The winners of the 2018 South Bank Sky Arts Awards have been announced in a ceremony that took place at the Savoy Hotel. 

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Hosted by  Melvyn Bragg, The South Bank Sky Arts Awards (now in its 18th year) celebrates  the complete range of the arts, with categories for TV Drama, Classical Music, Theatre, Comedy, Dance, Film, Visual Art, Pop, Literature and Opera.

The ceremony saw grime artist Stormzy taking the Pop award for his debut album Gang Signs & Prayer, while Glyndbourne’s production of Hamlet walked away with the Opera award.

Paddington 2 was also victorious in the film category, while Ma’am Darling, the account of Princess Margaret’s life, saw its author, Craig Brown, scoop the Literature prize.

Other winners on the day included  Inside No. 9 for Comedy, the maliphantworks for Dance and politically pertinent The Jungle for Theatre. The awards also celebrated emerging talent, with The Times Breakthrough Award this year presented to Nubya Garcia, a multitalented saxophonist whose debut recordings and live performances have transcended the jazz scene.

The Visual Art award was awarded to  Rose Wylie – Quack Quack, Serpentine Sackler Gallery, the Classical Music award went to Schoenberg’s Gurrelieder – BBC Philharmonic and the Hallé and the TV Drama award was presented to BBC One’s Howard’s End. 

Meanwhile, the ceremony also saw Benedict Cumberbatch awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award. Talking about the news the actor said: “I am quite flabbergasted to be receiving this award especially when looking at past recipients. I am needless to say immensely grateful and humbled. The South Bank Show has always had a place in my heart as being an inspirational exploration of the best of culture so to be recognised in this way by Melvyn and the show is incredibly flattering and I am very humbled to be this year’s recipient. Many many thanks.”

Speaking about this year’s awards, host Melvyn Bragg said: “This is as strong as any list we have ever had. The arts in the UK, a £92billion industry, are second only to the US. Regrettably, government policy in cutting arts teaching out of so many schools fails to take this on board. This year’s awards celebrate what can happen when arts are encouraged from school-age onwards.”

The South Bank Sky Arts Awards will be screened on Sky Arts on the 4th July at 8pm.