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This award is for fiction or other narrative drama (including docu-drama), pure entertainment programmes (including factual entertainment whose content is predominantly entertainment) and animation. The judges welcomed both broadcast and non broadcast entries.

The Judges were looking for:

  • Originality
  • Creativity in story treatment
  • Appropriateness for target audience
  • Use of resources
  • Professionalism
  • The nominees were:

    JOE MADDISON'S WAR – Mammoth Screen
    INSPECTOR GEORGE GENTLY – Company Pictures
    ARE YOU HAVING A LAUGH? TV & DISABILITY – Northern Upstart/Mark Three Media for BBC2

    Guest Presenter: TOM HARVEY (CEO, Northern Film & Media)

    Produced by Northern Upstart/Mark Three Media
    for BBC2

    Tom Harvey with Mark Murray and Judith Holder

    The Judges said:

    Unlike last year where there NO entries from network TV, this year the judges were spoilt for choice! They were delighted to see TRACY BEAKER RETURNS within the nominations this year. It's found a great home in Newcastle, and started the ball rolling for network productions in the North East. We've all got high hopes for the commission of a third series.

    But there were 3 other strong contenders in this category. INSPECTOR GEORGE GENTLY, shown on BBC1, was brilliantly scripted by Peter Flannery. It featured strong performances, and felt really authentic — as those who lived through the 1960's will agree! JOE MADDISON'S WAR — a Sunday evening success on ITV1 directed by Patrick Collerton and written by the late Alan Plater, was more nostalgic. It had integrity, warmth and some great acting, particularly from Kevin Whately in the title role, Robson Green as his best mate, and Melanie Hill as the woman who saved Joe.

    ARE YOU HAVING A LAUGH? TV & DISABILITY — a BBC2 commission for new North East indie Northern Upstart, co-producing with Mark Three Media, was original and courageous — incisive research, clever use of archive, comments from some brilliant (and for once, relevant!) celebs, and the ability to make us laugh (out loud at times) at a subject that has many taboos. The judges applaud a production company which has a genuine commitment to building a strong production base in the region, and which has brought an important issue into the mainstream in a bold and truly engaging way.