British Academy Television Award
CountryUnited Kingdom
Presented byBritish Academy of Film and Television Arts
First awarded1964
Currently held byMy Childhood, My Country - 20 Years in Afghanistan (2022)

The British Academy Television Award for Best Single Documentary is one of the major categories of the British Academy Television Awards (BAFTAs), the primary awards ceremony of the British television industry. According to the BAFTA website, the category is "for one-off documentaries only. Includes individual episodes of documentary strands."[1]

The category has gone through some name changes since its inception:

Winners and nominees


Year Recipient(s) Title
1964 Anthony de Lotbinière
1965 Jack Gold
1966 Charles Squires The Grafters
Paradise Street
Peter Batty The Fall and Rise of the House of Krupp
The Road to Suez
Richard Cawston Born Chinese
Anthony de Lotbinière Eton: The Pacemakers
Denis Mitchell Sharon
The Entertainers
The Dream Machine
Michael Tuchner A Little Madness
No Mean City: Florence
No Mean City: Athens
Pilgrims to Lourdes
1967 Kevin Billington
1969 Michael Darlow, Mike Wooller Cities at War


Best Factual Documentary

Year Title Recipient(s)
1970 A Year in the Life Paul Watson
The Life And Times of Lord Mountbatten Peter Morley
The Royal Family Richard Cawston
Struggle For China
The Gold Run
Captain RN
It Never Seemed To Rain
All Or Nothing Man
Papa Doc
The Pugnacious Pacifist
Whicker's New World
Tony Essex

Best Documentary

Year Title Recipient(s)
1978 Hospital: Casualty Tim King
Goodbye Longfellow Road John Willis
Whicker's World - "Palm Beach" Michael Tuchner
World in Action: The Life and Death of Steve Biko Michael Ryan
1979 Opium: The Warlords Adrian Cowell
The Hong Kong Beat: The Bamboo Curtain John Purdie
MacMillan's Mayerling Derek Bailey
Whicker's World - "India: He's A Stuck-Up Maharajah - I'm Not Going To Marry Him" Ian Mcfarlane, Nigel Turner


Year Title Recipient(s)
1980 Fred Dibnah: Steeplejack Don Haworth
The World About Us: Bloody Ivory (Special) Simon Trevor, Bill Travers
Kitty - Return To Auschwitz Peter Morley
Year Zero: The Silent Death of Cambodia David Munro
1981 Strangeways: Christmas Rex Bloomstein
Cambodia - Year One David Munro
Great Railway Journeys of the World (for "Deccan") Gerry Troyna
The South Bank Show: A Time There Was… A Profile Of Benjamin Britten Tony Palmer
The World About Us - "Osprey" Hugh Miles
1982 The Ritz Edward Mirzoeff
The South Bank Show: Nickleby and Company Andrew Snell
Prostitute I Am, Common I'm Not Judy Lever
Snowdon on Camera Iain Johnstone
1983 Laurence Olivier - A Life Melvyn Bragg, Bob Bee
A Complaint of Rape Roger Graef, Charles Stewart
Ice, Wind and Fire Michael Andrews
The Orson Welles Story Alan Yentob, Leslie Megahey

Flaherty Documentary Award

Year Title Recipient(s)
1984 Schindler Jon Blair
Forty Minutes - "Female Circumcision" Louise Panton
The Visit - "Part 3: The Boy David" Alex McCall
Wildlife on One - "Night Life" Dilys Breese
1985 28 Up Michael Apted
The South Bank Show: Alan Bennett David Hinton
Afghanistan Reports: Allah Against the Gunships Sandy Gall
GI Brides Lavinia Warner
1986 Omnibus: Leonard Berstein's West Side Story Christopher Swann
David Lean: A Life in Film Nigel Wattis
Marilyn Monroe: Say Goodbye to the President Christopher Olgiati
The Frozen Ocean - "Part 1 - Kingdom of The Ice Bear" Mike Salisbury, Hugh Miles
1987 Shoah Claude Lanzmann
British Cinema: Personal View - A Turnip Head's Guide to the British Cinema Alan Parker
Equinox - "Prisoner of Consciousness" John Dollar
Forty Minutes - "The Fishing Party" Paul Watson
Omnibus - "The Mission" Robin Lough
Viewpoint '86: Afghanistan: The Agony Of A Nation Sandy Gall
1988 Baka - People of the Rain Forest Phil Agland
Forty Minutes - "Home From The Hill" Molly Dineen
Fourteen Days in May Paul Hamann
Man-Eating Tigers, Saving The Tiger Naresh Bedi
1989 This Week - "Death on the Rock" Chris Oxley
The Duty Men: East Enders Paul Hamann
In From The Cold: A Portrait of Richard Burton Tony Palmer
Viewpoint Special: The Men Who Killed Kennedy Nigel Turner


