Christopher Douglas wins Tinniswood Award 2021

Award-winning comedy writer Ian Martin presented Christopher Douglas with the Tinniswood Award for the best original audio drama script at the BBC’s Audio Drama Awards on 26 March 2021, which this year was online due to Covid-19
Christopher Douglas

Douglas (pictured above right) won the award for Tristram Shandy: In Development, which was produced by Gary Brown for BBC Radio Drama North, and broadcast on BBC Radio 4.

About the script

A drama workshop is taking place at the east London studios of award-winning indie AwesomeSauce! The project is Laurence Sterne’s 300-chapter-long, absurdist satire. There is a draft script, and three seasoned radio actors have been hired, for £80 each, along with a hyperactive impressionist. The director, who prefers to style herself an ‘audio drama-maker’, has set herself the task of re-inventing the moribund form of radio drama. A boxset star has been cast in the title role but his flight from Corfu is delayed, so reading in as Tristram is Rosie the spot effects woman.

The judges said: “This hilarious play takes the ultimate shaggy dog story by the scruff of the neck and shakes some new and wonderful nonsense into it. Part satire, part homage and total re-boot, it wears its knowledge lightly as we romp through the ‘recording’ of Sterne’s novel in a series of brilliant, laugh-out-loud stories that are deliciously entertaining throughout. A terrific achievement.”

Christopher Douglas is the voice of Ed Reardon in the long-running Radio 4 series which he also co-writes. Ed Reardon’s Week won the Broadcasting Press Guild’s award for Best Radio Programme in 2005 and 2010. He also voices and co-writes the ill-chosen words of Dave Podmore, a Radio 4 regular since 2000 and previously a Guardian columnist. Other radio writing credits include three series of Beauty of Britain (starring Jocelyn Jee Esien), two series of Mastering the Universe with Dawn French, several dramas and a recent adaptation of New Grub Street. TV writing credits include three series of masterclasses hosted by Nicholas Craig (Nigel Planer). Books include a biography of D R Jardine; stage work includes Ed Reardon: A Writer’s BurdenAn Evening With Nicholas Craig and Scout’s Honour.

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The shortlist also included Just the Three of Us by Becky Prestwich, This Thing of Darkness, episode 7, by Anita Vettesse, with monologues by Eileen Horne, and Shrapnel by Isabel Wright (find out more about the shortlisted works here).

The Tinniswood Award was established by WGGB and the Society of Authors to perpetuate the memory of Peter Tinniswood as well as to celebrate and encourage high standards in radio drama. Plays this year were eligible if broadcast in the UK between 1 October 2019 and 31 October 2020.

The judges were Nicholas McInerny, Ian Martin and Rex Obano.

Previous winners include Ian Martin, Oliver Emanuel, Sarah Woods, Morwenna Banks and Mike Bartlett.

We are very grateful to the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society for their generous sponsorship, including the £3,000 prize.