20 May 2024 The Irish Film & Television Network
Blu Hydrangea to host RTS NI Television Awards in Belfast
31 May 2023 : Luke Shanahan
Blue Hydrangea
Northern Irish drag queen and Ru Paul’s inaugural Queen of the World, Blu Hydrangea will host this year’s Royal Television Society NI Programme Awards at City Hall in Belfast tomorrow, Thursday 1st June 2023.

Blu is the stage name of 27 year-old Joshua Cargill from Lisburn, who has enjoyed huge success since making her TV debut in 2019 on RuPaul’s Drag Race UK. After coming fifth in that first series, Blu toured the world as part of the Frock Destroyers pop group with her series one sisters Baga Chipz and Divina De Campo as well as appearing in Frock Destroyers: Frockumentary on Wow Presents Plus in 2022. Blu was then crowned Ru Paul’s Queen of the World last March and also presented her own TV series Stitch Please on BBC Three.

“It’s going to be an amazing night back in Belfast shining a light on the incredible talent we have across Northern Ireland working in the creative industries,” said Blu. “This has been a wonderful year for our people and productions on the global stage and I look forward to revealing all the winners at the Awards in City Hall next week.”

Gareth McGreevy, Chair of RTS NI Awards Committee added: “What a coup for the RTS NI to secure the dazzling Blu Hydrangea as our host for this year’s Awards, it promises to be our most glamourous awards ceremony ever as we come together in City Hall to celebrate the diverse voices that make up our industry. I wish all of our finalists every success on the night and we look forward to highlighting the best of the best next week.”

The RTS NI Programme Awards 2023 with headline sponsor Ka-Boom are delivered with support from BBC Northern Ireland, Northern Ireland Screen and Channel 4. The Awards Ceremony will be held in Belfast City Hall on Thursday 1st June 2023.

The Royal Television Society Northern Ireland Programme Awards 2023 Finalists are as follows:

Childrens and Animation: 

  •  Happy the Hoglet (Paper Owl Films)
  •  ODO (Sixteen South/Letko)
  •  Silverpoint (Zodiak Kids & Family Productions UK)


  •  Derry Girls 3 (Hat Trick Production)
  •  Free Gaff (Green Inc Film & TV)
  •  William of Orangedale (Hat Trick Productions NI)

Current Affairs:

  •  Spotlight: The Babymaker Uncovered (BBCNI)
  •  Spotlight: Police, WhatsApp and Whistleblowers (BBCNI)
  •  Up Close - Home Terror (UTV)


  •  James Joyce's Ulysses (DoubleBand Films and Lone Star Productions)
  •  Quinn Country (Fine Point Films)
  •  The Real Derry: Jamie-Lee O'Donnell (Tyrone Productions)
  •  Young Plato: The Philosophy Boys of Ardoyne (Aisling Productions and Soilsiu Films)


  •  Bloodlands: Series 2 (Hat Trick Productions)
  •  Doineann (DoubleBand Films)
  •  Wreck (Euston Films)


  •  Beauty Queen and Single (Stellify Media)
  •  Live At The Waterfront! (Green Inc Film & TV)
  •  The Belfast Mixtape: Songs from Lockdown (BBCNI)

 Factual Entertainment:

  •  Ceol Le Toal (Big Mountain Productions)
  •  Strawbridge over the Drawbridge (BBCNI)
  •  The Fast and the Farmer-ish (Alleycats TV)


  •  B&B By The Sea (Afro-Mic Productions)
  •  Chronicles of Strangford (Waddell Media)
  •  The Hotel People (Waddell Media)

News Coverage:

  •  BBC Newsline - Cresslough (BBCNI)
  •  UTV Live - Cresslough (UTV)
  •  UTV Live – Dying on the Streets (UTV)

On Screen Talent:

  •  Holly Hamilton (in Victory in Vienna by Clean Slate Productions)
  •  Jamie-Lee O’Donnell (in The Real Derry: Jamie-Lee O’Donnell by Tyrone Production)
  • Theo Dorgan (in An Buachaill Gealgháireach (The Laughing Boy / To Yelasto Paidi) by Imagine Media Productions Ltd) 

Original Music Score:

  •  An Buachaill Gealghaireach: The Laughing Boy (Eleni Karaindrou; Imagine Media)
  •  Nowhere Special (Andrew Simon McAllister)
  •  Wreck (Steve Lynch, Noemi Spanos, Chris Baugh, Ryan J Brown; Euston Films, Fremantle Media)

Specialist Factual:

  •  Brian Friel: Shy Man, Showman (Walk on Air Films and Ronachan Films)
  •  Fergal Keane: Living with PTSD (State of Grace Films)
  •  The White Handkerchief (Open Reel Productions)

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