Year Title Recipient(s)
1990 First Tuesday - "Four Hours in My Lai" Kevin Sim
Everyman - "Romania - State of Fear" John Blake
Lost Children of The Empire Joanna Mack, Mike Fox
Viewpoint '89: Cambodia - Year 10: A Special Report by John Pilger David Munro
1991 The Last African Flying Boat David Wallace
Harold Lloyd - The Third Genius Kevin Brownlow, David Gill
Viewpoint: Cambodia, The Betrayal - A Special Report by John Pilger David Munro
Viewpoint: Ceausescu's Children Patricia Ingram
1992 35 Up Michael Apted
World in Action - "Special: The Birmingham Six - Their Own Story" Ian McBride, Charles Trernayne, Eamon O’Connor
Viewpoint '91: Hellfighters of Kuwait Mike Rossiter
True Stories - "The Leader, His Driver and the Driver's Wife" Nick Broomfield
1993 Video Diaries: The Man Who Loves Gary Lineker Bob Long, Dr Yili Hasani
Cutting Edge - "Tornado Down" Adam Bullmore, Tom Roberts
First Tuesday - "Katie and Eilish - Siamese Twins" Mark Galloway
Inside Story: Bag Lady David Pearson
1994 Timewatch - "The Mysterious Career Of Lee Harvey Oswald" William Cran
True Stories: The Unforgiving Clive Gordon
Viewpoint '93: Saddam's Killing Fields Rebecca Dobbs, Christopher Jeans
Sarajevo Diary Neil Bell, Dom Rotheroe, Karl Schonfeld
1995 Inside Story: Silent Twin - Without My Shadow Olivia Lichtenstein
Cutting Edge - "The Club" Frances Berrigan, Brian Hill, Kate Woods
Torvill and Dean: Facing the Music Edward Mirzoeff
25 Bloody Years: The Dead Peter Dale
1996 True Stories: The Betrayed Clive Gordon
Anne Frank Remembered Jon Blair
Network First: Man and Animal Anthony Thomas
Secret Asia: The Dying Rooms Brian Woods, Kate Blewett
1997 Horizon - "Fermat's Last Theorem" John Lynch, Simon Singh
Cutting Edge - "The Home" Paul Watson
Elton John: Tantrums & Tiaras Polly Steele, Claudia Rosencrantz, David Furnish
Timewatch - "Remember Aberfan" Catrine Clay
1998 True Stories: The Grave Belinda Giles
Inside Story: Nazi Gold Christopher Olgiati
Network First: Out of the Shadows/We Are The Treasury Ross Wilson
Wildlife Special: Polar Bear Martha Holmes
1999 After Lockerbie Ross Wilson
42 Up Michael Apted, Claire Lewis
Horizon - "Mir Mortals" Jill Fullerton-Smith
Inside Story: Tongue Tied Olivia Lichtenstein


Year Title Recipient(s) Broadcaster
2000 True Stories: Divorce Iranian Style Kim Longinotto, Ziba Mir-Hosseini Channel 4
Gulag Angus Macqueen BBC Two
True Stories: Kosovo - The Valley Dan Reed Channel 4
Malcolm and Barbara - A Love Story Paul Watson, Kim Horton ITV
2001 True Stories: 100% White Leo Regan Channel 4
The Boy David - The Return Desmond Wilcox, Alex McCall BBC One
Endurance: Shackleton and the Antarctic George Butler, Caroline Alexander, Jeremy Evans Channel 4
The Man Who Bought Mustique Joseph Bullman, Vikram Jayanti
2002 Kelly and Her Sisters Marilyn Gaunt ITV
True Stories: Battlecentre Leo Regan, Roy Ackerman, Paul Van Dyck Channel 4
Ellen MacArthur: Sailing Through Heaven and Hell Steve Robinson, Ellen MacArthur BBC One
When Louis Met The Hamiltons David Mortimer, Gabe Solomon, Will Yapp, Louis Theroux
2003 Feltham Sings Roger Graef, Brian Hill Channel 4
9/11: The Tale of Two Towers Michael Attwell Five
SAS Embassy Siege BBC Two
Thalidomide - Life at 40 Benetta Adamson
2004 One Life: Lager, Mum and Me Todd Austin, Min Clough BBC One
My Family and Autism Jenny Abbott, Fran Landsman BBC Two
Pompeii: The Last Day Michael J. Mosley, Peter Nicholson, Ailsa Orr BBC One
Real Life: Being Terri James Allen, Andrea Cornes, Ron Trickett ITV
2005 The Orphans of Nkandla BBC Four
The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off Patrick Collerton Channel 4
The F***ing Fulfords
The Brighton Bomb BBC One
2006 Make Me Normal Brian Hill, Zac Beattie, Jonathan Smith Channel 4
Children Of Beslan BBC Two
Taxidermy: Stuff The World Brian Hill, Elodie Gornall, Morgan Matthews
The Real Sex Traffic Simcha Jacobovici, Brian Woods, Ric Esther Bienstock Channel 4

