Andy Harries OBE to receive lifetime achievement award

Image above: Andy Harries OBE

Co-founder of production company responsible for The Crown to recieve award for his contribution to television

TV producer and Chiswick resident Andy Harries OBE is to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Broadcasting Press Guild for his contribution to television.

The co-founder of Left Bank Pictures, which makes The Crown, is to be honoured at the 50th annual Broadcasting Press Guild Awards on Thursday 21 March. He will receive the Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting, an award chosen by journalists who write about television, for a career spanning more than four decades.

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The award is named after Harvey Lee (1950-1991), who was the media correspondent for the Daily Telegraph and a leading light in the BPG throughout the 1980s. Previous winners of the BPG’s Harvey Lee Award, for an outstanding contribution to broadcasting, include Sir Lenny Henry, MoiraStuart, John Humphrys, Nicholas Parsons, Sir Terry Wogan, Cilla Black, Melvyn Bragg, Andrew Davies, Sir David Frost, Michael Grade, Norma Percy, Biddy Baxter, Edward Barnes, Phil Redmond, Beryl Vertue, Tony Warren, Anne Wood, John Lloyd, Jon Snow and Jeremy Paxman.

Andy Harries began his career as a reporter on the Peterborough Evening Telegraph before moving into TV as a researcher for Granada Television in Manchester in 1976, where produced and reported on Granada Reports and World In Action.

Graduating to entertainment in the 1980s, as a freelance he directed and produced The South Bank Show and Arena. He co-founded his first production company, Sleeping Partners, with Paul Greengrass at the end of the 1980s, working with talent such as Lenny Henry, Jonathan Ross and Peter Morgan.

Image above: Helen Mirren in The Queen

In the 1990s he led Granada’s Comedy department, where he was behind two huge successes, working with Caroline Aherne on The Mrs Merton Show and The Royle Family, and also Mike Bullen’s hit series Cold Feet.

He then took over Granada’s Drama department, where he produced hit TV shows including the return of Prime Suspect and Cracker. He spoke about the 2006 film The Queen, which he co-produced with Christine Langan, at the 2023 Chiswick In Film festival.

READ ALSO: The Queen – Q&A with Sir Stephen Frears, Andy Harries and Christine Langan

Image above: Stephen Frears, Christine Langan and Andy Harries talking to Bridget Osborne at the Chiswick In Film Festival 2023

Helen Mirren won an Oscar for her portrayal of the Queen, while writer Peter Morgan went on to develop the Netflix series The Crown with Andy ten years later.

Andy set up Left Bank Pictures in 2007, which has become one of Britain’s leading independent production companies, with series such as Wallander, Outlander and DCI Banks to its credit. The Crown became Andy’s biggest venture to date, running for six seasons, spanning almost six decades of the lives of the British royal family, from when Queen Elizabeth was a young princess during the war until the 2005 wedding of Prince Charles and Camilla Parker Bowles.

Image above: Claire Foy in The Crown

The series has won twenty-one Primetime Emmy Awards, including Outstanding Drama Series for its fourth season, and seven awards for the cast. It also won the Golden Globe Award for Best Television Series – Drama twice, with additional acting wins for Claire Foy, Olivia Colman, Emma Corrin, Josh O’Connor, Gillian Anderson, and Elizabeth Debicki.

The Broadcasting Press Guild’s chair Manori Ravindran said:

“There is no doubt that Andy Harries is a titan among TV producers who has proven himself time and again over the last five decades. The range of his programme successes reflects not only a flair for the creative, but also a knack for building special relationships with generational talents — of which he is one himself.”

His outstanding contribution to broadcasting has also been recognised with special awards from both BAFTA and Royal Television Society.

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