heat’s Unmissables Awards 2022

Dermot and Alison! Ricky Gervais! Sharon Horgan! We honour the best entertainers of the year

heat unmissable awards 2022

by heat staff |

While this year’s Oscars were tarnished a tad by Will Smith slapping Chris Rock in the chops, there’s been no such scandal to affect the equally prestigious heat Unmissables Awards.

Yes, each year, we crown the greatest achievements in all of pop culture, from films and TV to books and podcasts.

In order to pick the winners, our elite panel of experts at heat magazine surveyed a whole host of contenders to decide which of them should be rewarded with a coveted heat gong. And you, the readers, decided the key category of Best TV Soap. Here are this year’s winners…

Comedian of the year - Tom Davis

tom davis holding heat unmissable awards
are we having a laugh? Yes!

The Wolf & Owl podcast Tom co-hosts with his best buddy Romesh Ranganathan brings us so much joy each week. But what swung the vote Tom’s way was his role in Channel 4 comedy caper The Curse, in which he created one of the funniest characters in years – dodgy crim Mick Neville. We travelled to Gran Canaria to give Tom this award (where we also visited the set of The Curse season two), and he told us, “Massive thanks to heat. This is actually the first award I’ve won solo since I got a Best Sportsman award at a football competition when I was 12, for being the worst player who kept smiling anyway.”

TV moment of the year - Joe Lycett on the Laura Kuenssberg show (BBC1)

joe lycett holding heat unmissable awards
his reward for being very right wing

We love comedian Joe. Everything he does is bold and funny, and his appearance on the BBC current affairs show Sunday With Laura Kuenssberg sums up his genius. Asked by the host to comment on then- Tory Prime Ministerial candidate Liz Truss, Joe launched a witheringly sarcastic onslaught against the would-be PM. Joe says, “I am thrilled to be the recipient of a heat Unmissables Award. I’ve always wanted to win one, and this year I’ve finally done it!”

TV presenter of the year - Dermot O’Leary & Alison Hammond

alison hammond and dermot o'leary holding heat unmissable awards
"We beat Ant & Dec!"

They have become a brilliantly natural TV presenting duo, and together they’ve been a total breath of fresh air in their regular Friday morning slot, bouncing off each other beautifully. Alison says, “Oh my goodness, this is our first award together. I’m so happy, thank you. This means the world!”

Dermot tells us, “Thanks a million, heat, for this massive, very heavy award!”

TV drama of the year - Bad Bad Sisters (Apple TV+)

bad sisters holding heat unmissable awards
not bad meaning bad, but bad meaning good

Sharon Horgan co-created and starred in this enthralling and darkly funny series based on a Belgian original. She plays one of four sisters grappling with a hideous monster of a controlling brother-in-law. The stunning Irish setting, the superb performances from Sharon, Eva Birthistle, Sarah Greene, Eve Hewson and Anne-Marie Duff, the all-time chilling villain played in stunning style by Claes Bang, and the gloriously twisty plot all combined to tremendous effect. And the good news is that a second season is on the way.

Podcast of the year - Nearly weds with Jamie Laing and Sophie Habboo

nearly weds podcast

It was a brilliant idea to do a podcast covering all the issues in the build-up to a couple’s wedding, and the fact this particular pair are the deeply likeable Jamie Laing and his fiancée Sophie just makes it even better. They’ve now recorded 35 eye-opening episodes. Sophie says, “We just want to say the biggest thank you. We are so flattered and honoured and grateful.” And Jamie adds, “Thank you to me for being so funny!”

Film of the year - Top Gun: Maverick

top gun maverick

Just when we were starting to think Hollywood blockbusters had gone a bit stale, along came this belated sequel to the ’80s classic. Arriving 36 years after the iconic original, it proved to be thrillingly fresh and entertaining, with Tom Cruise reviving his role as fighter ace Pete “Maverick” Wilson, showing the young bucks how it’s done. It’s made $1.5billion at the box office and is undoubtedly the biggest and best film of the year.

Album of the year - Harry's House (Harry Styles)

harry's house

Harry’s transition from boybander to highly respected and hugely successful solo artist has been nothing short
of miraculous, and he sealed the deal this year with his most accomplished album to date. Harry’s House is a deliriously frothy, ’80s-style pop triumph, full of amazingly catchy tunes and intriguing lyrics. It’s the fastest-selling album of the year and went straight to No1 in the US. Deservedly so.

