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8 December 2020

Heat’s Unmissables Awards 2020 Recognises the Best of the Year’s Entertainment

Michaela Coel has been awarded Actress of the Year award in heat’s annual Unmissables Awards for her role in the hit BBC1 Drama I May Destroy You.

The writer, actor, producer and director famously took her own harrowing experience of sexual assault and used it as the basis for the drama, creating in the process the extraordinarily complicated character of Arabella.

Boyd Hilton, Entertainment Director of heat magazine, described the drama as ‘a landmark series that will go down in TV history’, commenting: “The raw power and fundamental humanity of Michaela’s performance anchored the whole incredible series.”

Other Actress of the Year nominees included Billie Piper (I Hate Susie), Gillian Anderson (The Crown), Hayley Squires (Adult Material) and Normal People’s Daisy Edgar-Jones.

I May Destroy You celebrated a double triumph this year taking the TV Drama of the Year award ahead of Devs, I Hate Susie, Normal People and Save Me Too.

Commenting on the accolade, Michaela Coel said: “Thank you very very very much for voting I May Destroy You show of the year. It means a hell of a lot to have my work recognised on such a huge scale.”

BBC1 and iPlayer’s Normal People wins the TV binge of the Year category following its decision to make available all 12 parts of their adaptation of Sally Rooney’s pop-culture phenomenon of a novel as soon as the first episode arrived on primetime BBC1. Millions of viewers became instantly addicted to the drama’s intense depiction of the compulsive love and lust between Paul Mescal’s brooding Connell and Daisy Edgar-Jones’s smart, sharp Marianne.

Paul Mescal also wins Actor of the Year, he was a total unknown until Normal People arrived in April but once viewers began immersing themselves in the intense love story, the 24-year-old actor’s effortless chemistry with his similarly outstanding co-star Daisy Edgar-Jones and the astonishing naturalism of his performance turned him into an overnight sensation…even the chain round his neck became iconic.

Normal People director and producer Lenny Abrahamson commented: “All of us involved in bringing Normal People to the screen are delighted by these awards. It’s great that the series as a whole made such an impact and that people felt compelled to keep watching – which this award from heat really underlines. We are thrilled for Paul Mescal, also, with the wonderful Daisy Edgar-Jones, anchored the whole show. Considering the people is being compared to, it’s a real triumph.”

Runners-up in the Actor of the Year category included Lennie James (Save Me Too), Josh O’Connor (The Crown), Jude Law (The Third Day) and John Boyega (Small Axe).

Other award-winners include Matt Lucas, who won Lockdown TV Hero Of The Year for his revival of the Baked Potato song from when he was a regular on Shooting Stars, and Claudia Winkleman who won Book of the Year for her first book Quite.

The Invisible Man took Film of the Year, written and directed by Leigh Whannell, and starring Elisabeth Moss and Oliver Jackson-Cohen and Channel 4’s The Great British Bake Off wins Reality/Factual TV Show beating Gogglebox.

Alison Hammond is TV & Radio Presenter of The Year after her stints on This Morning which led to her getting the weekly Friday shows to co-host with Dermot as well as her own ITV documentary for Black History Month.

Ricky Gervais’ Netflix comedy After Life is awarded TV Comedy of the Year with the second series described by heat as ‘even funnier and more emotional than the first’.

Grounded With Louis Theroux (BBC Sounds) wins Podcast of the Year. He commented, “I am delighted to receive this award! Grounded was something I started doing way back in March when all my travel plans were upended by Covid. It’s ended up being so much more pleasurable than I could have expected. In trying times, there’s nothing like the power of human connection.”

Dua Lipa’s Future Nostalgia takes album of the Year. Daisy May Cooper is comedian of the Year and Mo Gilligan’s All Star Happy Hour is Entertainment Show of the Year, his second consecutive win in this category, following on from last year’s triumph with The Late-ish Show.

EastEnders wins the coveted Soap of the Year with its gripping storylines and ambitious stunt on the Thames to mark its 35th anniversary, voted for by @heatworld users.

Heat Unmissables Awards 2020 Winners

TV Drama of the Year

I May Destroy You

Actress of the Year

Michaela Coel

I May Destroy You

Actor of the Year

Paul Mescal

Normal People

TV Binge of the Year

Normal People

TV Comedy of the Year

After Life

Ricky Gervais

Factual/Reality Show of the Year

The Great British Bake Off

Presenter of the Year

Alison Hammond

Entertainment Show of the Year

Mo Gilligan’s All Star Happy Hour

Book of the Year


Claudia Winkleman

Film of the Year

The Invisible Man

Podcast of the Year

Grounded With Louis Theroux

Album of the Year

Future Nostalgia

Dua Lipa

Comedian of the Year

Daisy May Cooper

Lockdown TV hero

Matt Lucas

Soap of the Year (online vote)


The winners of the Unmissables Awards are chosen by a panel of experts at heat magazine who survey all the contenders to reward best in entertainment and pop culture. The hotly contested category of Best TV Soap is voted for by @heatworld users.

All the acceptance speeches can be viewed in full on and a feature on this year’s winners and runners-up can be found in this week’s heat magazine, on sale now (Tuesday 8 December).

– ENDS – 


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Bauer Media UK reaches over 25 million UK consumers through a portfolio of world-class, multi-platform media and entertainment brands including heat, KISS, Grazia, Empire, Magic, Absolute Radio and the Hits Radio Network. These brands offer commercial partners access to highly engaged audiences, with creative solutions underpinned by insight and instinct. Bauer Media UK is part of the Bauer Media Group, one of the world’s largest privately owned media businesses with media assets all over the globe.

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