There is at least one curiosity and one question in the awards listed in our page on Hugh Leonard’s “Awards and Honorary Degrees” – an impressive scan of four decades and mix of the Irish and the international.
The question is this: by the evidence of the photograph above, HL won the Jacobs Television Award twice. The older award, on the left, dates back to 1969 and HL’s adaptations of Wuthering Heights and Nicholas Nickleby (he did indeed set the gold standard for TV adaptations and classic serials at time) but what was the second, later Jacobs TV award for? This is the post 1981 award designed by Theo McNabb. It does not feature in the best listing that I can find – here.
The second curiosity is the “Award of Merit” from the Writers Guild of Great Britain in 1966 for Silent Song. I have been in touch with the Guild and they advise that awards were made throughout the 1960s but no systematic record was kept. So the actual framed award is the only evidence of its existence. “Silent Song” is well evidenced: it was a big deal in its day and deserves its own, future post. Meanwhile I reproduce the award here for the record.
For the true TV historians among you, the award and its signatories are a glimpse at pioneers of television. “Willis” refers to the screen dramatist Ted Willis, best known for writing Dixon of Dock Green – that set the style for so many police /crime dramas to come – and elevated to a life peerage in 1963. David Whitaker was the founding script editor and an early writer of Doctor Who.
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