Acclaimed writer and producer Russell T Davies was presented the coveted Outstanding Contribution to Writing Award at the annual Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards at RIBA, in London, on 18 January 2016.
The award was presented by Paul Abbott – celebrated writer and creator of numerous TV hits such as Shameless and State of Play – to Davies in honour of his illustrious body of work for TV, including critical and popular successes such as the seminal Queer as Folk, the hugely successful revival of Doctor Who, and recent innovative drama trilogy, Cucumber, Banana and Tofu. Davies and Abbott are both members of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB).
Of his win Davies said: “For me, this is the greatest of honours, coming from fellow writers, and I’m enormously grateful to the Writers’ Guild – for this, and for the work it does for writers everywhere.”
Comedian, actor and writer Susan Calman hosted the event honouring the cream of British film, TV, theatre, radio and gaming writing talent in front of an audience from a broad range of creative industries.
Other winners included Paul King who was awarded Best Screenplay for the heartwarming hit film Paddington; Armando Iannucci’s critically acclaimed Veep won Best TV Situation Comedy; Timberlake Wertenbaker took home the award for Best Play for American Revolution drama Jefferson’s Garden; Best Long Running TV Series went to Scottish soap River City and Louise Ironside and Best Writing in a Video Game was won by Dan Pinchbeck for celebrated first-person adventure game, Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture.
A special tribute was also made to Writers’ Guild member David Nobbs, who died on 8 August 2015 and was best known for writing the 1970s series The Fall and Rise of Reginald Perrin, adapted from his own novels. Novelist and writer Jonathan Coe, whose novel What a Carve Up! was adapted by David Nobbs, gave a speech in his memory.
WGGB President Olivia Hetreed said of the event: “As President of the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain, I am immensely proud of all our Award winners and nominees, a truly impressive display of talent, from the ancient art of playwriting to the youngest one of game writing. All our winners display not only a superb grasp of their craft but tremendous insight and empathy with the challenges of modern life.
“The Writers’ Guild has been supporting writers for over 50 years, in their everyday working lives, in times of crisis and triumph. Writers today face many difficulties, we can meet them more strongly together.”
Presenters of individual awards included Caitlin Moran, Helen Lederer, Charlie Hardwick, Moira Buffini and Jonathan Asser.
The full list of winners, nominees and presenters follows:
Writers’ Guild Awards 2016 winners (and nominees)
Outstanding Contribution to Writing
Russell T Davies
Best Radio Comedy
Winner: Deborah Frances-White Rolls The Dice by Deborah Frances-White
Shortlisted: Ed Reardon’s Week by Andrew Nickolds and Christopher Douglas, Boswell’s Lives by
Best Radio Drama
Winner: Quill by Tony Jones
Shortlisted: Fragments by Laura Lomas, Orpheus & Eurydice by Linda Marshall Griffiths
Best Long Running TV Series
Winner: River City, Series 13, Episode 8 by Louise Ironside
Shortlisted: Holby City, Series 17, Episode 50 “At First I was Afraid” by Julia Gilbert, Emmerdale, Episode 7188/89 by Maxine Alderton
Best Writing in a Video Game
Winner: Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture by Dan Pinchbeck
Shortlisted: Her Story by Sam Barlow, Sunless Sea by Alexis Kennedy, Richard Cobbett, Amal El-Mohtar, Chris Gardiner, Meg Jayanth and Emily Short
Best Children’s TV Episode
Winner: Eve, Final Episode “Control, Alter, Delete” by Emma Reeves
Shortlisted: The Dumping Ground, Series 3, Episode 10 “Dragon Slayer” by Julie Dixon, Katie Morag and the Worst Day Ever by Sergio Casci
Best Long Form TV Drama
Winner: Not Safe for Work by DC Moore
Shortlisted: Banished by Jimmy McGovern, Wolf Hall by Peter Straughan
Best First Screenplay
Winner: X + Y by James Graham
Shortlisted: ’71 by Gregory Burke, The Falling by Carol Morley
Best Play for Young Audiences
Winner: Three Wise Monkeys by Mike Kenny
Shortlisted: Bird by Laura Lomas, Muddy Choir by Jesse Briton
Winner: Jefferson’s Garden by Timberlake Wertenbaker
Shortlisted: Liberian Girl by Diana Nneka Atuona, Temple by Steve Waters
Winner: Paddington by Paul King
Shortlisted: Wild by Nick Hornby, Ex Machina by Alex Garland
Best TV Situation Comedy
Winner: Veep Season Four by Simon Blackwell, Jon Brown, Kevin Cecil, Roger Drew, Peter Fellows, Neil Gibbons, Rob Gibbons, Sean Gray, Callie Hersheway, Armando Iannucci, Sean Love, Ian Martin, Georgia Pritchett, David Quantick, Andy Riley, Tony Roche, Will Smith
Shortlisted: Catastrophe by Sharon Horgan and Rob Delaney, W1A by John Morton
Best Short Form TV Drama
Winner: Code of a Killer by Michael Crompton
Shortlisted: The Casual Vacancy by Sarah Phelps, The Gamechangers by James Wood
Writers’ Guild Awards 2016 presenters
Host – Susan Calman
Best Radio Comedy – presented by Gail Renard
Best Radio Drama – presented by Gail Renard
Best Long Running TV Series – presented by Caitlin Moran
Best Writing in a Video Game – presented by Julia Hardy
Best Children’s TV Episode – presented by Phil Ford
Best Long Form TV Drama – presented by Charlie Hardwick
Best First Screenplay – presented by Jonathan Asser
Best Play for Young Audiences – presented by Natalie Wilson
Best Play – presented by Helen Edmundson
Best Screenplay – presented by Moira Buffini
Best TV Situation Comedy – presented by Helen Lederer
Best Short Form TV Drama – presented by Warren Brown
Outstanding Contribution to Writing – presented by Paul Abbott
Obituaries – Jonathan Coe
Watch video interviews with Writers’ Guild Awards winners, nominees and presenters on our YouTube channel.
Photos: WGGB / Joanne Gennard