TINNISWOOD AWARD WINNER 2021

29 March 2021

Earlier this month, award-winning comedy writer Ian Martin presented Christopher Douglas with the Tinniswood Award for the best original audio drama script and a cheque for £3,000 at the BBC’s Audio Drama Awards.

Established by the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and the Society of Authors, the Tinniswood Award, sponsored by ALCS, perpetuates the memory of Peter Tinniswood and celebrates and encourages high standards in radio drama. Plays were eligible for this year’s Award if broadcast in the UK between 1 October 2019 and 31 October 2020. The judges were Nicholas McInerny, Ian Martin and Rex Obano. Previous winners include Ian Martin, Oliver Emanuel, Sarah Woods, Morwenna Banks and Mike Bartlett.

Winner:Tristram Shandy: In Development by Christopher Douglas

Produced by Gary Brown, BBC Radio Drama North, 60’, BBC Radio 4

A drama workshop is taking place at the east London studios of award-winning indie AwesomeSauce! The project is Laurence Sterne’s 300-chapter-long, absurdist satire. There is a draft script, and three seasoned radio actors have been hired, for £80 each, along with a hyperactive impressionist. The director, who prefers to style herself an ‘audio drama-maker’, has set herself the task of re-inventing the moribund form of radio drama. A boxset star has been cast in the title role but his flight from Corfu is delayed, so reading in as Tristram is Rosie the spot effects woman.

The judges said: “This hilarious play takes the ultimate shaggy dog story by the scruff of the neck and shakes some new and wonderful nonsense into it. Part satire, part homage and total re-boot, it wears its knowledge lightly as we romp through the ‘recording’ of Sterne’s novel in a series of brilliant, laugh-out-loud stories that are deliciously entertaining throughout. A terrific achievement.”

Christopher Douglas is the voice of Ed Reardon in the long-running Radio 4 series which he also co-writes. Ed Reardon’s Week won the Broadcasting Press Guild’s award for Best Radio Programme in 2005 and 2010. He also voices and co-writes the ill-chosen words of Dave Podmore, a Radio 4 regular since 2000 and previously a Guardian columnist. Other radio writing credits include three series of Beauty of Britain (starring Jocelyn Jee Esien), two series of Mastering the Universe with Dawn French, several dramas and a recent adaptation of New Grub Street. TV writing credits include three series of masterclasses hosted by Nicholas Craig (Nigel Planer). Books include a biography of D R Jardine; stage work includes Ed Reardon: A Writer’s BurdenAn Evening With Nicholas Craig and Scout’s Honour.

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This year’s shortlist also included Just the Three of Usby Becky Prestwich, This Thing of Darkness, episode 7, by Anita Vettesse, with monologues by Eileen Horne, and Shrapnel by Isabel Wright. Find out more about the shortlisted works.