A long running children’s drama set in a care home and filmed in the North East has been honoured at the Royal Television Society (RTS) North East and the Border annual TV awards last night (Saturday, February 25).

The Dumping Ground, consistently one of CBBC’s highest rating shows, won the prestigious Centre Award for its contribution to jobs and opportunities in the region’s screen sector. One of its young stars Ruben Reuter who plays Finn McLaine also carried off the award for Best Performance in a Drama.

More than 400 industry guests packed the Hilton in Gateshead to see comedian and producer Jason Cook host the region’s biggest creative industries awards show.The Northern Echo:

Celebrity guests included Charlie Hardwick, boxer Glenn McCrory and Vera star Brenda Blethyn amongst just some of the many stars who arrived on the red carpet. The voice of Strictly Come Dancing, Alan Dedicoat, officially opened the glittering ceremony.

The citation for The Dumping Ground, said: “The show, now into its eleventh season, has provided a springboard for the careers of hundreds of actors, writers, crew, producers and directors.

"And it has won plaudits and prizes for the way it has tackled the often difficult social issues facing young people with storylines including mental health, racism, family break-up and LGBT parenting.”The Northern Echo:

Other winners on the night included the documentary James Arthur: Out of Our Minds (Summers Films for BBC One) which won Broadcast Factual, Ambulance (Dragonfly for BBC One) picked up the award for Factual Entertainment and FilmNova won the award for Great North Run (BBC) in the Sports category.

ITV Tyne Tees won Best News Programme with Katie Cole receiving the prize for on screen Journalism.

The Craft Award went to make up designer Michael Birtley whose credits include Dungeons and Dragons, Inspector George Gently, Vera, Woolfblood and The Dumping Ground.

Former BBC engineering boss Garth Jeffrey from Newcastle, who has been technical director of the event since they were launched more than 30 years ago, received the Special Achievement Award.

Principal sponsors of the event were production company Fulwell 73 and Sparq.

The chair of the North East and Border Centre Joanna Makepeace-Woods, said: “The annual Royal Television Society Awards are a brilliant showcase for the achievements and talent of programme makers working here in this part of the UK. Production activity has increased by nearly a third year on year and there are signs the BBC’s commitment to the region is bringing in other players.

“What makes our event even more special is the fact we include our student achievement awards alongside the programme awards. Skills and training is a big challenge and we’re thrilled to see so much excellence in the entries from universities and colleges.”

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Other winners on the night included:

  • LORE from Teesside’s Sea and Sky Pictures awarded Best Drama
  • Where it Ends (Tiger Aspect) awarded for Best Comedy
  • Tish from Freya Films awarded Best Non Broadcast Factual
  • Balance – Home to Hospital (Future and Co Films) awarded for Best Commercial
  • Waving at Trucks from BBC North East and Cumbria awarded for Best Short Form
  • Cooking with the Gills from Sunderland’s MCC Media awarded Best Children’s
  • Kyle Heslop won Best Cinematography for The Dawdler
  • Molly Sharples won Best Newcomer
  • Stephen Hedley won for Post Production

In the student categories:

  • Teesside University won the Animation award for Dream
  • Northumbria University won the Drama award for Swine
  • Gateshead College won Entertainment and Comedy for A Fever Dream
  • Newcastle University won Factual with The Milky Way
  • University of Cumbria won the Saving the Planet award for Pine Marten