The winners of the South Bank Sky Arts Awards were announced today in London with Benedict Cumberbatch, Stormzy and Paddington amongst the top prize winners.
The South Bank Sky Arts Awards were hosted by Melvyn Bragg and continue their legacy as the world’s only awards celebrating the complete range of the arts.
On presenting his good friend, Benedict Cumberbatch, with the Outstanding Achievement Award, Tom Hiddleston said, “He can do anything; he has done almost everything. He’s a great actor, a great man and I’m glad to call him my friend”.
Grime artist Stormzy took home the Pop award for Gang Signs & Prayer, his sensationally popular debut album that has taken the music world by storm. The universally treasured Paddington 2 was victorious in the Film category, meanwhile Ma’am Darling, the rip-roaring and witty account of Princess Margaret’s life, saw its author, Craig Brown, scoop the Literature prize.
Other winners on the day included the deliciously dark Inside No. 9 for Comedy, the eloquently poised maliphantworks for Dance and politically pertinent The Jungle for Theatre. The awards also celebrated emerging talent, with The Times Breakthrough Award this year presented to Nubya Garcia, a multitalented saxophonist whose debut recordings and live performances have transcended the jazz scene.
The awards added a personal touch for this year’s winners, as many of the presenters of each category had a connection with the respective recipient. Presenters included Germaine Greer, an early champion of winning artist Rose Wylie; and Classical Music presenter Guy Garvey, who has performed with Sir Mark Elder, conductor of the victorious BBC Philharmonic and the Hallé. With a host of artists performing on the night, including opera singer Danielle de Niese; remarkable country duo The Shires; hip hop infused saxophonist Soweto Kinch; and an expressive reading by Stephen Mangan, the awards were a dynamic celebration of British artistic excellence.
Outstanding Achievement Award winner Benedict Cumberbatch said: “I am quite flabbergasted to be receiving this award especially when looking at past recipients. I am needless to say immensely grateful and humbled. The South Bank Show has always had a place in my heart as being an inspirational exploration of the best of culture so to be recognised in this way by Melvyn and the show is incredibly flattering and I am very humbled to be this year’s recipient. Many many thanks.”
The awards will be televised on Sky Arts on Wednesday 4 July at 8pm.
THE SOUTH BANK SKY ARTS AWARDS 2018 WINNERS
Presented by: Germaine Greer
Rose Wylie – Quack Quack, Serpentine Sackler Gallery
Presented by: Mark Gatiss
Inside No. 9 – BBC Two
Presented by: Emily Berrington
The Jungle – A Young Vic and National Theatre co-production with Good Chance Theatre. Commissioned by the National Theatre
Presented by: Eleanor Tomlinson
Presented by: Sylvie Guillem
maliphantworks – Russell Maliphant Company
Presented by: Guy Garvey
Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder – BBC Philharmonic and the Hallé
Presented by: A N Wilson
Ma’am Darling: 99 Glimpses of Princess Margaret – Craig Brown
Presented by: Bryn Terfel
Hamlet – Glyndebourne
Presented by: Malorie Blackman
Stormzy – Gang Signs & Prayer
Presented by: Nicholas Pinnock
Howards End – Playground / BBC One
THE TIMES BREAKTHROUGH AWARD
Presented by: Chi-Chi Nwanoku
Pop – Nubya Garcia
OUTSTANDING ACHIEVEMENT AWARD