Bleak House Wins Three Broadcasting Press Guild Awards
Posted at 5:51 PM (PST) on Thursday, March 30, 2006

BBC's star-studded adaptation of 'Bleak House' shines at awards
By Ciar Byrne, Media Correspondent
The Independent
31 March 2006

The BBC may have tried to inject soap opera values into its recent adaptation of Charles Dickens's Bleak House, but it spared no expense on actors, hiring a star-studded cast that included Gillian Anderson and Charles Dance.

Its lavish production will be honoured today at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards. Anderson - best-known for her role in The X-Files - will be crowned best actress for her performance as Lady Dedlock, an aristocrat with a deadly secret. Anderson saw off the challenge of four other nominees: her Bleak House co-star Anna Maxwell Martin; Helen Mirren, for Channel 4's Elizabeth I; Ashley Jensen for Extras; and Billie Piper for her performance as Rose in Doctor Who.

Dance, who played Lady Dedlock's nemesis, the manipulative lawyer Mr Tulkinghorn, will pick up the award for best actor, triumphing over Doctor Who's last two incarnations, Christopher Eccleston and David Tennant, and The Thick of It's Chris Langham.

Andrew Davies's adaptation of Bleak House will be named best drama series at the awards lunch at the Theatre Royal in London. It was up against the BBC's revival of Doctor Who.

The success of Bleak House in the awards, voted for by more than 100 writers and broadcasters in the television and radio industry, bodes well for the series at the TV Baftas in May; it has four nominations.

Davies said he wanted the drama to appeal to younger viewers in the same way as soap operas like Hollyoaks.