Debut script wins both Tinniswood and Imison awards

22/02/2017

The presentation of the Tinniswood and Imison Awards took place this year on 29 January at the BBC Audio Drama Awards ceremony, hosted by Sir Lenny Henry. The aim of the Awards is to promote the best scripts broadcast in the UK between 1 October 2015 and 31 October 2016, with the Imison rewarding the best debut script.

ALCS is proud to sponsor the Tinniswood Award, established in 2003 by the Society of Authors and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain to perpetuate the memory of the English radio and TV comedy scriptwriter Peter Tinniswood.

This year, both the Awards went to James Fritz for his original audio drama script - "Comment is Free". This was the first time a dramatist had scooped both Awards with a debut script, and Tim Stimpson, a writer for "The Archers" presented Fritz with prizes totalling £5,000.

"Many of our members are audiovisual writers and our aim is always to protect and promote authors’ rights and income they receive from their writing."


Audio drama, "Comment is Free" was broadcast on BBC Radio 4 and starred Rachael Stirling (Detectorists, Capital) and Tobias Menzies (Games of Thrones, Outlander). The plot involves columnist and political commentator Alistair Cooper, who is constantly in the news because of his inflammatory opinions. His wife, Hilary Cooper watches her husband’s story get chewed up and spat out by an unscrupulous media and a divided public. The whole nation competes to be the quickest to comment in this thrilling portrayal of the sound and fury of modern British politics.The listener is never actually told why Alistair Cooper is so disliked. Although he appears on "Question Time" and "Any Questions" saying provocative things regarding race and immigration – the fine details are not mentioned. But a chorus of hate grows surrounding him, and death threats are issued.

The Tinniswood Award judges Nicholas McInerny, Shelley Silas and Tim Stimpson said: “In the wake of the murder of Jo Cox, this diamond sharp exploration of the current state of public debate couldn’t have been more prescient. Acutely observed and not without humour, we particularly admired how the scale of its construction combined with the efficiency of its storytelling. A brave and provocative Afternoon Play.”

Barbara Hayes, Deputy Chief Executive of ALCS said: “ALCS is delighted to sponsor the Tinniswood Award administered by the Society of Authors and the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain. Many of our members are audiovisual writers and our aim is always to protect and promote authors’ rights and income they receive from their writing. We congratulate James Fritz for becoming the first scriptwriter to win both awards with a debut script!”

ALCS collects secondary royalties for radio writers and is currently holding over £120,000 in transmission fees. Do you know anyone who writes for radio? If so please do tell them about us; we could be holding money for them. Our members are a vital way for us to spread the word about the work we do.