James Fritz and Tim Stimpson

James Fritz wins the Tinniswood Award 2017

James FritzDramatist James Fritz (pictured left and above right) has won the Tinniswood Award 2017 for his audio drama script, Comment Is Free.

Described by the judges as “brave and provocative”, the audio drama was produced by Becky Ripley for BBC Radio & Music Bristol and broadcast on Radio 4. Starring Rachael Stirling (Detectorists, Capital) and Tobias Menzies (Game of Thrones, Outlander), alongside a cast of hundreds, it offers a thrilling portrayal of the sound and fury of modern British politics.

“In the wake of the murder of Jo Cox, this diamond sharp exploration of the current state of public debate couldn’t have been more prescient, said the judges. “Acutely observed and not without humour, we particularly admired how the scale of its construction combined with the efficiency of its storytelling.”

Fritz was presented the award (organised by WGGB and the Society of Authors) at the annual BBC Audio Drama Awards, hosted by Sir Lenny Henry, at Broadcasting House, on 29 January 2017.

Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Deputy Co-Chair Tim Stimpson (pictured above left) presented Fritz with the award.

Fritz, whose other credits include Four Minutes Twelve Seconds, The Fall, Ross & Rachel and Parliament Square, also won the Imison Award 2017 (which honours the best audio drama by a new writer) for Comment Is Free.

Speaking at the BBC Audio Drama Awards Fritz paid tribute to the “team effort” that went into producing Comment Is Free, and described winning the award as a “massive honour”, adding how he had “always dreamed of writing a radio play” since his mother “force-fed” him The Archers.

The sixth annual BBC Audio Drama Awards also saw Bill Nighy honoured with a Special Award for Services to Radio Drama.

Read the full list of BBC Audio Drama Award winners 2017.

About the Tinniswood Award

The Tinniswood Award is run by the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and Society of Authors, with the prize of £2,000 donated by the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS).

The other shortlisted writers for the Tinniswood Award 2017 were Timothy X Atack for The Stroma Sessions and Oliver Emanuel for A History of Paper.

The judges this year were Nicholas McInerny, Shelley Silas and Tim Stimpson.

Previous winners include Morwenna Banks, Murray Gold, Christopher William Hill and Julian Simpson.

The Tinniswood Award was set up in memory of scriptwriter Peter Tinniswood.

Find out more about the award.

Listen to a clip of Comment is Free.

Photo of James Fritz: Hampstead Theatre

Photo of James Fritz and Tim Stimpson: BBC