Writers’ Guild Award winners 2020

Katy BrandWriters behind some of 2019’s most critically acclaimed works were honoured at the 2020 Writers’ Guild Awards on Monday 13 January in a red-carpet ceremony at the Royal College of Physicians in central London.

Hosted by writer, comedian and actor Katy Brand (pictured left), the prestigious event celebrated the cream of UK writing talent in front of an audience from a broad range of creative industries.

Comedy writer and actor John Finnemore was presented with the coveted Outstanding Contribution to Writing Award by Producer David Tyler, in honour of Finnemore’s extensive career which has seen him write multiple comedy shows for radio and television, including That Mitchell and Webb Look, Dead RingersSafety CatchJohn Finnemore, ApparentlyThe Now Show,  The Unbelievable Truth, Cabin Pressure and Double Acts.

Accepting the award he said: “Receiving this award from the WGGB, and therefore from fellow writers, is deeply gratifying… and utterly astonishing. So, to whoever it is they’ve given it to me in mistake for: I’m very sorry for you, but good luck trying to get it back off me now.”

The 15 categories awarded during the ceremony spanned theatre, film, TV, radio, comedy, books and videogames (see the full list of winners, below):

During the ceremony former WGGB Chair Gail Renard and current Deputy Co-Chair William Gallagher paid tribute to Peter Nichols and Terrance Dicks, plus other WGGB members who had sadly died during the previous year.

Host Katy Brand said of the event: “I am thrilled to have hosted the WGGB Awards 2020 this evening, not least because it means I spent an evening with the best writers in the world without having to worry about winning anything myself. I just enjoyed the immense throb of talent in the room, and hopefully helped make the evening entertaining, inclusive, and a celebration of all the outstanding work of the past year – congratulations to all the deserved brilliant winners.”

WGGB President Sandi Toksvig OBE said“Congratulations to all the Writers’ Guild Awards 2020 winners, it’s a sheer joy just to be in a room amongst such wonderful writers. These ridiculously talented people have kept us entertained throughout the year with their brilliant writing, they have brought us much needed tonic during these challenging times, and we have been spoilt rotten by their wonderful creations.”

The Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS) was the lead sponsor of the 2020 Writers’ Guild Awards. Other sponsors were  BBC, ITV, Company PicturesScript Angel and Nick Hern Books.

A full list of winners and presenters follows (you can see the shortlist here):

Outstanding Contribution to Writing

John Finnemore

Presenter: David Tyler

Best Online Comedy

Side Effects of the Pill by Hannah George and Tasha Dhanraj

Presenter: John Finnemore

Best Long Running TV Series

Hollyoaks, Episode 5013 by Roanne Bardsley

Presenter: Sally Lindsay

Best Writing in a Video Game

Over the Alps by Jon Ingold, Katharine Neil and Nick Bush

Presenter: Antony Johnston

Best Children’s TV Episode

Danger Mouse, Series 2, Episode 39, ‘Melted’ by Ciaran Murtagh and Andrew Barnett Jones

Presenter: Nigel Plaskitt and Hartley Hare

Best Radio Comedy

Prepper by Caroline Moran and James J Moran

Presenter: Michael Spicer

Best Long Form TV Drama

Blood, Series 1, Episode 6 by Sophie Petzal

Presenter: Danny Brocklehurst

Best First Novel

Cygnet by Season Butler

Presenter: Jonathan Harvey

Best First Screenplay

Only You by Harry Wootliff

Presenter: Simon Beaufoy

Best Radio Drama

Forest 404 by Timothy X Atack

Presenter: Jake Yapp

Best Play for Young Audiences

The Canary and the Crow by Daniel Ward

Presenter: Kumiko Mendl

Best Play

Wolfie by Ross Willis

Presenter: Samira Ahmed

Best Screenplay

The Last Tree by Shola Amoo

Presenter: Rowan Joffe

Best TV Situation Comedy

Brassic by Danny Brocklehurst

Presenter: Paula Wilcox

Best Short Form TV Drama

Care by Gillian Juckes and Jimmy McGovern

Presenter: Peter Bowker

Best Musical Theatre Bookwriting

In The Willows – The Hip Hop Musical by Poppy Burton-Morgan

Presenter: Sandi Toksvig OBE

Read more about the Writers’ Guild Awards including a history and archive of winners since the awards were launched in 1961.

Photos by Matt Writtle