The Excellence in Television Award: Julie Hesmondhalgh

We are honoured to present the inaugural Excellence in Television Award at Pilot Light TV Festival to a truly iconic, eclectic and inspirational figure in British television, actress Julie Hesmondhalgh.

Julie first started popping up on our screens in a variety of roles on shows such as The Bill, Dalziel & Pascoe and Victoria Wood’s television movie Pat and Margaret. It was in 1998 that she donned her iconic red anorak and walked the cobbles of Coronation Street for the first time, making her debut as the first transgender character in the history of soap operas: Hayley Cropper.  Over the course of her legendary 15-year tenure in Weatherfield, Hayley brought transgender issues into the limelight and to this day is regarded as one of the most important trans characters in British television history. For this epochal role, Julie won best actress at both the National Television Awards and the British Soap Awards.

Since leaving Coronation Street Julie has appeared in several critically acclaimed pieces of television, working with fellow British greats such as Russell T Davies on Cucumber, Steve Pemberton & Reece Shearsmith on Inside No.9 and with Sally Wainwright and Chris Chibnall respectively on worldwide phenomena Happy Valley and Broadchurch.

Throughout all of her outstanding work, Julie Hesmondhalgh has been a dedicated shining example of Northern excellence in the medium of television, who represents the pinnacle of talent and importance in her field. Join Pilot Light and Julie in this session as we talk through her eclectic career and find out what went into each of her incredible television performances.