British 'whodunnit' drama series "Broadchurch" wins three BAFTAs

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[May 19, 2014]  By William James

LONDON (Reuters) British detective drama "Broadchurch" led the field at the television BAFTA awards on Sunday, winning three categories including best drama and best actress.

The show follows detectives played by English actress Olivia Colman and David Tennant, who has also starred as Dr Who in the British science fiction series of the same name, as they unravel a child murder in a small English coastal town.

Aired on the ITV network, the show's finale attracted around 10 million viewers - more than a third of the total British TV audience that night - and has been credited by some critics with reviving the channel's reputation for drama production.

It has since been shown around the world and U.S. network Fox commissioned a remake, named "Gracepoint", which will also star Tennant and is scheduled for release later this year.

Colman won the British Academy of Film and Television Arts award (BAFTA) for best actress, beating Helena Bonham Carter's portrayal of Elizabeth Taylor in the series "Burton And Taylor".

Such was the secrecy on the "Broadchurch" set, writer and executive producer Chris Chibnall refused to let cast members know the identity of the killer until hours before the final scene was filmed.

"I'm so pleased everyone likes it, we love it. Chris Chibnall is a genius," said a tearful Colman accepting the award at London's Royal Festival Hall.

In addition to the drama and actress category wins, David Bradley picked up the supporting actor award.

U.S. show "Breaking Bad", which screened its final episode in September last year, won the international category.

(Editing by Eric Walsh)

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