The Ghastly Impermanence: BBC Audio Drama Awards 2015

Lenny Henry at the 2014 Audio Drama Awards. Photo courtesy BBC.

Lenny Henry at the 2014 Audio Drama Awards.
Photo courtesy BBC.


February is the month for industry dog and pony shows, and the BBC do not miss out on their chance to participate. Sunday evening the BBC held the “hotly contested” Fourth Annual BBC Audio Drama awards, largely to pat themselves on the back, and to give some folks a chance to get out of the house. The official line is that the awards “pay tribute to the cultural importance of audio drama, on air and online, and are a way of celebrating the actors, writers, producers, sound designers and others who work in the genre.”

And so we pay tribute to the following folks:

Best Actor in Audio Drama
WINNER: Ian McKellen, Eugenie Grandet

Best Actress in an Audio Drama
WINNER: Aisling Loftus, Educator

Best Supporting Performance in an Audio Drama
WINNER: Michelle Terry, Educator

Best Debut Performance in an Audio Drama
WINNER: Jade Matthew, A Kidnapping

Best Audio Drama Original Single
WINNER: Everything, Nothing, Harvey Keitel

Best Audio Drama (Series or Serial)
WINNER: Ambiguous Loss

Best Audio Drama (Adaptation)
WINNER: Come to Grief

Best Use of Sound in an Audio Drama
WINNER: The Boy at the Back

Best Scripted Comedy Drama
WINNER: Lunch, by Marcy Kahan

Best Scripted Comedy (With a Live Audience)
WINNER: John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme, by John Finnemore

Best Online or Non-Broadcast Audio Drama
WINNER: Hood: The Scribe of Sherwood

Imison Award 2015 for Best Script by a New Writer
WINNER: How to Say Goodbye Properly, by E.V. Crowe

Tinniswood Radio Drama Award 2015 for Best Radio Drama Script
WINNER: Goodbye, by Morwenna Banks

A special Lifetime Achievement Award was also presented to Mr. Stanley Baxter. Mr. Baxter was fêted for his 75 years in radio comedy and drama since he first appeared in Children’s Hour. He is a legend, and well-deserving recipient.

Another award for Outstanding Contribution was given to author Neil Gaiman for his recent radio dramas, Neverwhere and Good Omens, (co-written with Terry Pratchett), thus proving that the BBC can still attempt to be hip and youthful and populist.

For those of you who missed the shortlist because you were walking in the park, or had a meeting of the Millard Fillmore Fan Club that day, or were struggling with the proper spelling of linguine/linguini, here it is:

Best Original Audio Drama (Single play)

  • Everyday Time Machines by Al Smith, produced by Sally Avens for Radio 3
  • Everything, Nothing, Harvey Keitel by Pejk Malinovski, produced by Pejk Malinovski for Radio 3
  • Men Who Sleep in Cars by Michael Symmons Roberts, produced by Susan Roberts for Radio 4

Best Audio Drama (Series or Serial)

  • Ambiguous Loss by Michael Butt, produced by Toby Swift for Radio 4
  • Holding On To You by D.L. Weller, produced by Nadia Molinari for Radio 4
  • The Seventh Test by Ayeesha Menon & John Dryden, produced by John Dryden and Nadir Khan for Radio 4

Best Audio Drama (Adaptation)

  • Come to Grief adapted by Hannah Vincent, produced by Gordon House for Radio 4
  • Porcelain adapted by Ian Kershaw, produced by Susan Roberts for Radio 4
  • The Seventh Test adapted by Ayeesha Menon & John Dryden, produced by John Dryden and Nadir Khan for Radio 4

Best Actor in an Audio Drama

  • Andrew Scott in Slipping by Claudine Toutoungi, produced by Liz Webb for Radio 4
  • Ian McKellen in Eugenie Grandet by Honore de Balzac, dramatised by Rose Tremain, produced by Gordon House for Radio 4
  • Julian Rhind-Tutt in The Real Trial of Oscar Wilde by Nick Stafford, produced by David Hunter for Radio 4

