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“We need a respectful, mutual listening, free of ideology and predetermined agendas.” Pope Francis, Let us Dream, December 2020

Jimmy McGovern’s Broken wins twice at Sandford St Martin Awards

Hard-hitting BBC One drama Broken has scooped up two gongs at an awards ceremony celebrating religious programming.

Writer Jimmy McGovern’s show, which depicts the challenges of a Catholic priest in a Liverpool parish, came out on top at the 40th anniversary Sandford St Martin Awards.

Starring former Game of Thrones actor Sean Bean as Fr Michael Kerrigan, and Anna Friel as Christina Fitzsimmons, the drama was selected by a panel of media professionals to win the TV award.

The Bafta award-winning series also picked up the Radio Times readers’ award, voted for by thousands of participants.

“Our winner is a great example of how religion on the box can reach you in places you may never have expected it to come from,” said Aaqil Ahmed, chair of the TV judging panel.

“All of the judges were blown away by the writing, acting, and the sheer passion all around. This drama showed the place that religion has in the lives of many in Britain today, whether you are a believer or not.”

Other winners at the ceremony in London’s Lambeth Palace included 5 Live Daily with Emma Barnett for the Radio award.

It followed Barnett’s three-hour live broadcast from Stanbrook Abbey with Benedictine nuns last year, who spoke candidly about life in the 21st century.

Blue Peter won the Sandford St Martin Special award.

The annual Sandford St Martin awards celebrate excellence in religious, ethical and spiritual broadcasting. Past winners include Olivia Colman, Danny Boyle and Tom Hollander.

Picture: Sean Bean as Fr Michael Kerrigan in Broken. (BBC).