Charles hails television for providing ‘company’ to nation during lockdown

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The Prince of Wales has praised television for keeping the nation entertained during lockdown, saying the industry will bounce back “stronger than ever” following the coronavirus pandemic.

Speaking to nominees at the end of the virtual Royal Television Society (RTS) Craft and Design Awards 2020, Charles acknowledged the difficulties the industry has faced of late.

He said the importance of television has become more clear this year as it provided a “valuable source of company” to vulnerable people shielding at home over lockdown.

Charles said: “The nation was kept informed, engaged and entertained throughout those trying months by television in all its rich variety”

He added: “I know that the coronavirus pandemic has brought incredibly difficult times to people working in television production and to freelance workers in particular.

“When production closed down many were left without work, yet still with families to provide for and bills to pay.

“As with so many of our industries it was a devastating period, but now that production is beginning to re-establish itself I do hope you will be encouraged by the knowledge that the contribution you make to our national, cultural and economic life is truly valued.

“The ingenuity and resourcefulness of craftspeople in British television production is revered around the world and it is my belief that you will rebound from these challenging days stronger than ever.”

Charles spoke as people were being recognised for their contribution to a broad range of categories, from costume designers to documentary directors.

The BBC received 46 nominations for programmes including His Dark Materials and I May Destroy You, which received three nominations each, and Sky received 10 for dramas including Gangs Of London and Brassic.

Left Bank Pictures’ sound team was also nominated for its efforts in The Crown, a Netflix drama about royal affairs since the 1940s to present day.

The RTS awards show, which aired on the charity’s website at 6pm on Monday, aims to recognise the variety of skills and processes involved in programme production across 31 categories ranging from make-up design in dramas to multicamera directors.

RTS Awards chair Anne Mensah said: “The standard of television this year has been incredible and provided audiences with both comfort and escapism, as well as new and underrepresented perspectives, in what has been such a turbulent time for all of us.”

Originally founded as the Television Society in 1927, the RTS was granted its royal title in 1966 and the Prince of Wales became patron in 1997.

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