Best Single Documentary

Year Title Recipient(s) Broadcaster
2007 Evicted Brian Woods, Deborah Shipley, Jeremy Wales, Katy Sheppard BBC One
Breaking Up With The Joneses Ursula Macfarlane, Saskia Wilson, Dave Nath, Gregor Lyon Channel 4
9/11: The Falling Man Henry Singer, John Smithson, Sue Bourne, Julian Ware
Rain in My Heart Paul Watson BBC Two
2008 Lie of the Land Molly Dineen, Justin Krish, Catherine Bailey, Mark Frith Channel 4
Beautiful Young Minds Morgan Matthews, Edmund Coulthard, Grant McKee, David Brindley BBC Two
Malcolm and Barbara: Love's Farewell Paul Watson, Kim Horton ITV
Parallel Worlds, Parallel Lives BBC Four
2009 True Stories: Chosen Brian Woods, Caroline Haydon, Chris Eley, Jimmy Edmonds Channel 4
The Fallen Morgan Matthews, Elodie Gornall, Joby Gee, David Brindley BBC Two
A Boy Called Alex Channel 4
Thriller in Manila John Dower, John Smithson, Elinor Day, Andrew MacKenzie More4


Year Title Recipient(s) Broadcaster
2010 Wounded Sara Hardy, Jane Aldous, Gwyn Jones, Roger Courtiour BBC One
Katie: My Beautiful Face Jessie Versluys, Dan Goldsack, Kate Collier, Samuel Santana Channel 4
Tsunami: Caught on Camera Tom Brisley, Janice Sutherland, Sarah Swingler, Alex Kiehl
Louis Theroux: A Place for Paedophiles Louis Theroux, Emma Cooper, Guy King, Nick Mirsky BBC Two
2011 Between Life and Death Nick Holt, Meredith Chambers, Marina Parker, Ben Brown BBC One
The Dancing Boys of Afghanistan Jamie Doran, Najibullah Quraishi, John Moffat, Mike Healy More4
Pink Saris Kim Longinotto, Girjashanker Vahra, Amber Latif, Ed Stobart
Scenes from a Teenage Killing Morgan Matthews, Ruth Kelly, Steve Hewlett, Michael Harrowes BBC Four
2012 Terry Pratchett: Choosing to Die Craig Hunter, Charlie Russell, Gary Scott, Terry Pratchett BBC Two
Cutting Edge - "We Need to Talk about Dad" Peter Dale, Elizabeth Stopford Channel 4
The Fight of Their Lives Gabriel Clarke, John McKenna ITV
9/11: The Day That Changed the World Kate Botting, Brian Lapping, Talya Tibbon, Leslie Woodhead
2013 7/7: One Day in London Ben Anthony, Sarah Hamilton, Rupert Houseman, Morgan Matthews BBC Two
Baka: A Cry from the Rainforest Phil Agland BBC Two
Lucian Freud: Painted Life Randall Wright, Denys Blakeway, Paul Binns, Patrick Duval
Nina Conti – A Ventriloquist’s Story: Her Master’s Voice Nina Conti, Riaz Meer, Michael O’Kelly, Tim Jordan BBC Four
2014 The Murder Trial Nick Holt, Marina Parker, Kate Barker, Ben Brown Channel 4
The Unspeakable Crime: Rape Sara Hardy, Blue Ryan, Emma Hindley, Gwyn Jones BBC One
28 Up South Africa Angus Gibson, Jemma Jupp, Jonathan Levi ITV
The Day Kennedy Died Leslie Woodhead, Lorraine McKechnie, Sue Summers
2015 The Paedophile Hunter Dan Reed, Mark Towns, Tom Costello Channel 4
Baby P: The Untold Story Henry Singer, Jenny Saunders, Ben Stark, Simon Ford BBC One
Children of Syria Robin Barnwell, Lyse Doucet, Bradley Manning, Lucy Hetherington BBC Two
The Miners Strike and Me ITV
2016 My Son the Jihadi Peter Beard, Richard Kerbaj, Simon MacMahon, Brian Woods Channel 4
Louis Theroux: Transgender Kids BBC Two
Bitter Lake BBC iPlayer
Life After Suicide Angela Samata, Leo Burley, Jenny Williams, Fergus O’Brien BBC One
2017 Hillsborough BBC Two
Behind Closed Doors Anna Hall, Erica Gornall, Paddy Garrick, Brian Woods BBC One
How to Die: Simon's Choice Rowan Deacon, Lizzie Kempton, Colin Barr, Ben Brown BBC Two
HyperNormalisation Adam Curtis, Sandra Gorel, Victoria Jaye BBC iPlayer
2018 Rio Ferdinand: Being Mum and Dad Rio Ferdinand, Grant Best, Matt Smith, Martin Thompson BBC One
Chris Packham: Asperger's and Me Charlie Russell, Lizzie Kempton, Tom Barry, Will Grayburn BBC Two
Louis Theroux, Talking to Anorexia Louis Theroux, Ellena Wood, Simon McMahon, Peter Dale
One Deadly Weekend in America Sanjay Singhal, Ursula Macfarlane, Jon Alwen, Sarah Hunt BBC Three
2019[2] Gun No. 6 James Newton, Zac Beattie, Georgina Cammalleri, Rupert Houseman BBC Two
Driven: The Billy Monger Story Caroline Hawkins, Charlie Russell, Will Grayburn, Charlie Corbett BBC Three
My Dad, The Peace Deal and Me Leo Burley, Patrick Kielty, Richard Bond, Paula Nightingale BBC One
School for Stammerers Jill Worsley, Rachel Bloomfield ITV


