British rapper Little Simz has taken home the best pop act prize at the South Bank Sky Arts Awards.
She was recognised for her fourth studio album Sometimes I Might Be Introvert, which also earned her a BRIT Award and received critical acclaim across the board.
Other winners on the night included the cast of the acclaimed Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin, which won best TV drama and another Channel 4 production – We Are Lady Parts – taking best comedy.
The prestigious event, held at The Savoy and presented by Melvyn Bragg, is the only awards ceremony in the world to celebrate the complete range of the arts, with categories for TV Drama, Classical Music, Theatre, Comedy, Dance, Film, Visual Art, Pop, Literature and Opera.
Artists, performances and projects are recognised for their achievements over the past 12 months.
Presenters included new Doctor Who star Ncuti Gatwa, comedian and actor Eddie Izzard and acclaimed fashion designer Dame Zandra Rhodes.
Author Monica Ali scooped the literature prize for Love Marriage, a hilarious and heart-breaking story of a young couple and their families from two different cultures trying to understand each other.
Spanish ballet dancer Tamara Rojo – who was the artistic director of English National Ballet from 2012 to 2022 – won this year’s outstanding achievement award.
Recently appointed to serve as the San Francisco Ballet’s first woman artistic director, she has been a passionate advocate for the arts, championing women in dance, throughout her career.
Meanwhile, elsewhere in ballet The Dante Project, choreographed by Wayne McGregor for The Royal Ballet picked up the accolade for dance.
Passing, written, produced and directed by Rebecca Hall, won for Film, while The Young Vic and Headlong’s co-production Best of Enemies by James Graham, which won the theatre award.
Opera North’s Rigoletto topped the opera category, and the classical music accolade went to Huw Watkins’ Symphony No 2, performed by The Halle.
Michael Armitage: Paradise Edict at the Royal Academy of Arts London won in the visual art category.
The awards also celebrated emerging talent with The Times breakthrough award, which was presented this year to Liz Kingsman, whose debut comedy One-Woman Show, written and performed by her at the Soho Theatre, was a smash-hit.
During the ceremony, there were performances by singer songwriter Tom Odell, opera star Freddie de Tommaso and Chineke!, Europe’s first majority-black and ethnically diverse orchestra.
Bragg said: “While so much around us seems to be getting worse, the Arts in this country continue to go from strength to strength. The South Bank Sky Arts Awards once again picked out a range of brilliant artists from across the landscape of the British Arts, and I’m sure you’ll enjoy joining us to see them all in action.”
Phil Edgar-Jones, director of Sky Arts said: “After a rough few years, we can see the Arts start to recover – some incredible work has been produced since we started to emerge from Covid and we are proud to celebrate that with all the brilliant singers, dancers, actors, visual artists and writers this country produces.”
The South Bank Sky Arts awards airs on Wednesday 13 July at 10pm on Sky Arts, Freeview channel 11 and Now TV