Here’s some happy news about two very dark shows: writer-creators Phoebe Waller-Bridge (“Fleabag”) and Sally Wainwright (“Happy Valley”) were the big winners at last night’s Royal Television Society (Rts) Awards, BBC News reports.
Waller-Bridge accepted the Breakthrough and Best Comedy Writer prizes, and Wainwright received Best Drama Writer and the Judges’ Award. “Happy Valley,” a crime drama starring Sarah Lancashire, was also honored with the Rts Drama Series award.
“Fleabag,” which was recently renewed for a second season, is set in London and centers on a self-destructive young woman (Waller-Bridge) who owns a guinea pig-themed café. “I really wanted to hide a tragedy in a comedy and I really wanted to trick people,” Waller-Bridge has said. “I love the idea of disarming an audience through comedy and making them feel safe, and in turn making them vulnerable to twists and turns that they might not be expecting from a character.”
Waller-Bridge previously wrote and starred in “Crashing” about a group of twentysomethings using an old hospital as apartments. She is also working on BBC America’s “Killing Eve,” which centers on Eve, a fiercely intelligent security services operative who dreams of leaving her desk job behind to be a spy, and Villanelle, an elegant and proficient murderer. Waller-Bridge will serve as showrunner on the series.
Wainwright is keeping busy as well. Her new series about trailblazing landowner Anne Lister, “Shibden Hall,” will be produced by Lookout Point for BBC One and co-produced with HBO. Wainwright also wrote and directed the TV movie “To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters.” Premiering March 26 on PBS, “To Walk Invisible” follows sisters Charlotte, Emily, and Anne (Finn Atkins, Chloe Pirrie, and Charlie Murphy) as they face “numerous obstacles to write some of the greatest novels in the English language.”
Julie Walters was honored at the Rts awards with the Lifetime Achievement award. “I simply can’t thank all the amazing people I have elbowed out of the way to get where I am,” Walters quipped as she picked up the prize. Probably best known as Mrs. Weasley from the “Harry Potter” films, the actress has appeared in the Hulu series “National Treasure,” “Brooklyn,” and “Brave.” Walters will next be seen in “Mary Poppins Returns.”
Finally, Sophie Okonedo was named Best Female Actor for her work in “Undercover.” The drama miniseries centers on lawyer Maya Cobbina (Okonedo), who “returns to Britain to become the first black Director of Public Prosecutions,” according to its synopsis. After accepting the position, “she begins to suspect that everything she knew about the man she has been married to for the past 20 years (Adrian Lester) is a lie.”
Okonedo received an Oscar nod for Best Supporting Actress in 2005 for her role in “Hotel Rwanda.” Her other credits include “The Hollow Crown,” “The Escape Artist,” and “After Earth.”
Phoebe Waller-Bridge and Sally Wainwright Win Big at Royal Television Society Awards was originally published in Women and Hollywood on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.