2017 Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards: Winners announced

The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards, sponsored by ALCS, were this year held at the Royal College of Physicians in central London on 23 January.


The WGGB Awards have been celebrating writers and writing, since they were first launched in 1961, allowing writers to honour their peers, and recognise their work in supporting freedom of speech.

Among those attending the star-studded gala event this year were the winner of the Outstanding Contribution to writing award, Sir Tom Stoppard, Al Murray, Celia Imrie and Patrick Ness. Writer, comedian and actress Meera Syal, presenter of this year’s WGGB Awards commented:

“Someone once said, probably a writer, that the writer is the only true originator of a script – everyone else that follows is merely an interpreter. Whilst the directors and producers slug it out, let’s at least agree that whilst everyone can have a great idea, it takes a great writer to bring it to life.”

The awards are made in the following categories: TV, Film, Games, Radio and Theatre. Many ALCS members are audio-visual writers and ALCS pays out in excess of £2.8 million in secondary royalties to these writers each year. ALCS therefore recognises the importance of promoting the work of these writers by supporting the WGGB Awards.

Barbara Hayes, Deputy Chief Executive of ALCS, said: “The Writers’ Guild Awards is an important event. It draws attention to the immense contribution that audio-visual writers make to the creative industries each year and the talent that is out there scripting the entertainment in many genres that we all love and enjoy. Without writers these programmes, films and games would not exist. ALCS, whose members include many audio-visual writers, is delighted to sponsor these awards.”

The WGGB winners were:

Outstanding Contribution to Writing
Sir Tom Stoppard

Best Radio Comedy
Winner: John Finnemore’s Double Acts  – Series 1, Episode 5, English for Pony Lovers  by John Finnemore
Shortlisted: Guilt Trip  by Katherine Jakeways, Felicity Montagu, Olivia Nixon; The Pin  by Ben Ashenden and Alex Owen

Best Radio Drama
Winner: Fat Little Thing  by Lucy Gannon
Shortlisted:  Cuttin ‘It  by  Charlene James; lament  by Debbie Tucker Green

Best Long Running TV Series
Winner:  Doctors, Series 18, Episode 29, There is No Place  by Claire Bennett
Shortlisted:  Coronation Street, Episode 8946 by Chris Fewtrell; Emmerdale, Season 1, Episode 7628, Holly’s Death  by Karin Young

Best Writing in a Video Game
Winner:  Virginia  by Jonathan Burroughs, Lyndon Holland and Terry Kenny
Shortlisted:  FIFA 17 The Journey  by Martin Korda, Matthew Turner, Tom Watt; Fragments of Him  by Mata Haggis

Best Children’s TV Episode
Winner:  The Dumping Ground, Season 3, Episode 20, Refuge  by Emma Reeves
Shortlisted:  Danger Mouse,  Season 1, Episode 3, Greenfinger   by James Griffiths, Mark Oswin; Hetty Feather,  Series 2, Episode 10, The Reunion”  by Helen Blakeman

Best Long Form TV Drama
Winner: Trapped   by Clive Bradley
Shortlisted: Victoria,  Season 1, Episode 4, “The Clockwork Prince”  by Daisy Goodwin; Spotless, by Ed McCardie

Best First Screenplay
Winner: Adult Life Skills  by Rachel Tunnard
Shortlisted: Radiator  by Tom Browne and Daniel Cerqueira; Florence Foster Jenkins  by  Nicholas Martin

Best Play for Young Audiences
Winner:  (Joint winners) What The Thunder Said   by Ed Harris and Rise Up  by Lisa Evans
Shortlisted: This Changes Everything   by Joel Horwood

Best Play
Winner:  Escaped Alone  by Caryl Churchill
Shortlisted:  Cyprus Avenue  by David Ireland; All The Little Lights  by Jane Upton

Best Screenplay
Winner:  Eye in the Sky   by Guy Hibbert
Shortlisted: The Survivalist  by Stephen Fingleton; Suffragette  by Abi Morgan

Best TV Situation Comedy
Winner:   Fleabag, Episode 1 by Phoebe Waller-Bridge
Shortlisted:  People Just Do Nothing, Series 3 by Allan Mustafa, Steve Stamp; Plebs, Series 3, Episode 1, The Beasts by Tom Basden, Sam Leifer

Best Short Form TV Drama
Winner:  Ellen  by Sarah Quintrell
Shortlisted:  And Then There Were None,  Episode 3 by Sarah Phelps; Murder, The Big Bang  by Robert Jones

Best TV Situation Comedy winner Phoebe Waller-Bridge (second left) with Laurence Marks (far right), Maurice Gran (far left)
and Meera Syal 
© Matt Writtle
Best Radio Comedy winner John Finnemore (second right), Jason Hazeley (far left), Joel Morris and Meera Syal © Matt Writtle