Nominees Are Announced For This Summer’s South Bank Sky Arts Awards

Thursday 30 June 2022

Including Little Simz, It’s A Sin, We Are Lady Parts, Cabaret, Boiling Point, Opera North’s Rigoletto & Many More

30 June, London, UK. The South Bank Sky Arts Awards – the first and only awards ceremony to celebrate every genre of the arts, including Dance, Theatre, Pop, TV Drama, Film, Classical Music, Literature, Opera, Comedy and Visual Art – returns on Sunday 10 July. The ceremony, presented by Melvyn Bragg, will take place at The Savoy Hotel and will air on Wednesday 13 July at 10pm on Sky Arts, the UK’s only free-to-air TV channel dedicated to arts, music and culture.

The South Bank Sky Arts Awards 2022 nominees, announced this morning, celebrate a host of artists and arts organisations across the full spectrum of the industry. Nominated in the Pop category this year is Little Simz with her fourth studio album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert. Joining her to battle it out for the top spot are Sam Fender and Self Esteem with their hotly anticipated second albums, Seventeen Going Under and Prioritise Pleasure. The TV Drama category celebrates some incredible TV moments of the past year, with Russell T Davies’ critically-acclaimed series, It’s A Sin, Time starring Sean Bean and Stephen Graham and This Is Going To Hurt, based on Adam Kay’s bestselling memoir, all receiving a nomination.

Channel 4’s We Are Lady Parts - created, written, and directed by Nida Manzoor - is nominated in the Comedy category alongside two BBC shows: Rose Matafeo’s Starstruck and Sophie Willan’s Alma’s Not Normal. Nominations for Theatre include the Young Vic and Headlong co-production Best of Enemies, Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club - starring Eddie Redmayne and Jessie Buckley - and The Walk, the incredible project that saw 3.5m puppet Little Amal travel through over 70 cities across the world.

Boiling Point, After Love and Passing occupy the Film category, all having previously received a nomination for Outstanding British Film of the Year at the 2022 BAFTA awards. Theatre of Sound’s Bluebeard’s Castle, Birmingham Opera Company’s Wagner’s RhineGold and Opera North’s Rigoletto also go head-to-head for the Opera award.

Literature category nominations this year include Monica Ali’s Love Marriage, Sarah Hall’s Burntcoat and Caleb Azumah Nelson’s debut novel Open Water. Rounding out the Visual Arts category - sponsored by Lexus - are Rachel Whiteread with Internal Objects at Gagosian, Michael Armitage with Paradise Edict at the Royal Academy and Hurvin Anderson with Reverb, at Thomas Dane Gallery.

Following an incredible year for dance, The Dante Project – Wayne McGregor (The Royal Ballet), Then Or Now (Ballet Black) and Starstruck (Scottish Ballet) form the Dance category. Classical Music nominations include

Huw Watkins’ Symphony No. 2 by the Hallé, Dani Howard: Trombone Concerto by Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra and Mark-Anthony Turnage’s Up For Grabs by BBC Symphony Orchestra & Barbican.

The Times Breakthrough Award shines a spotlight on up-and-coming talent in the British Arts; also announced this morning were Gabrielle Creevy (TV Drama), Liz Kingsman (Comedy), Catriona Ward (Literature), Nardus Williams (Opera), Dani Howard (Classical), Rachel Jones (Visual Art), Emily Suzuki (Dance), Samuel Creasey (Theatre), Emilia Jones (Film) and Wet Leg (Pop). Previous winners include playwright Samuel Bailey, actors Jessie Buckley and Tom Hiddleston, and musicians Nubya Garcia and Stormzy.

The Outstanding Achievement Award - an award that acknowledges the remarkable contribution an artist has made throughout their career to date - will be announced at the ceremony. Previous winners of this award include Grayson Perry, Harold Pinter, Tracey Emin, Judi Dench, Eddie Izzard, Helen Mirren and Andrew Lloyd Webber.

The South Bank Sky Arts Awards host, Melvyn Bragg comments: “The British Arts forge on with enormous vigour and international success - we could make a claim to be the world centre of culture! Back again for our 26th South Bank Sky Arts Awards, a brilliant swathe of artistic talent appears - across every spectrum of the Arts.”

Phil Edgar-Jones, Director of Sky Arts, added: “The Arts are alive and kicking in the UK – we are living in a moment of incredible creative energy and output and the South Bank Sky Arts Awards nominees this year really do reflect the breadth and depth of talent we have in the UK. We wish everyone involved the very best of luck.”

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Rachel Whiteread: Internal Objects, Gagosian

Michael Armitage: Paradise Edict, Royal Academy of Arts, London

Hurvin Anderson: Reverb, Thomas Dane Gallery


The Walk: The Walk Productions in association with Handspring Puppet Company and Good Chance Theatre

Best of Enemies: A Young Vic and Headlong co-production

Cabaret at the Kit Kat Club


The Dante Project – Wayne McGregor: The Royal Ballet

Then Or Now: Ballet Black

Starstruck: Scottish Ballet


Love Marriage: Monica Ali

Burntcoat: Sarah Hall

Open Water: Caleb Azumah Nelson


Little Simz: Sometimes I Might Be Introvert

Sam Fender: Seventeen Going Under

Self Esteem: Prioritise Pleasure


Theatre of Sound, Bluebeard's Castle

Birmingham Opera Company, Wagner’s RhineGold

Opera North, Rigoletto


Starstruck, Series 1, BBC One

We Are Lady Parts, Channel 4

Alma’s Not Normal, BBC Two


Huw Watkin’s Symphony No.2: The Hallé

Dani Howard - Trombone Concerto: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra

Up for Grabs, Mark-Anthony Turnage: BBC Symphony Orchestra, Barbican


It’s A Sin: Red Production Company for Channel 4 and HBO Max in Association with All3Media International

Time: BBC Studios for BBC One

This Is Going To Hurt: Sister / Terrible Productions for BBC One


After Love

Boiling Point



Comedy - Liz Kingsman

TV Drama - Gabrielle Creevy

Literature - Catriona Ward

Opera - Nardus Williams

Classical - Dani Howard

Visual Art - Rachel Jones

Dance - Emily Suzuki

Theatre - Samuel Creasey

Film - Emilia Jones

Pop - Wet Leg


To be announced


The South Bank Sky Arts Awards – Wednesday 13 July, 10pm

Episode 1 – Frank Skinner – Wednesday 20 July, 10pm

Episode 2 – Helen Mirren – Wednesday 27 July, 10pm

Episode 3 – Carlos Acosta – Wednesday 3 August, 10pm

Melvyn Bragg and Helen Mirren: The Extended Interview – Tuesday 30 August, 11pm

Melvyn Bragg and Frank Skinner: The Extended Interview – Tuesday 6 September, 11pm

Melvyn Bragg and Carlos Acosta: The Extended Interview – Tuesday 13 September, 11pm


Sky Arts exists to bring more art to more people across the UK. In 2020, with the creative industries under serious threat, we threw open our doors to make the channel free for everyone to watch. We’ve redoubled our mission to increase access to the arts and we’re committed to getting everyone involved as the industry recovers. The fact is, we need the arts now like never before, and Sky Arts brings them straight to your living room.

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Directors Cut Productions is an independent television production company based in Central London. Set up in 2010 by Melvyn Bragg and Cathy Haslam, who had worked together for 10 years at ITV, the company produces Arts and History Documentaries for UK television broadcasters. Directors Cut Productions produce all South Bank Show branded programmes for Sky Arts as well as producing The South Bank Sky Arts Awards.