Scottish BAFTAs: Outlander and Sean Connery’s son among big winners

Stars of Outlander Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe on the red carpet at the BAFTA Scotland Awards. Picture: SWNS
Stars of Outlander Sam Heughan and Caitriona Balfe on the red carpet at the BAFTA Scotland Awards. Picture: SWNS
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Sir Sean Connery’s son, crime drama Shetland and time travel fantasy Outlander were among the big winners at Scotland’s film and television Oscars.

Jason Connery broke down in tears at the climax of the BAFTA Scotland ceremony in Glasgow when the golfing drama Tommy’s Honour was named best feature film.

Dr Who actor Peter Capaldi on the red carpet at the BAFTA Scotland Awards

Dr Who actor Peter Capaldi on the red carpet at the BAFTA Scotland Awards

The film, shot in East Lothian and Fife, charts the father-and-son relationship between the pioneering champion golfers Old Tom Morris and his son Young Tom, who died when he was just 24.

Connery, who revealed that his father had sent him a “good luck” message via Skype before returning the event, said it had taken five years to get the film off the ground.

He added: “It’s a film about golf, but it has so much more heart. To come to Scotland to make the film and work with Scottish actors and a Scottish crew was just fantastic.

“The story is a father-son story. We are all either sons to a father or fathers to a son. It was a tragic story, but it was a very beautiful story as well. It felt very personal to me.”

Jack Lowden, who played Young Tom, lost out on the best film actor award to his co-star Peter Mullan, who was honoured for another film, Hector, in which he plays a homeless man.

Lowden said: “I’m just so chuffed for Jason and all the producers. They put so much love into the film. They wanted to make a film about something they love.”

Connery had earlier revealed that the James Bond star refused to move from his house in the Bahamas despite evacuation warnings over the most powerful Caribbean storm in a decade.

He added: “The house was damaged, but he told me he just sat it out and waited for the TV to come back on.”

Shetland was named best TV drama, ahead of Outlander, while Douglas Henshall, star of the long-running show set on the remote Northern Isles won best TV actor ahead of Outlander’s Sam Heughan and Doctor Who star Peter Capaldi. However Heughan’s co-star Caitriona Balfe was named best TV actress.

Balfe paid tribute to Outlander’s producers, Ronald Moore and Maril Davis, for taking a “massive chance” on her by casting her in the role without any previous television experience.

She said: “I’d only done one indie film and had a few other small film parts but I’d never been on a TV set before I made Outlander. 

“I had no idea what the show would become. It was obviously an unusual opportunity because 16 episodes had been ordered, so I knew I was going to have a job for a year, but you’ve no idea how it is going to be received and whether it is going to resonate with people.”

Asked how long she envisaged continuing in the role, she said: “We’re definitely filming a third and fourth season. There are going to be 10 books so there are another six potential series in them.

“Everyone loves the show and the job. As long as the story is interesting and the writing is good I am up for continuing. We’ll see how long it goes for.” 

Henshall, who plays detective Jimmy Perez in the show adapted from the novels of writer Ann Cleeves, said: “It’s really nice to be recognised. The show has been really popular and we all work really hard on it.

“The people of Shetland have been so kind and helpful to us. They were a wee bit suspicious of us at first as Ann’s books are very much loved there. 

“They weren’t sure about us for a wee while, what our motives were and how we were going to represent them, but I think they’ve found us a force for good. I love the place.”

Kate Dickie won the best film actress award for her role in the harrowing drama Couple in a Hole, in which she plays a woman living like a savage with her partner in the middle of a vast French forest.

Mrs Brown’s Boys fought off competition from two other BBC Scotland shows Two Doors Down and Scot Squad to be named best comedy-entertainment programme.

BBC Scotland programme Dunblane: Our Story, which marked the 20th anniversary of the atrocity, was named best single documentary.

Director Ken Loach, producer Rebecca O’Brien and writer Paul Laverty were honoured for the track record of their company Sixteen Films.

Laverty said: “This is an award in recognition of the art of collaboration of so many people who are involved in making a film.

“We’ve got as many friends here tonight who have been behind and in front of the camera. You can only make a film when there’s great people working together.”

Absolutely Fabulous star Jennifer Saunders was among those to pay tribute to Balloch-born Christine Cant, a Glasgow School of Art graduate who went on to become one of the UK industry’s leading hair and make-up artists, working on shows like Father Ted and The Royle Family.

In a specially-recorded message, Saunders said: “I’m known you for what, about 100 years and I’ll tell you why I enjoy working with you. 

“You’re an incredible creative genius but you manage to combine that with a level of professionalism that very few of us will ever attain. Nothing phases you, nothing. If I was there this evening, I’d take you by the shoulders and violently shake you, to make you realise how much you deserve this.”

Speaking before the ceremony, Peter Capaldi said he had no intention of leaving Doctor Who - but ruled out a return for another much-loved Malcolm Tucker.

He said: “One of the nice things about Doctor Who is you get the benefit of a programme that has been running for 50 years, that people have grown up with. You get inhabit it for a few years and get to stand on the shoulders of all the other people that have had a go at it.

“Most people have had a go at it in the playground when they were young. The scripts of Doctor Who are great, it’s a good laugh, you get to blow up Daleks and you get to chase men in rubber suits. I love doing it, I’ll do it as long as I am happy doing it.”

Capaldi said he was not keen on reviving his role as Tucker, the foul-mouthed spin doctor from the cult comedy-drama The Thick of It because of the British political climate. 

He added: “It (The Thick Of It) was something that we did which was great fun to do. It’s up to Armando Iannucci, he’s the guy that one that put it all together. It was very much of its time.

“Times are so unpleasant and unsteady at the moment. Politics is not funny. I think we’re in quite a dangerous place. It’s too serious. It’s gone somewhere genuinely dark.”

SELECTED WINNERS

Actor – film: Peter Mullan (Hector)

Actor – TV: Douglas Henshall (Shetland)

Actress – film: Kate Dickie (Couple in a Hole)

Actress – TV: Caitriona Balfe (Outlander)

Feature film: Tommy’s Honour

TV drama: Shetland

Comedy/entertainment: Mrs Brown’s Boys: Christmas Special 2015

Animation: No Place like Home

Director film/tV: Douglas Mackinnon (Sherlock: The Abominable Bride)

Writer film/tV: DC Moore (Not Safe for Work)

Outstanding contribution to craft award: Christine Cant

Outstanding contribution to film: Sixteen Films – Paul Laverty, Ken Loach, Rebecca O’Brien