BBC Audio Drama Awards winners on BBC Sounds

Added: 6 days ago by BBC

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I had the pleasure on Sunday of hosting the BBC Audio Drama awards. It’s the eighth year we’ve done this, recognising a genre and sector that we at the BBC have always treasured.

The BBC is the world’s biggest commissioner and broadcaster of radio drama. We make a fantastic range – from reinterpretations like A Tale of Two Cities: Aleppo and London, which won Best Adaptation, original works including Oliver Emanuel’s dystopian The Truth About Hawaii, through to new writers and acting talents such as Daisy Head - Best Debut Performance recipient for her role in Love Henry James: The Golden Bowl.

Radio drama is special – not because of what it does for the BBC, but because of what it does for audiences. Everyone listening to the nominated programmes would have been entertained, tugged emotionally, or challenged intellectually. Whether an expectant mother struggling with a big decision about abortion - as portrayed by Best Actress recipient Eve Myles in 19 Weeks, a young woman forced into drug dealing across County Lines, or a family coming to terms with a brain tumour.

In that 15 minute drama, Five Days Which Changed Everything, the mother says that ‘life is good, and we don’t know it’. Audio drama has that ability to make us think – we listen mostly by ourselves, and that intimacy creates space for us to reflect, walk in someone else’s shoes, be moved or scared (as in The Chosen One) with them.

The health of radio drama is also good. Almost 7 million people listen to audio drama every week on Radio 4 and BBC Radio 3 broadcasts further full length dramas in its Drama on 3 slot. But we want even more people to know it and we’re working on different ways to do that.

We want to have more drama available on Sounds and have brilliant and exciting dramas commissioned which we’ll tell you about when they’re about to appear on Sounds this spring. If you’re after some great drama to listen to now, there’s lots already on Sounds and we’ve just created a collection featuring a number of the Audio Drama Awards 2019 winners too.

We also want to help more people find our drama content – especially those who might not listen to live radio. One of the great things about Sounds is that it’s personalised – and so we’ll be able to suggest different drama and comedies to audiences who haven’t yet discovered how much they love those programmes.

I’m also keen for us to allow teams inside and outside the BBC to pitch a wider range of ideas. With Sounds having no defined slots or schedules to consider, there’s even more creative space to explore - as we did with The Case of Charles Dexter Ward and How To Burn A Million Quid.

So once again huge congratulations to all our BBC Audio Drama Award winners. Please join me in the best way to show our appreciation, by listening.

James Purnell
Director, Radio & Education

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