for its rich, complex and human portrayal of disabled characters across major storylines this year.
For more information on the CDN Awards, please visit culturaldiversitynetwork.co.uk