Jack Thorne Honoured at Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards

The best of Britain's writing talent from the past two years was recognised at the ALCS-sponsored 29th Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards, which took place on Monday 14 February.

His Dark Materials and Help writer Jack Thorne has been honoured for his Outstanding Contribution to Writing at the 29th Writers’ Guild of Great Britain Awards (WGGB Awards), sponsored by ALCS.

The stage and screen writer, whose career spans two decades and has seen him pen some of the UK’s most critically-acclaimed hits including This is England, Shameless and The Virtues, was presented with the prestigious award at the illustrious awards ceremony on Monday 14 February.

On winning the award, Thorne said: “I think all writers would say that being given something from other writers is the greatest honour. I don’t think I’ve really contributed anything much in this strange career, and writing is a really strange job, but I’m grateful, and slightly anxious, to now have this award to live up to.”

Meanwhile, Killing Eve writer Emerald Fennell won Best First Screenplay for her Oscar-winning Carey Mulligan-starring debut Promising Young Woman. 

The award for her black comedy psychological thriller was presented to her by Olivia Hetreed.

The ceremony, which was hosted by Writers’ Guild of Great Britain (WGGB) president Sandi Toksvig and took place at the Royal College of Physicians in London, handed out awards in 16 categories including film, television, radio, theatre, comedy, books, and videogames.

Awards covered the past two years of Britain’s best writing talent, after the 2021 ceremony was cancelled due to the pandemic.

Writers behind some of the most critically acclaimed works were recognised, including Russell T Davies, Kevin Dyer, Andrea Gibb, Chinonyerem Odimba, Simon Blackwell and Armando Iannucci.

Andrea Gibb won the Best Short Form TV Drama accolade, handed to her by Vinay Patel, for BBC One’s Elizabeth is Missing; the story of an elderly woman living with dementia who struggles to piece together a double mystery.

Comedian Mae Martin and writer Joe Hampson took home the award for Best TV Situation Comedy for Feel Good, presented to them by Helen Lederer, and multi award-winning Russell T Davies won Best Long Form TV Drama for his celebrated Channel 4 drama It’s A Sin, which was presented by Neil Pearson.

Kevin Dyer won Best Play for The Syrian Baker, handed to him by Emma Reeves, with comedian Eleanor Morton presenting Chinonyerem Odimba with the Best Musical Theatre Bookwriting accolade for Black Love, the first musical to be created for Paines Plough’s Roundabout stage.

More about Jack Thorne:

Thorne’s career has seen him write extensively for TV, film, stage, and radio, winning multiple awards. His TV writing credits include Help, National Treasure, The Virtues, Kiri, The Last Panthers, Glue, The Accident, The Eddy, The FadesShameless, Cast Offs, This Is England ’86This Is England ’88, This Is England ’90, and he was a core writer in the first three series of Skins. He has also written the upcoming BBC 2 film drama Then Barbara Met Alan.

Here is the full list of winners and presenters:

Outstanding Contribution to Writing

Jack Thorne

Presenter: Jane Tranter

Best Online Comedy

Remember Getting the Period Talk at School #Menopause by Hannah George, Taylor Glenn and Catie Wilkins

Presenter: Helen Lederer

Best Long Running TV Series

River City, Series 21, Episode 28 by Jillian Mannion

Presenter: Damon Alexis-Rochefort

Best Writing in a Video Game

Overboard! by Jon Ingold

Presenter: Giles Watling MP

Best Children’s TV Episode

My Mum Tracy Beaker: I want my Mum back by Emma Reeves

Presenter: Paul Chuckle

Best Radio Comedy

Olga Koch: Fight by Olga Koch and Charlie Dinkin

Presenter: Sioned Wiliam

Best Long Form TV Drama

It’s A Sin by Russell T Davies

Presenter: Neil Pearson

Best First Novel

A Strange and Brilliant Light by Eli Lee

Presenter: Sue Teddern

Best First Screenplay

Promising Young Woman by Emerald Fennell

Presenter: Olivia Hetreed

Best Radio Drama

The Half Widow by Avin Shah

Presenter: Samira Ahmed

Best Play for Young Audiences

Whatever Happened to the Jaggy Nettles? by Martin Travers

Presenter: Paul Chuckle

Best Play

The Syrian Baker by Kevin Dyer

Presenter: Emma Reeves

Best Screenplay

The Personal History of David Copperfield by Simon Blackwell and Armando Iannucci

Presenter: Andrea Gibb

Best TV Situation Comedy

Feel Good by Mae Martin and Joe Hampson

Presenter: Helen Lederer

Best Short Form TV Drama

Elizabeth is Missing by Andrea Gibb

Presenter: Damon Alexis-Rochefort

Best Musical Theatre Bookwriting

Black Love by Chinonyerem Odimba

Presenter: Eleanor Morton

Find out more about the Writers’ Guild Awards

Emerald Fennell photograph copyright Matt Writtle 2022.