Jodie Comer has won Best Leading Actress at the TV BAFTA Awards today, beating the likes of Mare of Eastown star Kate Winslet and It’s a Sin’s Lydia West for her incredible turn in Channel 4 drama Help.
In her acceptance speech, Comer thanked Channel 4 for ‘believing in the script from the very beginning’, along with co-star Stephen Graham and writer Jack Thorne for ‘integrity, passion and completely changing my view and priorities in the work I want to do going forwards’.
She also thanked carers who helped those involved in the show with their research, saying they were ‘incredibly gracious’ with their time.
Comer added: “The biggest reward is that they felt truly represented with the telling of this story."
It's the second time the star has picked up the award, having also been named Best Leading Actress in 2019 for her role as Villanelle in Killing Eve.
Speaking to press after her win, Comer admitted she was ‘still shaking’, saying: “It was such an honour to be part of Help.”
She added that she came out of the show with a feeling she’d never felt before from a role, also saying she was glad to film in Liverpool with Stephen Graham, who she ‘adores’.
When asked what she’d miss most from playing Villanelle, she replied: “I think all the mischief, I had so many moments on set just looking round realising the ridiculousness of everything.”
She added: “We never anticipated it would be as big as it was.”
Sean Bean also picked up the Best Leading Actor today, having been honoured for his role in gritty BBC mini-series Time.
Written by Jimmy McGovern, the drama was a huge hit with fans when it premiered on the BBC last summer.
Bean wasn’t at the ceremony today, but the show’s producer Simon Maloney was able to pick up the award on his behalf.
Reading out a letter from the actor that said he was ‘overwhelmed’ by the award, also praising his co-stars.
Bean said in his letter: "My fellow cast members, especially the incredible Stephen Graham, were an inspiration to me. without whose passion and commitment I would not be receiving this award tonight."
The show also won Best Mini-Series, which came as a shock to cast and crew earlier in the ceremony - admitting they were 'ill-prepared' for the win.
Graham leaned into the mic and said: “Normally everyone says we weren’t expecting this, but on my ma’s life, we weren’t expecting this!”