Audio Drama Awards 2020

bbc broadcasting house

Awards for radio plays broadcast between Oct 2018 and Oct 2019.

The BBC Audio Drama Awards celebrate the range, originality and quality of audio drama on air and online, and give recognition to the creativity of actors, writers, producers, sound designers and others who work in the genre. This is the ninth year of the Audio Drama Awards. The Imison and Tinniswood shortlists are also shown below.

The event took place at New Broadcasting House, London W1, in the Radio Theatre. It was introduced for the second time by James Purnell, Director of Radio and Education at the BBC. He remarked that there was again a good turnout, and that one of the pleasures of his job is spending time with creative people. The BBC was the biggest commissioner of radio drama in the world. Next year marks the seventieth year of The Archers. He enthused about coming productions: more Proust.... Middlemarch.... and more podcasts! BBC Sounds continues to be developed; the future of radio drama is very important.

James also remarked that the near future promises to be a challenging time for the BBC. He thanked the jazz group, the Chris Holland Experience, wished good luck to the finalists, then handed over to the evening's host, Meera Syal.

Meera is a well-known actress on radio 4. Recent appearances have been as narrator in the WW1 series Tommies, A Small Town Murder, Mrs. Sidhu Investigates, Between the Lines, and in one of the shortlisted Tinniswood Award plays, Death of a Matriarch.

Of radio plays, she said 'We do radio drama because we love it' and drew particular attention to the new award for European drama, which was tonight being presented for the second time.

After three awards had been presented there was a short tribute to a well-known personality. Sioned Williams, BBC commissioner of comedy, said "A bright light was extinguished this week when we lost Nicholas Parsons". Nicholas hosted Just A Minute for over fifty years; no-one has hosted a comedy show for as long. He worked with almost everybody in the business; as a stand-up, as straight man to Arthur Haynes, as presenter of TV's Sale of the Century, and as host through decades of one of the most successful radio shows ever made by the BBC. A short video featuring a few of the people he worked with on J.A.M. was shown (By Steve Bowbrick and V. Lloyd), which included a brief appearance by Prince Charles, a prominent fan.


Best Actor presented by Ruth Jones

  • Stephen Dillane, Sea Longing, director Karen Rose, Sweet Talk * WINNER
  • Edward Hogg, Epitaph for a Spy, director Sasha Yevtushenko, BBC Radio Drama London
  • Matthew Kelly, Nine Bob Notes, director Gary Brown, BBC Radio Drama North
  • Joel MacCormack, First Do No Harm, director Jessica Dromgoole, BBC Radio Drama London
  • Sule Rimi, I Am Kanye West, director John Norton, BBC Cymru Wales *
  • Stanley Townsend, The Macefield Plot, director David Hunter, BBC Radio Drama London *

    Best Actress presented by Danny Sapani

  • Christine Bottomley, Lullaby, directors Nicolas Jackson and Steve Bond, Afonica
  • Louise Brearly, The Not Knowing, director Karen Rose, Sweet Talk
  • Rebecca Front, Love in Recovery, director Ben Worsfield, King Bert * WINNER
  • Katherine Kelly, A Badge, director Tony Pitts, Savvy Productions *
  • Charlie Murphy, The Country Girls, directors Sally Avens and Jessica Dromgoole, BBC Radio Drama London
  • Lydia Wilson, Black Water: An American Story, director Gaynor Macfarlane, BBC Scotland *

    Best Adaptation presented by Ellie Kendrick

  • Body Tourists by Jane Rogers, producer Clive Brill, Brill Productions *
  • Black Water: An American Story by Joyce Carol Oates, adapted by Sarah Wooley, producer Gaynor Macfarlane, BBC Scotland * WINNER
  • Live and Let Die by Ian Fleming, ad.Archie Scottney, prod. Martin Jarvis/Rosalind Ayres, Jarvis and Ayres Productions
  • Macbeth by William Shakespeare, adapted by Carl Prekopp, producer Charlotte Melén, Almost Tangible podcast
  • Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, adapted by Timberlake Wertenbaker, producer Celia de Wolff, Pier Productions
  • Orlando by Virginia Woolf, adapted by Caroline Bird, Amanda Dalton, Zena Edwards, Hannah Silva and Karen McCarthy Woolf, producer Nadia Molinari, BBC Radio Drama North, R3 *
  • Vanity Fair by William Makepeace Thackeray, adapted by Jim Poyser with additional material by Al Murray, producer Gary Brown, BBC Radio Drama North

