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Sir Lenny Henry and Michaela Coel Win Big at Royal Television Society Awards 2016

26/03/2016 21:31 GMT | Updated 25/03/2017 09:12 GMT

JD LH

JASMINE WITH TWO TIME RTS AWARD WINNER SIR LENNY HENRY.

All Photos copyright- Paul Hampartsoumian / RTS.

The great and the good from this years British TV industry, were out in force this week to recognize great TV content, at the annual RTS (Royal Television Society). AWARDS held at the plush Grosvenor House Hotel. I was on a table with my fellow RTS Futures Committee members (think naughty kids table at a wedding).

JD TERESA

JASMINE WITH RTS CHIEF EXECUTIVE THERESA WISE.

All Photos copyright- Paul Hampartsoumian /RTS.

Hosted by the charming and patient Richard Madeley, the RTS earlier this month had announced that their judging panel this year had changed to include more women and people from minority backgrounds. Onstage ot was revealed that the change now saw a more robust looking panel and now see's 52% are women and a healthy 27% are black or minority ethnic.

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RTS AWRDS 2016 HOST RICHARD MADELY.

All Photos copyright- Paul Hampartsoumian / RTS.

The now traditional blue carpet saw ‎names like the Emmerdale cast, retired footballer Alan shearer,Grayson Perry, ITV News reader Charlene White, Formula One driver David Coulthard, presenters Ant & Dec, poet, screen writer and actress Michaela Coel, actor / writer Lenny Henry and many more dressed in traditional black tie.

GRAYSON PERRY

ARTIST GRAYSON PERRY AT RTS AWARDS 2016.

All Photos copyright- Paul Hampartsoumian / RTS.

RTS TABLE

All Photos copyright- Paul Hampartsoumian / RTS.

After a slap up meal, Richard Madeley sped through 25 categories swiftly.

MICHAELA

RTS AWARDS 2016 TWO TIME WINNER- MICHAELA COEL!.

All Photos copyright- Paul Hampartsoumian / RTS.

The big excitement of the night was breakthrough star Michaela Coel, star of E4's comedy Chewing Gum, who not only won the breakthrough award, but also won best comedy performance.

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WINNER MICHEALA COEL WAS THE NAME EVERYONE (including me, actor Femi Oyeniran and ITV News Charlene White!),CLAMOURED TO GET PICS WITH.

All Photos copyright- Paul Hampartsoumian / RTS.

LH SPEECH

SIR LENNY WINS AN RTS AWARD!.

All Photos copyright- Paul Hampartsoumian / RTS.

The biggest award of the night went to Sir Lenny Henry, who was awarded a fellowship of the Royal Television Society alongside a judge's award at the RTS Programme Awards. Unsurprisingly Sir Lenny looked exhausted. The task of driving diversity over two years is most likely draining him. I know just how stressful it can be to champion a cause that you're passionate about whilst still wafting to remain mainstream and not look like you have a chip on your shoulder.

Onstage Lenny said that he was surprised to receive the fellowship, saying it was beyond his "wildest expectations".

LH AWARDS

SIR LENNY WITH HIS TWO BIG RTS AWARDS.

All Photos copyright- Paul Hampartsoumian / RTS.

A few years ago, whilst on an industry panel, Lenny had taken a swipe at me and my then TV channel MTV Base, lazily accusing it for being the root of all evil with young people. I defended the brand showing all the positive things that had come from it, but from then on in I saw Lenny as 'the enemy'. I have since learnt to see more to him than that in recent years and admire his tenacity, and now stand alongside him in his journey to keep diversity alive, and hopefully we will look back in the future on it as something that only belonged to the past.

ANT DEC

ANT & DEC WIN AGAIN AT RTS 2016.

All Photos copyright- Paul Hampartsoumian / RTS.

To no-ones surprise, presenters Ant and Dec (who won their first RTS award over 20 years ago), won the best entertainment performance award - again. Basically until they die, no one else has a look it. Just accept it and move on. Clumsy Dec in all the excitement, ended up breaking the award soon after receiving it!

I can't believe that Emmerdale beat rivals Coronation Street and EastEnders to win best soap and continuing drama. I mean seriously, who watches this? Is it a country and regions thing? I've never met an Emmerdale fan.

My old MTV presenter Reggie Yates won the presenter award for his BBC Three programme Reggie Yates' Extreme Russia, which no one could deny, was just brilliant. Brave and ground breaking yet still respectful, this series has been fascinating and modern.

JOAN BAKEWELL

JOAN BAKEWELL RECEIVES THE LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARD AT THE RTS AWARDS 2016.

All Photos copyright- Paul Hampartsoumian / RTS.

Broadcaster and journalist Joan Bakewell received the lifetime achievement award and made a very passionate speech about standing up for and supporting the BBC.