By Gail Renard
Following on from our own successful awards two weeks ago, the Guild is still on a red carpet roll. At last night’s British Comedy Awards, Griff Rhys Jones presented the Ronnie Barker/ Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award to Graham Linehan for his outstanding work in comedy.
Both with his long-time writing partner, Arthur Mathews, and by himself, Graham is responsible for creating shows which have made us laugh out loud and will continue to do so for years to come. We have Graham (and often Arthur) to thank for Father Ted, Ted and Ralph from the Fast Show, The IT Crowd and much much more.
Graham thanked Arthur Mathews and many of the others he’s worked with; as well as his mother, who was in the audience, beaming with pride. Graham also confided she was the inspiration for Father Ted’s housekeeper, Mrs Doyle.
Other award winners included Outnumbered, Harry Hill and, for best comedy film, In The Loop. Sir Terry Wogan, who thought he was only there to present a prize, was stunned to find himself the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award.
Many thanks to Jonathan Harvey and Steven Moffat, who joined me as the Guild judges on the jury and at the party afterwards. But the highlight for the WGGB had to be Graham Linehan receiving a standing ovation and being a hit of the evening. It was gratifying seeing the industry pay proper tribute to a writer. BAFTA, please take note.
Gail Renard is Chair of the Guild's TV Committee