    Best Debut Performance presented by Amanda Root

  • Mohammed Amiri, Savages, directors Nicolas Jackson and Steve Bond, Afonica
  • Nadia Clifford, Good News Stories, director Mary Peate, BBC Radio Drama London *
  • Gabrielle Creevy, Found, director Helen Perry, BBC Cymru Wales
  • George Kent, A Kestrel for a Knave, director Fiona McAlpine, Goldhawk Essential * WINNER
  • Sade Malone, Torn, director Gary Brown, BBC Radio Drama North *
  • Abraham Popoola, An Angel in Miami, directors Joby Waldman and Steve Bond, Reduced Listening

    Best Director presented by Neil Dudgeon

  • Mair Bosworth, Deaf Republic, BBC Bristol *
  • Nicolas Jackson and Steve Bond, Savages, Afonica *
  • John Norton, Deacon: Moonlight on Water, BBC Cymru Wales
  • Mary Ward-Lowery, Talk to Me: HP Lovecraft, BBC Bristol * WINNER
  • Celia de Wolff, Marcel Proust’s In Search of Lost Time, Pier Productions

    Best European Drama presented by Alison Hindell

  • Buzz Suppression – Recording Strictly off the Record by Ulrich Bassenge, producers Ulrich Bassenge, Martina Müller-Wallraff and Anina Barandun, WDR (Germany) and SRF (Switzerland) * WINNER
  • Byzantine Soap Opera by Jasna Mesaric, producer Katja Šimunic, HRT Croatian Radio
  • The Invisible by Jaroslav Havlícek, adapted by Marie Nováková and Renata Venclová, producer Renata Venclová, CZR Czech Radio *
  • The Lesson by Manu Barceló, producer Miguel Deza, Resonar (resonar.org) and Cuonda (cuonda.com), Spain *
  • When the Stars Fall – Life Fragments of Maria Callas by Cesare Ferrario, producer Francesca Giorzi, RSI Italian Swiss Radio Television

    Best Original Series or Serial presented by Siobhan Finneran

  • D for Dexter by Amanda Whittington, producer Mary Ward-Lowery, BBC Bristol *
  • First Do No Harm by Al Smith, producers Sally Avens and Jessica Dromgoole, BBC Radio Drama London
  • Good News Stories by Katie Hims, producer Mary Peate, BBC Radio Drama London
  • House Rules by Ben Lewis, producer Kirsty Williams, BBC Scotland
  • Life Lines by Al Smith, producer Sally Avens, BBC Radio Drama London * WINNER
  • Love Thy Synth by Hannah Silva, producers Nicolas Jackson and Steve Bond, Afonica
  • Undercover Mumbai Series 3 by Ayeesha Menon, producers John Scott Dryden and Nadir Khan, Goldhawk Productions *

    Best Original Single Drama presented by Rex Obano

  • Five Rachels by Katie Hims, producer Allegra McIlroy, BBC Northern Ireland
  • The Invisible by Linda Marshall Griffiths, producer Nadia Molinari, BBC Radio Drama North, R3 *
  • Martians by Lucy Caldwell, producer Celia de Wolff, BBC Northern Ireland
  • The Not Knowing by Dan Maier, producer Karen Rose, Sweet Talk
  • Red Earth, Red Sky by Janice Okoh, producer Pauline Harris, BBC Radio Drama North
  • Sea Longing by Elizabeth Kuti, producer Karen Rose, Sweet Talk * WINNER
  • Torn by Eve Steele, producer Gary Brown, BBC Radio Drama North *

    Best Podcast or Online Audio Drama presented by Georgia Henshaw

  • Forest 404 by Timothy X Atack, producer Becky Ripley, BBC Bristol *
  • Passenger List created by John Scott Dryden, Lauren Shippen and Mark Henry Phillips, Radiotopia/Goldhawk Productions * WINNER
  • Rusty Quill Gaming Podcast created by Alexander J Newall, Lydia Nicholas, Helen Gould, Bryn Monroe and Ben Meredith, producers Lowri Ann Davies and April Sumner, Rusty Quill
  • The Ordinary Epic by Brandon M. Crose, producer Jordan Stillman, Crose to Home Productions *
  • The Verb Dramas on Radio 3 by Allison Davies, Jesse Schwenk, Willow Mirza and Matthew Ingram, producers Emily Demol, Lorna Newman, Sally Richardson and Andrew Smith, BBC Radio Drama North
  • We’re Alive: Goldrush by Kc Wayland, producers Kc Wayland, Brett Newton, Anthony Reyes, Sean Lewin and Christian Vieira, Wayland Productions

