Torin Douglas awarded by Broadcasting Press Guild

Image above: Tara Conlan (Guardian) (left), Torin Douglas MBE, Kate Bulkley (BPG awards chair) and Manori Ravindran (BPG chair); photograph Rebecca Frayn

Industry bigwigs thank the director of the Chiswick Book Festival for thirty years of service supporting the broadcasting industry

Torin Douglas MBE, best known in Chiswick as the director of the Chiswick Book Festival, has received an award from the Broadcasting Press Guild (BPG) for his work over 30 years supporting the broadcasting industry.

Torin has been on the BPG Committee since 1994 and took over the role as Chair of the BPG in 1996, when he was Media Correspondent for the BBC. Since 2007 he has acted as their Treasurer, co-organising the annual award ceremony celebrating the broadcasting industry.

READ ALSO: Torin Douglas MBE, Director of the Chiswick Book Festival – Profile

Director-General of the BBC Tim Davie said:

“You have dedicated countless hours to the group whilst working as a journalist, as well as running the Chiswick Book Festival and volunteering with other media and community organisations.”

Praising Torin and Kate Bulkley, who are both stepping down from their roles with the BPG this year, Tim Davie said:

“The energy, commitment and thousands of hours that you have both given to the Broadcasting Press Guild are, by any standards, remarkable. That you have done so voluntarily and without any kind of salary is extraordinary.”

Images above: Sarah Lancashire, photograph Richard Kendall; Contributors to Movers and Shakers

The Broadcasting Press Guild represents journalists who specialise in covering television, radio and the media, and include critics, previewers, media correspondents and feature writers from national newspapers, broadcasters and leading trade journals and websites.

The Chief Executive of Channel 4, Alex Mahon, and the Chief Executive of ITV, Carolyn McCall DBE, also sent their thanks and congratulations.

Alex Mahon spoke about Torin’s work outside the BPG:

“Your vast impact outside the Broadcasting Press Guild covering the biggest stories in the media over the part 40 years has of course been far-reaching … Numerous organisations, including media outlets, industry societies, universities and festivals, have also benefited meaningfully from your leadership, experience and insight – not to mention the community in Chiswick.”

Torin received his award at the annual gala lunch, which took place on Thursday (21 March). Actress Sarah Lancashire and the BBC’s gripping police drama Happy Valley led the awards, winning ‘Best Drama Series’, ‘Best Actress’ for Sarah Lancashire and ‘Best Writer for Sally Wainwright.

The Mr Bates vs The Post Office team received a standing ovation from the audience for their achievement in capturing the injustice done to subpostmasters and mistresses. Cast members Toby Jones and Monica Dolan were there to receive the ‘BPG Jury Prize for TV / Streaming’.

Image above: Andy Harries giving his speech after receiving his reward; photograph Alice Aedy

Another Chiswick resident receives the ‘Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting’

Another Chiswick resident, Andy Harries, co-founder of Left Bank Pictures and Executive Producer of The Crown, received the ‘Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting.’ He used the occasion to issue a dire warning on the fate of British original TV drama if we do not invest in it better.

It was “time to stop chipping away at the BBC” he told the audience at the Royal Horseguards hotel in Whitehall. Without proper investment in ITV and the BBC the future of dramas with subjects that were politically contentious or just local to this country was in doubt, and the British television industry was likely to become just “a first class, top-end service industry to the US.”

READ ALSO: We have to fight for British TV drama says Crown producer Andy Harries

READ ALSO: Andy Harries OBE to receive lifetime achievement award

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, Moira Stuart, 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.

Jeremy Paxman was there to receive another award this year, ‘UK Podcast of the Year’ for Movers and Shakers, the poignantly titled podcast made by a group of broadcasters who all have Parkinsons disease.

Wrapping up the gala award lunch, Tara Conlan, who writes about TV and media for The Guardian and The Observer, said:

“Trusted media matters more than ever these days and the BPG and its events and lunches create debate … and, importantly, establish trust and understanding between us and the valuable, important and fabulously-creative industry we write about.”

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