By Sanuj Hathurusinghe
The 17th Raigam Tele’es – the annual awards ceremony that recognises and felicitates the individuals who have excelled in the small screen – was held recently at Shangri-La Hotel, Colombo with the veteran actors Ravindra Randeniya and Shriyani Amarasena attending as Chief Guests. This year, the awards ceremony saw the presentation of awards for two years combined (2020 and 2021) since the awards ceremony could not be held for the year 2020 due to the pandemic situation in the country. The awards were presented under seven categories and in total, 108 awards were presented for winners of both years (47 for 2020 and 57 for 2021).
This year, the awards introduced a new awards category to felicitate the most-viewed television programmes. Although it sounds similar to the conventional ‘Most Popular’ awards, the screening and selection process for this award is a much more strenuous one which involved a lot of research and census. Prof. Lakshman Dissanayaka headed the selection panel for this award while Raigam sales agents from all over the country also contributed immensely in finding the most-viewed television programmes. Hiru Star became the most-viewed television programme while Nadagamkarayo and TV Derana Prime Time News became the most-viewed teledrama and news programme.
The highlight of the event was the popular awards. Continuing her award-winning tradition from last year Shalani Tharaka became the Most Popular Actress while the newcomer Kusal Madhuranga won the Most Popular Actor Award. Swarnavahini’s Para Dige teledrama became the Most Popular Teledrama. Elsewhere, the award for Best Media Programmes Chanel was shared by Sirasa TV and TV Derana while the Best Teledrama Chanel award as well as the award for the Best Chanel were bagged by ITN.