    Best Scripted Comedy (Longform) presented by Don Gilet

  • Charles Paris: Star Trap by Jeremy Front, producer Mary Peate, BBC Radio Drama London
  • Giles Wemmbley-Hogg Goes off… Article 50 by Marcus Brigstocke and Jeremy Salsby, producer David Tyler, Pozzitive
  • Mark Steel’s in Town – the Forest of Dean by Mark Steel and Pete Sinclair, producer Carl Cooper, BBC Studios *
  • Phil Ellis Is Trying by Phil Ellis and Fraser Steele, producer Sam Michell, BBC Studios *
  • Phil Wang: Wangsplaining by Phil Wang, producer Matt Stronge, BBC Studios * WINNER
  • Suggs: Love Letters to London by Suggs and Owen Lewis, producer Richard Melvin, Dabster Productions

    Best Scripted Comedy (Sketch Show) presented by Jeremy Front

  • Alexei Sayle’s Imaginary Sandwich Bar by Alexei Sayle, producer Joe Nunnery, BBC Studios * WINNER
  • The Damien Slash Mixtape by Damien Slash/Daniel Barker, producer Matt Stronge, BBC Studios
  • Dead Ringers by Nev Fountain, Tom Jamieson, Laurence Howarth, Ed Amsden, Tom Coles, Sarah Campbell, James Bugg, Max Davis, Simon Alcock, producer Bill Dare, BBC Studios
  • The Halloween Skewer by Jon Holmes with Paul Kearney, Davian Dent, Dan Rayner, Alex Rees, ‘Mark’, Dave Wol, Tony Churnside, Phil Lindsey, Stretchy’s Studio, Mike Gilyatt, Beth Granville, producer Jon Holmes, Unusual Productions
  • Kevin Eldon Will See You Now by Kevin Eldon with Jason Hazeley and Joel Morris, producer David Tyler, Pozzitive *
  • Terry Alderton’s Whole Half Hour by Terry Alderton and Richard Melvin with Julia Sutherland, Paul Tonkinson, Steven Dick and Bobby Davro, producers Al Lorraine and Richard Melvin, Dabster Productions *

    Best Use of Sound presented by Ayeesha Menon

  • An Angel in Miami, sound by Steve Bond, producers Joby Waldman and Steve Bond, Reduced Listening*
  • Black Water: An American Story, sound by Gary Newman and Mike Etherden, producer Gaynor Macfarlane, BBC Scotland
  • The Halloween Skewer, sound by Tony Churnside and Jon Holmes, producer Jon Holmes, Unusual Productions
  • Hello Caller, sound by Michael Harrison and Alison Crawford, producer Alison Crawford, BBC Bristol *
  • The Invisible, sound by Steve Brooke, producer Nadia Molinari, BBC Radio Drama North * WINNER
  • Love Thy Synth, sound by Steve Bond, producers Nicolas Jackson and Steve Bond, Afonica

    Imison Award Finalists presented by Patricia Cumper
  • Vicky Foster for Bathwater, producer Sue Roberts for BBC Radio 4 WINNER
  • Testament for The Beatboxer, producer Gary Brown for BBC Radio 4
  • Colette Victor for By God's Mercy, producer David Hunter for BBC World Service

    Tinniswood Award Finalists presented by Patricia Cumper
  • Tanika Gupta for Death of a Matriarch, producer Polly Thomas for BBC Radio 3
  • Katie Hims for A Fragile Peace, producer Jessica Dromgoole for BBC Radio 4
  • Ian Martin for The Hartlepool Spy, producer Sam Ward for BBC Radio 4 WINNER

    The final award went to the entire production team of "The Amazing Maya Angelou" and was presented by Mohit Bakaya. Maya was a poet, singer, writer and civil rights activist best known for her autobiographical works which focus on her early life and childhood experiences. The producer for the three series was Pauline Harris, Patricia Cumper did the adaptation, and the idea for the programmes came from Helen Perry.

    Here's a summary of the BBC blurb for the first episode:

      The books that make up the life and times of Maya Angelou are some of the best, most beautiful and haunting pieces of autobiography written . They run the gamut from life-affirming to tragedy; they are joyous, direct and honest, and are an extraordinary portrait of 20th century black America. Narrator (Older Maya) .......... Adjoa Andoh, Maya .......... Indie Gjedsal, Bailey .......... Roshawn Hewitt, Momma .......... Cecilia Noble, Uncle Willie .......... Richard Pepple, Steward .......... John Lightbody, Girl .......... Francesca Elise.

      Patricia Cumper began her radio career as a production assistant on Radio Jamaica. Before presenting the Imison and Tniiswood Awards earlier in the evening, she said that we all need stories, and radio drama is an excellent medium for them. "The way we tell stories is one of the most powerful things we can do".

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