Year Title Recipient(s) Broadcaster
The Last Survivors BBC Two
The Abused Barbie MacLaurin, Napoleon Stratogiannakis, Malcolm Brinkworth, Benedict Adams Channel 5
David Harewood: Psychosis and Me Emma Hindley, Wendie Ottewill, Olivia Isaacs, David Harewood BBC Two
The Family Secret Anna Hall, Sally Ogden, Luke Rothery, Brian Woods Channel 4
Locked In: Breaking the Silence (Storyville) Xavier Alford, Colette Hodges, Sacha Mirzoeff, Poppy Goodheart BBC Four
American Murder: The Family Next Door Jenny Popplewell, James Marsh, Jonathan Stadlen, Simon Barker Netflix
Anton Ferdinand: Football, Racism & Me Sian Guerra, Jeremy Lee, Wendie Ottewill, James Ross BBC One
Suriving COVID Channel 4
My Childhood, My Country - 20 Years in Afghanistan Phil Grabsky, Shoaib Sharifi, Amanda Wilkie, Clive Mattock ITV
9/11: Inside the President's War Room Adam Wishart, Neil Grant, Serena Kennedy, Simon Finch Apple TV+/BBC One
Greenfell: The Untold Story James Newton, Daisy Ayliffe, Emma Lysaght, Kirsty Cunningham, Jessie Versluys Channel 4
Nail Bomber: Manhunt Netflix


  1. ^ "Rules and Guidelines" (PDF). British Academy of Film and Television Arts. Retrieved 2021-03-06.
  2. ^ "Nominations announced: Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards and British Academy Television Craft Awards in 2019". 2019-03-28. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  3. ^ Kanter, Jake (2020-07-31). "BAFTA TV Awards Winners: Night Of Surprises, As 'Chernobyl' & 'The End Of The F***ing World' Take Two Prizes Each". Deadline. Retrieved 2021-03-05.
  4. ^ "BAFTA TV 2021: Nominations for the Virgin Media British Academy Television Awards and British Academy Television Craft Awards". 2021-04-28. Retrieved 2021-04-28.
  5. ^ "Bafta TV awards 2022: full list of nominations". The Guardian. 30 March 2022. Retrieved 30 March 2022.