Vertue brings its own reward as Sherlock producer wins lifetime achievement gong


The producer of international smash hit television programme Sherlock has been handed a lifetime achievement award by actor Benedict Cumberbatch.

Beryl Vertue, executive producer of the BBC series which stars Cumberbatch in the title role, was recognised for her contribution to television at the annual Women In Film and TV Awards.

Vertue has worked in television for more than 50 years and is behind hit programmes including Up Pompeii, Steptoe And Son and Men Behaving Badly.

Cumberbatch said it was an "absolute honour" to present the prize to the "wonderful" Vertue.

He added: "We have known each other a long time and not only have I had the pleasure of working with her but I'm very lucky to know her and call such a brilliant woman my friend."

Also in attendance at the ceremony at the Park Lane Hilton Hotel in central London were Olympic diver Tom Daley, Strictly Come Dancing star Judge Rinder, Game Of Thrones actress Sophie Turner, and broadcaster Sandi Toksvig.

The MAC best performance award went to Bafta-winning actress Sarah Lancashire presented by her co-star in BBC series Happy Valley Siobhan Finneran.

Also recognised at awards were BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg who was handed the news and factual award by Strictly star and former shadow chancellor Ed Balls.

Daley presented broadcaster Gabby Logan with the NEP UK presenter award.

WFTV chief executive Kate Kinninmont said: "We are delighted this year to honour Beryl Vertue with The EON Productions lifetime achievement award as her contribution to television over the past 50 years has been outstanding.

"She is a true legend in production and is an inspiration to so many."

She added: "We have seen some fantastic women achieving great things this year and the diverse range of winners is testament to that."

Speaking on the red carpet for the event, Vertue said she felt "rather proud" with the nod.

"I'm very blessed I've been able to do comedy and drama.

"I've met some great people really and here I am today.

She said the awards were "wonderful because there a lot of clever women and a lot of them are behind-the-scenes people and this is their way of being recognised."

"I like that and they've been chosen by their peers."

On Cumberbatch, Vertue said: "He's wonderful, he's a wonderful person