The TV Foundation, in association with the Edinburgh TV Festival, has announced the winners of their 2021 New Voice Awards.

The winners were revealed via @TheTVFoundation on Twitter in a digital ceremony, with awards presented by Channel 4 News presenter Ayshah Tull, The Masked Singer Unmasked host Will Njobvu and director Femi Oyeniran.

The awards brought big successes for Channel 4 and Acme Films who received the Best Broadcaster and Best Company for New Talent Awards, as well as wins in the Debut Director and Debut Presenter categories for Ashley Francis-Roy’s The Real Eastenders and Yinka Bokinni’s Damilola:The Boy Next Door, which Francis-Roy also directed. Channel 4 also secured the Debut Writer category with Yolanda Mercy’s BBW.

When accepting the award, Channel 4’s Chief Content Officer Ian Katz said, “Developing and showcasing new talent is at the heart of Channel 4’s DNA, so I am so pleased to see the amazing work of Yinka, Ashley and Yolanda being recognised in these awards. Doing a better job of representing the whole country of all views, regions as well as ethnicities is something that Channel 4 has been committed to since its inception and giving opportunities to new talent whether on screen or behind screen is key to that.

In their acceptance speech, Acme Films’ Creative Director Jaimie D’Cruz and Managing Director Rodney Brooks commented, “Acme has always embraced new talent at all levels of all of our productions, both in front of and behind the camera, but also in the back office where the real work is done. It is never the easiest path to take, but it’s vital to continue to make real change in an industry that needs real change. We want to encourage everyone to keep on taking risks, making changes, and working with new talent that is around us, because doing that means we’ll increase the diversity and the voices we are hearing in our industry.”

In the new talent categories, there were wins for Rachel Clark and Lucie Brownlee for the All3Media New Drama and Comedy Script Awards, and for Anna-Marie Descartes in Future Presenter. Documentary This Abled Dancer won the Test Card Award for a non commissioned, non-tx pilot or web series.

This year’s Mentors of the Year are former Ones to Watch (2019) Katie Hindley, Zoe McGivern and James Gandhi who went above and beyond to support their mentees in a very difficult year.

Talent Schemes Director, Sarah Vignoles said, “We’re sorry not to be able to be with all our winners in person this year but seeing their reactions to receiving their awards even digitally was such a gift. We know how hard everyone works in the TV industry, so to be able to spotlight the people doing brilliant work and who have so much to bring to audiences is a real honour.”

Tthe full shortlists and winners are below.


Victor Adebodun Debut Director Award

The Debut Director Award is named in honour of the late Victor Adebodun. Victor was an alumnus of the Festival’s Ones to Watch Scheme and presented the 2018 Debut Director Award. Victor was a talented director, creative leader and managing director of Purple Geko, an award-winning production company.


This award is for directors who have received their first professional TV credit in 2020.


Jemma Gander, How To Stay Out of Jail, Channel 4

WINNER Ashley Francis-Roy, The Real Eastenders, Channel 4

Laura Scrivano, McDonald & Dodds Film 2: A Wilderness of Mirrors, ITV

Rosie Baldwin, Disabled not Defeated: The Rock Band with Learning Disabilities – Delta 7, Vice (Noisey)

Ben Bryant, Catch Her If You Can, BBC Three

Georgi Banks-Davis, I Hate Suzie, Sky Atlantic

Nicole Charles, Hair Power: Me & My Afro, Channel 4


Debut Writer Award, supported by Sky

For writers who have received their first professional TV credit in 2020.


Liz Taylor, Doctors, BBC One

WINNER Yolanda Mercy, BBW, Channel 4

Ali Taylor, River City, BBC One Scotland

Sophia Al-Maria, Little Birds, Sky Atlantic

Tom Wentworth, CripTales: The Real Deal, BBC Four

Mandy Redvers-Rowe, Moving On: Second Sight, BBC One


Debut Presenter Award, supported by ITN

For presenters who have received their first professional TV credit in 2020.


WINNER Yinka Bokinni, Damilola The Boy Next Door, Channel 4

Chanté Joseph, How Not To Be Racist, Channel 4

Chris Arnold, BBC Politics West – Cancel Culture, BBC One/ BBC West

Sophia Smith Galer, America’s TikTok Election, BBC World News

Layla Wright, False Hope? Alternative Cancer Cures, BBC Three

Kash Jones, Panorama: Has Covid Stolen My Future?, BBC One

Joice Etutu, BBC Africa Eye – Turkey’s Ghost Ships, BBC World


Test Card Pilot Award, supported by The Farm

Awarded to an individual or team for an un-commissioned, non-TX pilot or webseries completed in 2020. Submissions can be scripted or unscripted.


WINNER This Abled Dancer

phase two

Flavours Without Borders


Films of Fury

News At Kate


All3Media New Drama Script Award

Awarded to a TV drama script by an unproduced, unrepresented writer.


Victoria Morris, The Max Theory

WINNER Rachel Clark, The Godstone Girls

Tomi Sunmonu, The Veil: University of Cravenhill

Shyam Popat, Exodus

Tobias Hussey, The Truth

Sarah Louise Madden, Children of the State


All3Media New Comedy Script Award

Awarded to a TV comedy script by an unproduced, unrepresented writer.


Anna Costello, Dead Canny

maatin, Unholy

Mitra Djalili, Losing It.

WINNER Lucie Brownlee, Wife After Death

Jessica Riches, Saturnine

Isaac Burnett , Forque Hall



Future Presenter Award

Awarded to an aspiring presenter with strong potential.


Kayah Hazell and Vanilla

Nyasha Sakutukwa

Miray Özdoğan

Jack Gleadow


WINNER Anna-Marie Descartes

Muinat Abdul


Mentors of the Year


Katie Hindley

Zoe McGivern

James Gandhi


Best Production Company for New Talent



Gold Wala

LA Productions

BBC Studios



Best Broadcaster for New Talent


WINNER Channel 4


Best Agency for New Talent


Moxie by Studio71


Jon Creamer

Share this story

Share Televisual stories within your social media posts.
Be inclusive: is open access without the need to register.
Anyone and everyone can access this post with minimum fuss.