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Three Girls star Molly Windsor beats Hollywood heavyweights for leading actress Bafta

Monday 14th May 2018

A little known actress beat off stiff competition from Hollywood stars to scoop best leading actress title at the Bafta TV awards.

Molly Windsor was awarded the accolade for her role in BBC drama Three Girls, which follows the Rochdale child sex abuse scandal where children were groomed and sexually abused by British Pakistani men between 2008 and 2012.

She beat Thandie Newton, who was up for her role of Roz Huntley in Line of Duty, and Claire Foy for her role as the Queen in The Crown.

The three-part drama also won best mini series.

Collecting her award from Sherlock’s Martin Freeman, the 20-year-old said: "Three Girls was born out of the courage of the real three girls, and the real Holly, Amber and Ruby, who told their story over and over and over and told it again to us.

"I just want to say thank you for recognising how selfless that is and how brave that is."

Also shortlisted was Little Boy Blue’s Sinead Keenan, who played the mother of Rhys Jones, an 11-year-old boy who was shot dead while riding his bike in 2008.

The Liverpool-based drama  didn’t go empty handed though—Brian F. O'Byrne, who played the detective who helped bring the murderer to justice, won supporting actor.

Host Sue Perkins brought a few laughs to proceedings at the Royal Festival Hall, bring up the gender pay gap, the Windrush scandal and royal baby (see below).

She also praised Jodie Whittaker becoming the first female Doctor Who.

Elsewhere Sean Bean won best leading actor for his role in Broken, and Vanessa Kirby was awarded supporting actress for her role in The Crown.

It was a big night for Blue Planet II, which was voted the Virgin TV must-see moment prize by the public for the scene of a mother pilot whale grieving her young.

Collecting it on stage, Sir David Attenborough said: "I speak for all of us when I say we set out to try and show the seas, the oceans for what they are, their beauty, their wonder, their splendour and intricacy but also the truth about what we are doing to them.

"And the fact that one particular moment rang a bell in the minds and consciousness of people in this country is something that pleases all of us more than I can say."

ITV2 dating show Love Island scored a Bafta in the reality and constructed factual category, while Britain’s Got Talent won best entertainment programme.

Graham Norton got best entertainment performance, and Peaky Blinders picked up the best drama series.

Journalist Kate Adie was honoured with the Bafta Fellowship award at the ceremony.

See below for the full list of winners.

Bafta TV award winners

Leading Actress

Molly Windsor (Three Girls)

Leading Actor

Sean Bean (Broken)

Supporting Actor

Brian F. O'Byrne (Little Boy Blue)

Supporting Actress

Vanessa Kirby (The Crown)


Three Girls

Scripted Comedy

This Country

Entertainment Performance

Graham Norton

Drama Series

Peaky Blinders

Single Drama

Murdered For Being Different

Soap & Continuing Drama


Entertainment Programme

Britain's Got Talent

Comedy Entertainment Programme

Murder in Successville

BAFTA for Reality & Constructed Factual

Love Island


The Handmaid's Tale


Cruising with Jane McDonald

Short Form Programme

Morgana Robinson's Summer

News Coverage

Sky News' The Rohingya Crisis

Current Affairs

Undercover: Britain's Immigration Secrets (Panorama)

Factual Series


Single Documentary

Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum And Dad

Specialist Factual

Basquiat - Rage To Riches

Female Performance in a Comedy Programme

Daisy May Cooper (This Country)

Male Performance in a Comedy Programme

Toby Jones (Detectorists)


The Grand National

Live Event

World War One Remembered: Passchendaele

The Special Award

John Motson OBE

The Fellowship

Kate Adie OBE

Virgin TV's Must-See Moment

Blue Planet II for the "Mother Pilot Whale Grieves" moment

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