The Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2010 / Watch it tonight on ITV3, 9pm

Watch The Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2010 tonight, Tuesday 12th October, 9pm, on ITV3. Read on for details of the winners.

Cactus TV and ITV3 in partnership with the Crime Writers’ Association (CWA) are pleased to announce the winners of the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2010, a celebration of all things criminal in literature, TV and film.

The gala awards welcomed an assortment of famous faces, plucked from the world of publishing and screens both big and small, with comedian Marcus Brigstocke presiding over the “Daggers” at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel. The culmination of a six-week season of ITV3 crime and drama programming, the Specsavers Crime Thriller Awards 2010 will be televised on ITV3 on Tuesday, 12th October at 9pm.

Keeping nominees and viewers alike on the edge of their seats, the thrilling climax saw the coveted CWA Gold Dagger award go to Belinda Bauer’s international best seller Blacklands as Best Crime Novel of the Year, beating S J Bolton’s Blood Harvest, Karen Campbell’s Shadowplay and George Pelecanos’ The Way Home to the post.

Belinda Bauer said: “It was a thrill just to be shortlisted for the CWA Gold Dagger for my first novel, let alone to win. Blacklands is a small, simple book and I’m still stunned and delighted that it seems to have struck a chord with so many people.”

In the only award voted for by ITV3 viewers, the People’s Detective, honouring the most popular fictional detective of all time, was revealed as Foyle. The winner fought off competition from fellow crime fighters who included Inspector Morse, Poirot and Jane Tennison (Prime Suspect). The nominees had been profiled over a six week series on ITV3.

TV super sleuth Sherlock meanwhile took home two awards, firstly scooping the TV Dagger award over rival detective dramas Ashes to Ashes and Wallander and Luther, and later seeing its title star Benedict Cumberbatch land a Best Actor Award. Cumberbatch emerged victorious over a prestigious category of nominees that included international star Idris Elba, stage and screen stalwart Kenneth Branagh and Ashes to Ashes legend Philip Glenister.

Maxine Peake won the Best Actress Dagger (for the female star of a crime thriller drama) for her role in Criminal Justice while her co-star Matthew McFadyen won the Best Supporting Actor prize for his portrayal of Joe Miller in the BBC show. The Best Supporting Actress award went to Dervla Kirwan for her performance in The Silence.

Movie-of-the-moment Inception (Warner Brothers) was unveiled as the Film Dagger 2010, representing the best big-screen crime thriller story of the year, while the International TV Dagger went to Yellow Bird Films’ Wallander (Series 2).

Suspense gripped the room as A Loyal Spy, by author Simon Conway, celebrated victory in the CWA Ian Fleming Steel Dagger award, which recognises the Thriller of the Year. The title saw off competition from The Dying Light by Henry Porter, Scott Turow’s Innocent and The Gentlemen’s Hour by Don Winslow.

Simon Conway commented: “To have won The Steel Dagger against such stiff competition is both unexpected and deeply satisfying. My book’s reluctant hero Jonah would probably celebrate by getting roaring drunk, beaten up, abducted, thrown out a chopper and inadvertantly saving several thousand lives. I may try some of these at home.”

Ryan David Jahn’s Acts of Violence (Macmillan New Writing) won the CWA John Creasey (New Blood) Dagger 2010, as a first book by a previously unpublished writer, awarded in memory of CWA founder John Creasey.

Ryan David Jahn said: “Simply being listed alongside such talents as the other finalists was an honour. To win, and be brought into the company of writers such as Walter Mosley and Minette Walters, who have gone on to such fine careers, is unbelievable — an indescribable thrill.”

In recognition of their outstanding careers, Frederick Forsyth and George Pelecanos collected trophies to commemorate their inaguration into the Hall of Fame sponsored by Specsavers. In honour of its mammouth 26 years on screen,  14 cast members of The Bill members were in attendance to collect a Special Recognition Award.

The 2010 black carpet attracted citation readers including Emilia Fox, Amanda Redman, Amanda Donohoe and nominees present on the night included Benedict Cumberbatch, Hermione Norris, Philip Glenister, Julia McKenzie, Dervla Kirwin and Colin Dexter.

Amanda Ross, Managing Director Cactus TV, said “With pretty much the entire collective force of Britain’s fictional constabulary under one roof, the Crime Thrillers once again proved to be suspense filled right up to the climax. The breadth and calibre of nominees proved that crime thriller really is the genre of the moment!”

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