The Ghastly Impermanence: BBC Audio Drama Awards, 2014 Edition

Photo Credit: Andy B. Licensed cc-by-nd

Photo Credit: Andy B. Licensed cc-by-nd


It’s that time of year again where the BBC announce their Audio Drama Awards for the previous year. If you’d been at Broadcasting House on the 27th, you could have heard all this from Lenny Henry. Instead, you’re stuck reading it from me.

The Winners…and the Shortlisted/Shortshrifted:

Lifetime Achievement Award
June Spencer

Outstanding Contribution to Radio Drama
Claire Grove

Best Original Audio Drama (Single play)
(Judges: Fiona Shaw, Sebastian Born and Louise Jury)
• WINNER: Billions by Ed Harris, produced by Jonquil Panting, BBC Radio Drama London for Radio 4
The Gestapo Minutes by Adam Ganz, produced by Catherine Bailey, Catherine Bailey Productions for Radio 4
The Sleeper by Michael Symmons Roberts, produced by Susan Roberts, BBC Radio Drama Salford for Radio 4

Best Audio Drama (Series or Serial)
(Judges: Fergal Keane, Jane Thynne and Daniel Evans)
• WINNER: An Angel at My Table by Janet Frame, adapted by Anita Sullivan, produced by Karen Rose, Sweet Talk for Radio 4
The Pursuits of Darleen Fyles by Esther Wilson, produced by Pauline Harris, BBC Radio Drama Salford for Radio 4
Takes Two to Tandem by Lavinia Murray, produced by Sharon Sephton, BBC Radio Drama Salford for Radio 4

Best Audio Drama (Adaptation)
(Judges: Nick Dear, Will Gompertz and Nicolas Kent)
• WINNER: Sword of Honour by Evelyn Waugh and dramatised by Jeremy Front, produced by Sally Avens, BBC Radio Drama London for Radio 4
The Aeneid by Virgil, dramatised by Hattie Naylor, produced by Kate McAll, BBC Cymru/Wales for Radio 4
The Wind in the Willows by Kenneth Grahame adapted by Neil Brand, produced by Ann McKay, BBC Radio Drama London for Radio 4

Best Actor in an Audio Drama
(Judges: Libby Purves, Baz Bamigboye and Ruth Jones)
• WINNER: Lee Ross in King David, produced by Mary Peate, BBC Radio Drama London for Radio 3
• Simon Russell Beale in Copenhagen, produced by Emma Harding, BBC Radio Drama London for BBC Radio 3
• Joseph Millson in The Real George Orwell: Jura, produced by Jeremy Mortimer, BBC Radio Drama London for Radio 4

Best Actress in an Audio Drama
(Judges: Jane Anderson, Stephen Tompkinson and Imogen Stubbs)
• WINNER: Christine Bottomley in My Boy, produced by Polly Thomas, Somethin’ Else for Radio 4
• Carly Bawden in The Colour of Milk, produced by Susan Roberts, BBC Radio Drama Salford for Radio 4
• Marcia Warren in Tony and Rose, produced by Celia de Wolff, Pier Productions for Radio 4

Best Supporting Actor in an Audio Drama
(Judges: Patricia Cumper and Moira Petty)
• WINNER: Shaun Dooley in The Gothic Imagination: Frankenstein, produced by Marc Beeby, BBC Radio Drama London for Radio 4
• Geoffrey Bretton in Imaginary Boys, produced by Scott Handcock, BBC Radio Drama Cymru/Wales for Radio 4
• David Rasche in Warrior Class, produced by Judith Kampfner, Corporation for Independent Media for Radio 4

Best Supporting Actress in an Audio Drama
(Judges: Matt Hemley and Alan Brodie)
• WINNER: Claire Rushbrook in King David, produced by Mary Peate, BBC Radio Drama London for Radio 3
• Lia Williams in FindthePerfectPartner4u.com, produced by Gordon House, Goldhawk Essential for Radio 4
• Lacey Turner in The One About the Social Worker, produced by Jonquil Panting, BBC Radio Drama London for BBC Radio 4

Best Use of Sound in an Audio Drama
(Judges: Kevin Brew, Patrick Rayner and Vanessa Thorpe)
• WINNER: He Died with His Eyes Open, produced by Sasha Yevtushenko, sound design by Caleb Knightley BBC Radio Drama London for Radio 4
Forever Mankind, produced by Judith Kampfner and Jonathan Mitchell, Corporation For Independent Media for Radio 4
Saturday Night & Sunday Morning, produced by Lucinda Mason Brown, sound design by David Chilton, Goldhawk Essential production for BBC Radio 4

Best Scripted Comedy Drama
(Judges: Nina Wadia, Susannah Clapp and John McGrath)
• WINNER: Love and Sweets 3: Grand Canyon by Richard Marsh, produced by Ben Worsfield, Lucky Giant for Radio 4
Cabin Pressure by John Finnemore, produced by David Tyler, Pozzitive for BBC Radio 4

Best Scripted Comedy (Studio Audience)
(Judges: Christopher William Hill and Bruce Dessau)
• WINNER: Sketchorama: Absolutely Special, Written by Pete Baikie, Morwenna Banks, Moray Hunter, Gordon Kennedy and John Sparkes, produced by Gus Beattie, Comedy Unit for BBC Radio 4
Cabin Pressure by John Finnemore, produced by David Tyler, Pozzitive for BBC Radio 4
Richard Marsh – Love and Sweets 2: The Perfect Match by Richard Marsh, produced by Ben Worsfield, Lucky Giant for Radio 4

Best Online or Non-Broadcast Audio drama
(Judges: Viv Gardner and Sofie Mason)
• WINNER: Doctor Who: Dark Eyes, written by Nicholas Briggs, produced by Martin Montague for Big Finish
Hood: Noble Secrets, written and produced by Iain Meadows, Spiteful Puppet
Trimble written by Ed Greenwood, produced by John Wakefield for University York Radio

Imison Award for Best Radio Drama Script by a new writer
(Judges: Society of Author’s Broadcasting Committee).
• WINNER: The Loving Ballad of Captain Bateman by Joseph Wilde with Tim van Eyken
Fresh Berries by Catherine Johnson
Hangdog by Cat Jones

Tinniswood Radio Drama Award for Best Radio Drama Script
• WINNER: Marathon Tales by Colin Teevan and Hannah Silva
Once Upon A Time There Was A Beatrix by Lavinia Murray (Commendation)
Dusty Won’t Play by Annie Caulfield
Imo & Ben by Mark Ravenhill

Not too many surprises on the list. The Lifetime and the Outstanding Contribution awards are patently deserved. Lee Ross would have been a shoo-in for Katie Hims’ marvelous King David in any year — certainly in one as feeble as the last. The celebration of the BBC’s own special series, “Dangerous Visions” and “British New Wave”, and the expected backpatting for cleverness also seems equally obvious on the political level.

Nevertheless, something strikes me as hollow about many of the nominations. Doubtless that has something to do with my natural skepticism about awards and their accompanying pomp. But something else, something indefinable, strikes me sourly. Much of the list is conservative, timid even. I should hardly expect otherwise…but I do, nonetheless.


Filed under Radio

Omar Willey was born at St. Frances Cabrini Hospital in Seattle and grew up near Lucky Market on Beacon Avenue. He believes Seattle is the greatest city on Earth and came to this conclusion by travelling much of the Earth. He is a junior member of Lesser Seattle and, as an oboist, does not blow his own trumpet. Contact him at omar [at] seattlestar [dot] net