TV comedy of the year - After Life (Netflix)

ricky gervais holding heat unmissable awards
slick, Rick

We’re not sure how writer/director/star Ricky Gervais does it, but the third and final series of his bittersweet comedy was even funnier and more poignant than the outstanding first two. And the ending was sublime. Ricky says, “Thank you, heat magazine, for this lovely award. It says ‘TV Comedy Of The Year, After Life 3, and then it says ‘Ricky Gervais’. Taking all the credit, which is fair enough! I’ve won a couple of these Unmissables Awards and it’s always a pleasure.”

Actress of the year - Ambika Mod (This Is Going To Hurt)

ambika mod
ambika: so good, it hurts

Relative newcomer Ambika had an instant impact in this remarkable drama, based on former medic Adam Kay’s startlingly honest memoirs about the gruelling daily reality of working in the NHS. Ambika played trainee doctor Shruti Acharya, who had to deal with scathing sarcasm and borderline bullying from her boss Adam (played by the great Ben Whishaw) on the obstetrics and gynaecology ward. Ambika was the heart and soul of the show, with a stunningly powerful story arc and a massively moving performance.

Actor of the year - Paapa Essiedu (The Capture/TheLazarus Project)

paapa essiedu
he captured our attention

After he caught our eye in Michaela Coel’s I May Destroy You, Paapa ’s career has gone from strength to strength,
and this year he starred in two of our favourite TV dramas – as an ambitious MP in series two of the tech thriller The Capture, and as a confused recruit to a mysterious time-travelling organisation in The Lazarus Project. And he was totally charismatic and commanding in both. Paapa, who’s currently filming series two of TLP, says, “Absolutely buzzing and very humbled to be recognised by heat Unmissables!”

Reality TV show of the year - Love Island (ITV2)

love island davide and ekin su on the love island final
©shutterstock

At the end of the day, we’re putting our eggs in one basket and saying this year’s Love Island was definitely our type (of reality show) on paper. With TV gold in the shape of series winners Ekin-Su and Davide; classic Casa Amor shenanigans; and stand-out quotes such as Andrew’s, “I licked her tit, or whatever”, it kept us thoroughly entertained all summer.

TV binge of the year - Heartstopper (Netflix)

heartstopper winner holding heat unmissable award
Be still, our beating hearts

When the eight episodes of this comedy-drama about the burgeoning romance between two schoolboys arrived on Netflix in April, we devoured the whole glorious series in one go, and it felt like everyone who started watching it did the same. Anchored by two superbly naturalistic performances from Kit Connor and Joe Locke, and beautifully adapted from the Alice Oseman graphic novel, Heartstopper was a gamechanger. Kit says, “Thank you so much for this award. We really appreciate it and it’s a real honour.”

TV entertainment show of the year - Michael McIntyre's The Wheel (BBC1)

michael mcintyre holding heat unmissable award
he's wheely pleased

The Wheel is simply the best new Saturday night show in decades. The idea of members of the public getting expert help from celebs in their chosen subjects is brilliant, watching the famous people spinning round on the wheel never gets tired, and Michael McIntyre is the perfect host, saying exactly what’s on our minds, but in a funnier way. He tells us, “I’m so unbelievably grateful. We love making the show. It’s revolutionised my life, as it has Saturday nights, and I am forever grateful!”

Soap of the year - EastEnders

eastenders kat and phil wedding alfie and sharon
©BBC

As always, this was the category we left to you, our esteemed readers, to decide the winner – and you made your choice loud and clear. Of all the soaps, you decided that ’Enders was the one that impressed, with its blend of hard-hitting issue-based storylines, comedy light relief, and deeply poignant moments – RIP Dot. *Sniff*. Max Bowden, who plays Ben Mitchell, told us, “Thank you to all the readers of heat who have voted for us. We are extremely grateful to have won this award and it is always extra-special when it is voted for by the viewers – so, thank you, thank you, thank you.”

Book of the year - Rachel, Again (Marian Keyes)

again, rachel book

Twenty five years after her gritty, funny, and deeply emotional novel Rachel’s Holiday was published, Marian bought our favourite flawed heroine back for another outing. After a successful spell in rehab, life is good for Rachel – she’s now an addiction counsellor, who enjoys gardening and expensive trainers – but when an old flame reappears, her sense of equilibrium threatens to unravel in this addictive follow up. Marian’s mastery of story and character is as impressive as ever, and the whole thing rings totally true from start to finish.

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