The Grierson Awards ceremony in London on 9 November saw the BBC emerge as the leading broadcaster, securing more awards than any other. Notably, the BBC Factual/BBC Northern Ireland co-production, “Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland,” clinched two awards for Best Documentary Series and Best History Documentary. Additionally, “The Real Mo Farah” was honoured as the Best Sports Documentary, while “Inside Our Autistic Mind,” presented by Chris Packham, earned the title of Best Science Documentary. The current affairs series “Big Oil vs The World” received recognition as the Best Natural History or Environmental Documentary, and Hannah Fry was named Best Documentary Presenter for her work in “Making Sense of Cancer with Hannah Fry.”

Kate Phillips, BBC Director of Unscripted, says: “What a fantastic night for the BBC which showcased the creative excellence of our film-making talent in bringing bold, innovative and timely factual content to our audiences. Huge congratulations to everyone involved in these powerful and inspiring documentaries.

“And congratulations also to our own Caroline O Neill who won the Grierson Hero of the Year Award for her work with Deaf and Disabled People in TV, alongside Bryony Arnold and Charlie Pheby.”

It’s worth noting that the two victories for “Once Upon a Time in Northern Ireland” complement the Rose d’Or nomination the series received on 6 November.

List of BBC winners: 

Broadcast Sport Best Sports Documentary

The Real Mo Farah

Leo Burley, Hannah Richards, Rick Barker, Marvyn Benoit, Shona Thompson, Zad Rogers

Atomized Studios, Red Bull Studios – BBC

The Judges said: “This documentary struck a chord with the jurors, who unanimously found it to be an inspiring and vital piece of storytelling, particularly given the current global migration challenges. This documentary stood tall as a brave, moving, and often heart-breaking story with true revelations throughout.”

Best History Documentary

Once Upon A Time In Northern Ireland (Episode 3)

Production Team

KEO Films and Walk on Air Films for BBC, PBS and The Open University – BBC

The Judges said: “The exceptional access and gripping testimonies had jurors hooked from the start. This documentary had the transformative power to turn the hyper-political into the deeply personal. They praised the documentary for its humanity and warmth and commended the filmmakers for creating a powerful and important historical record.”

The Open University Best Science Documentary

Inside Our Autistic Minds (Episode 1)

Amanda Lyon, Joe Myerscough, Emma Jones, Shiva Talwar, Nick Ransom, Eloise Millard

BBC Studios Documentary Unit, The Open University – BBC

The Judges said: “This beautiful and innovative documentary was described by the jury as totally enriching. Its insightful presenter and touching human stories alongside its exploration of the science of autism felt as though the documentary was exploring areas where others had not yet gone. The jury felt this film, illuminating and interesting throughout, had real potential to change lives.”

Best Natural History or Environmental Documentary

Big Oil Vs The World – Denial

Dan Edge, Jane McMullen, Emma Supple, Sarah Waldron, Raney Aronson-Rath, Ella Newton

Mongoose Pictures, BBC, PBS Frontline and ARTE – BBC

The Judges said: “The jurors commended this film for its, bravery in journalism, amazing access, and meticulous research. The documentary’s approach and delivery on such a pertinent topic left the jury feeling inspired, with the compelling narrative keeping them engaged throughout. Fresh, bold storytelling and superb interviews meant this documentary and its subject remained foremost in audiences’ minds.”

Netflix Best Documentary Series

Once Upon A Time In Northern Ireland

Production Team

KEO Films and Walk on Air Films for BBC, PBS and The Open University – BBC

The Judges said: “Personal, powerful and raw. This series presented an outstanding unravelling of a known story from a new perspective, which meant audiences were bound to learn something new. Jurors appreciated the honest, fair and expansive storytelling which resulted in a remarkable series with reach and impact. The interviews and archive balanced the ordinary everyday with wide-reaching political events and were expertly woven throughout the series. This timely series resonated with audiences and the jurors described it as a monument to documentary producing.”

Disney+ Best Documentary Presenter

Hannah Fry – Making Sense of Cancer with Hannah Fry

Curious Films – BBC

The Judges said: “The jury felt that this presenter went above and beyond to add immense value and bring new insights to every aspect of this documentary. This presenter expertly navigated difficult interviews, weaving together a powerful and highly personal story. Smart, clever, and brave, this presenter was commended for their ability to shed new light on a complex subject and make it accessible.”