David Bowie's The Next Day, arguably 2013's most talked-about album released after a ten year musical hiatus, today lost out to the Arctic Monkeys at the prestigious South Bank Sky Arts Awards. AM, the band's fifth album, which has been praised as 'the most incredible album of their career' also emerged triumphant against Disclosure's debut album Settle.
In a glittering ceremony attended by some of the most illustrious patrons, practitioners and performers in the arts, the winners in visual art, theatre, opera, dance, comedy, classical music, pop, TV drama, literature and film were presented with their awards for the best in the Arts in 2013. Hosted by Melvyn Bragg, this is the seventeenth year of the awards and its fourth year in association with Sky Arts.
Rising comedic star Bridget Christie was a surprise winner in the Comedy category with her show A Bic for Her, which triumphed over Steve Coogan for Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa and Sky Arts' Psychobitches which stars Mark Gatiss, Rebecca Front and Julia Davis.
Steve Coogan was also nominated in the Film category for Oscar-nominated Philomena but lost out as Ken Loach presented the Film award to The Selfish Giant, Clio Barnard's gritty story of the life of a teenage scrap scavenger. The Selfish Giant also beat Le Week-End in this category, Hanif Kureishi's story of an ailing marriage which stars Jim Broadbent and Lindsay Duncan.
BBC Two had two nominations, both in the TV Drama category for Top of the Lake and The Fall but it was ITV's critically acclaimed thriller Broadchurch that triumphed on the day.
Stephen Mangan presented The Times Breakthrough Award to the comedian Nick Helm, currently starring in BBC 3's Uncle.
Dame Kiri Te Kanawa, Dame Evelyn Glennie and Imelda May performed at the awards, which took place at The Dorchester in London. Simon Russell Beale, Lenny Henry, Darcey Bussell, Paul Abbott, Lady Antonia Fraser and Gavin Turk were just some of the presenters involved in this year's ceremony.
This year, Sky Arts also announced the recipients of Sky Academy Arts Scholarships, in partnership with IdeasTap, five annual scholarships which support emerging UK artists. The artists each receive a £30,000 bursary, as well as mentoring from Sky and the arts industry to help develop their skills and take their work to the next level. This year, Sky Academy will be supporting choreographer Eleesha Drenna, sculptor James Lomax, creative producer and puppeteer Tom McDonagh, jazz drummer and composer Ollie Howell and theatre designer David Shearing. For details on their work visit sky.com/academy
The 2014 South Bank Sky Arts award itself was designed by the legendary pop artist Sir Peter Blake, who famously co-created the album sleeve for The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
SOUTH BANK SKY ARTS AWARD WINNERS 2014
Comedy: Bridget Christie: A Bic for Her
Theatre: Let The Right One In, National Theatre of Scotland
Visual Art: Katie Paterson, Kettle's Yard, Cambridge and Tipping Point, Wolverhampton Art Gallery
Times Breakthrough Award: Nick Helm
Film: The Selfish Giant
Opera: Written on Skin, Royal Opera House
Pop Music: Arctic Monkeys, AM
Dance: Dracula, Mark Bruce Company
Classical: The Rest is Noise, Various Artists, Southbank Centre
TV Drama: Broadchurch, ITV
Literature: Life After Life, Kate Atkinson
The Outstanding Achievement Award: Tracey Emin