Best Actress in an Audio Drama

  • Aisling Loftus in Educator by Hayley Squires, produced by Helen Perry for Radio 3
  • Charlotte Riley in Slipping by Claudine Toutoungi, produced by Liz Webb for Radio 4
  • Ellie Kendrick in How to Say Goodbye Properly by E V Crowe, produced by Abigail Le Fleming for Radio 4

Best Supporting Actor or Actress in an Audio Drama

  • Michelle Terry in Educator by Hayley Squires, produced by Helen Perry for Radio 3
  • Sian Phillips in Hide The Moon by Martyn Wade, produced by Marion Nancarrow for Radio 3
  • Toby Jones in Pride And Prejudice by Jane Austen, dramatised by Charlotte Jones, produced by Sally Avens for Radio 4

Best Debut Performance

  • Alex Jordan in Frankenstein – The Modern Prometheus by Mary Shelley, dramatised by Jonathan Barnes for Big Finish Productions
  • Jade Matthew in A Kidnapping by Andy Mulligan, produced by John Dryden and Nadir Khan for Radio 4
  • Sam Hattersley in Magpie by Lee Mattinson, produced by Sharon Sephton for Radio 4

Best Use of Sound in an Audio Drama

  • The Boy At The Back by Juan Mayorga, sound design by Steve Bond, produced by Nicolas Jackson for Radio 3
  • The Exorcist by W.P.Blatty, dramatised by Robert Forrest, sound design by Gary Newman, produced by Gaynor Macfarlane for Radio 4
  • The Illustrated Man by Ray Bradbury, dramatised by Brian Sibley, sound design by Anne Bunting, produced by Gemma Jenkins for Radio 4

Best Scripted Comedy Drama

  • Believe It: Victor by Jon Canter, produced by Clive Brill for Radio 4
  • I’m A Believer by Jon Canter, produced by Jonquil Panting for Radio 4
  • Lunch by Marcy Kahan, produced by Sally Avens for Radio 4

Best Scripted Comedy (Studio Audience)

  • The Brig Society by Marcus Brigstocke, Jeremy Salsby, Toby Davies, Nick Doody, Steve Punt and Dan Tetsell, produced by David Tyler for Radio 4
  • John Finnemore’s Souvenir Programme by John Finnemore, produced by Ed Morrish for Radio 4
  • Trodd En Bratt Say ‘Well Done You’ by Ruth Bratt and Lucy Trodd, produced by Ben Worsfield for Radio 4

Best Online or Non-Broadcast Audio drama

  • The Child by Sebastian Fitzek for Audible UK
  • Hood: The Scribe of Sherwood by Iain Meadows for Spiteful Puppet Entertainment
  • Survivors by Matt Fitton for Big Finish Productions

The shortlist for the Imison Award for Best Radio Drama Script by a new writer is:

(Judges: Society of Author’s Broadcasting Committee)

  • How To Say Goodbye Properly by E V Crowe
  • Goodbye by Morwenna Banks
  • The Man In The Lift by Tom Connolly
  • Paris, Nana and Me by Caroline Horton

The shortlist for the Tinniswood Radio Drama Award for Best Radio Drama Script is:

(Judges Sue Teddern, Amanda Whittington and Kate Chapman)

  • Goodbye by Morwenna Banks
  • The Good Listener by Fin Kennedy
  • Men Who Sleep In Cars by Michael Symmons Roberts

Alison Hindell, Head of Audio Drama wants everyone to know that she is “delighted that the BBC is continuing its commitment to the unique genre of audio drama with these awards. Audio drama brings delight and discovery to millions of people all over the world every day and this ceremony is a wonderful way to celebrate the many different talents, both well-known and those at the start of their careers, that go into creating the programmes.”

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