PinkNews Awards 2020: Nominees revealed for Television Award

Text reading: PinkNews Awards 2020 in association with Amazon

The nominees for the Television Award at the PinkNews Awards 2020 all put LGBT+ people front and centre, increasing visibility and empowering queer people in the process.

The category, which was won by BBC soap EastEnders in 2019, recognises the television shows that dedicate the time to crafting important, affirming and representative stories about the LGBT+ community.

From reality television to soap operas, from Netflix dramas to heartwarming comedies, each of the nominees for the Television Award at the PinkNews Awards 2020 made a meaningful contribution to the LGBT+ community.

The winner will be revealed at the PinkNews Awards, which will take place virtually from December 2-4. The nominees are listed below. The public vote is now closed.

RuPaul’s Drag Race UK.

RuPaul's Drag Race UK

The cast of RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. (BBC)

There was huge excitement from the queer community in the UK when it was announced that RuPaul’s Drag Race was making its way across the Atlantic.

And it didn’t disappoint. The contest was won by The Vivienne, but it also catapulted truly iconic drag queens to stardom, including Divina de Campo, Baga Chipz and Cheryl Hole.

Over the course of just eight episodes, the first season won the hearts of queer people across the UK as they watched the now legendary line-up serving spectacular looks and unrivalled comedy.

It also featured a dazzling array of guest judges, from Cheryl to Geri Halliwell.

Dancing on Ice.

Steps singer Ian H Watkins same-sex Dancing on Ice routing with skater Matt Evers

Steps singer Ian H Watkins with Dancing on Ice skater Matt Evers. (ITV)

LGBT+ people have been waiting years to see any kind of queer representation on the UK’s most high-profile dance contests – and Dancing on Ice finally gave us just what we had been craving in its 12th season.

The ITV hit contest featured its first ever same-sex pairing in the form of Ian ‘H’ Watkins from Steps, who danced with professional partner Matt Evers.

It was a truly groundbreaking moment for LGBT+ representation, and queer people across the UK were deeply moved as they watched Watkins – who is openly gay himself – dance with another man. It was natural, beautiful and heartfelt.

The significance of this kind of representation cannot be underestimated. It is vital that young queer people see same-sex love represented on-screen, and Dancing on Ice deserves recognition for taking the leap when others were still kicking progress down the road.

Sex Education.

Sex education

Still image from Sex Education (Netflix)

Sex Education, created by Laurie Nunn, is the teen comedy-drama LGBT+ audiences have been crying out for.

The Netflix series, set in Britain, follows a group of teenagers as they navigate the highs and lows of growing up.

It has won huge praise for its candid approach to queer sexualities and for its empowering and sex-positive messages. This stigma-busting television series shows just how meaningful LGBT+ inclusive storylines can be in representing queer identities while also educating the wider population.

Two seasons in, this heartfelt and witty comedy is going nowhere anytime soon and has already been renewed for a third season, with non-binary artist, songwriter, poet and actor Duo Saleh joining the cast as a non-binary student.


Hollyoaks casts non-binary actor Ki Griffin into permanent role

Playing Ripley Lennox, non-binary actor Ki Griffin joined the cast full time on Hollyoaks this year (Twitter/Hollyoaks)

Soaps have been unabashed in representing queer storylines for far longer than most television shows, and Hollyoaks is no exception. The Channel 4 soap has been representing gay and lesbian characters ever since it kicked off in 1995.

But the series broke new ground in July when it introduced non-binary character Ripley Lennox, played by non-binary actor Ki Griffin. In August, Griffin was handed a full-time role on the show.

Hollyoaks announced the news on Twitter in August, writing: “If you haven’t already, please give a very warm welcome to Ki Griffin (they/them, she/her, or he/him) who plays Ripley Lennox!”

The long-running soap won praise from the LGBT+ community for representing a wider spectrum of queer identities at a time when such representation is sorely needed.

The Politician.

The Politician stars Ben Platt as Payton Hobart

The Politician stars Ben Platt as Payton Hobart (Courtesy of Netflix)

Ryan Murphy is well known for giving the gays everything they want, and he did this and more with The Politician.

The Netflix series follows Payton Hobart (Ben Platt) as Payton Hobart, a young wealthy gay man with political aspirations.

The hugely-popular series has been unashamed in its representation of queer relationships – and its second season stars legendary gay icons Judith Light and Bette Midler. What’s not to love?

Speaking to PinkNews last year, the show’s star Ben Platt said the show is grounded in a world where everyone is “a little bit queer”.

The Dear Evan Hansen star told PinkNews that although the show is “very satirical and very biting” about the political class, it’s also a quiet statement of representation, with as many on-screen queer relationships as straight ones.

Schitt’s Creek.

Schitt's Creek

The Rose family in Schitt’s Creek (Pop TV)

Schitt’s Creek, created by father and son duo Dan and Eugene Levy, had humble beginnings when it began airing on CBC Television in Canada in 2015.

The show’s stars could never have predicted that this glorious celebration of family and queer love would go on to be a worldwide smash hit – largely helped along by its arrival on Netflix following its third season.

Queer audiences quickly fell in love with the Rose family and their small yet full lives in the imaginary town of Schitt’s Creek. The series finally came to an end this year after six perfect seasons – and while audiences were devastated to say goodbye, it could hardly have ended in a better way as David Rose (Dan Levy) finally married his longtime love Patrick (Noah Reid).

In the town of Schitt’s Creek, homophobia, racism and prejudice simply didn’t exist – and for many LGBT+ people, it felt like a warm, comforting hug. Its groundbreaking success at the Emmys showed just how loved the series had become across the world.

The winner will be announced at the PinkNews Awards 2020, taking place virtually December 2-4. The public vote is now closed.