Giles Cooper Awards 1978-92

The following synopsis was compiled by Greg Linden from the 1989 published edition; many thanks to him for sending it.

Giles Cooper Award winners -- 1978 to 1989

Giles Cooper -- As one of the most original and inventive radio playwrights of the post-war years, Giles Cooper was the author who came most clearly to mind when the BBC and Methuen were in search of a name when first setting up their jointly sponsored radio drama awards in 1978. Particularly so, as the aim of the awards is precisely to encourage original radio writing by both new and established authors - encouragement in the form of both public acclaim and of publication of their work in book form.

Eligibility -- Eligible for the awards was every original radio play first broadcast by the BBC domestic service from December to December (about 500 play in 1989). Excluded from consideration were translations, adaptations and dramatised 'features'. In order to ensure that the broad range of radio playwriting was represented, the judges aimed to select plays which offered a variety of length, subject matter and technique by authors with differing experience of writing for radio.

Selection - The editors-in-charge and producers of the various drama 'slots' were each asked to put forward about five or six plays for the judges' consideration. This resulted in a 'short-list' of some 30 plays from which the final selection was made. The judges were entitled to nominate further plays for consideration provided they were eligible. Selection was made on the strength of the script rather than the production, since it was felt that the awards were primarily for writing and that production could unduly enhance or detract from the merits of the original script.

The judges for the 1989 awards were: Pamela Edwardes, Drama Editor, Methuen Drama Penny Gold, Senior Editor of BBC Radio Drama Rob Ritchie, a writer and former literary manager of the Royal Court Theatre B.A.Young, radio drama critic for the Financial Times

The award winners (plays repeated on BBC7 in 2003 are indicated after the title):-

Best radio plays of 1978
Harris, Richard - Is it something I said?
Haworth, Don - Episode on a Thursday evening (BBC7)
Hyem, Jill - Remember me
Mallin, Tom - Halt! Who goes there?
Phillips, Jennifer - Daughters of men
Weldon, Fay - Polaris (BBC7)

Best radio plays of 1979
Gee, Shirley - Typhoid Mary
Harrison, Carey - I never killed my German
Keeffe, Barrie - Heaven scent (BBC7)
Kirkmorris, John - Coxcomb
Peacock, John - Attard in retirement
Wymark, Olwen - The Child

Best radio plays of 1980
Parker, Stewart --Kamikaze ground staff reunion dinner (BBC7)
Read, Martyn --Waving to a train
Redgrave, Peter --Martyr of the hives
Trevor, William --Beyond the pale

Best radio plays of 1981
Barnes, Peter - The jumping minuses of Byzantium
Haworth, Don - Talk of love and war (BBC7)
Pinter, Harold - Family voices
Pownall, David - Beef
Rooney, J.P. - The dead image
Thain, Paul - The biggest sandcastle in the world

Best radio plays of 1982
Adrian, Rhys --Watching the plays together
Arden, John --The old man sleeps alone (BBC7)
Barton, Harry --Hoopoe day
Chapman, Donald --Invisible writing
Stoppard, Tom --The dog it was that died (BBC7)
Trevor, William --Autumn sunshine (BBC7)

Best radio plays of 1983
Daly, Wally K. - Time slip
Gee, Shirley - Never in my lifetime
Jones, Gerry - The angels they grow lonely (BBC7)
May, Steve - No exceptions
Read, Martyn - Scouting for boys

Best radio plays of 1984
Dunstone, Stephen - Who is Sylvia?
Ferguson, Robert - Transfigured night
Haworth, Don -- Daybreak
Phillips, Caryl - The wasted years
Russell, Christopher - Swimmer
Tremain, Rose - Temporary Shelter

Best radio plays of 1985
Adrian, Rhys - Outpatient
Collins, Barry - King Canute
Crimp, Martin - Three attempted acts
Pownall, David - Ploughboy Monday
Saunders, James - Menocchio
Wall, Michael - Hiroshima: the movie (BBC7)

Best radio plays of 1986
Ferguson, Robert --Dreams, secrets, beautiful lies
Reid, Christina --Last of a dyin' race
Rissik, Andrew --Anthony
Whitmore, Ken --Gingerbread house
Windsor, Valerie --Myths and legacies

Best radio plays of 1987
Daly, Wally K. - Mary's (BBC7)
Dunne, Frank - Dreams of Dublin Bay (BBC7)
Fox, Anna - Nobby's Day
Moffatt, Nigel D. - Lifetime
Nelson, Richard - Languages Spoken Here (BBC7)
Tinniswood, Peter - The village fête

Best radio plays of 1988
Frisby, Terence --Just remember two things: it's not fair and don't be late
Blakeson, Ken --Excess baggage
Minghella, Anthony --Cigarettes and chocolate (BBC7)
Munro, Rona --Dirt under the carpet (BBC7)
Sheasby, Dave --Apple blossom afternoon (BBC7)

Best radio plays of 1989
Baines, Elizabeth -- Baby buggy
Johnston, Jennifer -- O Ananias, Azarias and Misael
Mairowitz, David Zane -- Stalin sonata
Nelson, Richard -- Eating words
Warner, Craig -- By where the old shed used to be

Best Radio Plays of 1990
Bagley, Tony - The Machine
Cregan, David -- A Butler Did It
Fletcher, John - Death and the Tango
Pepler, Tina - Song of the Forest
Walker, Steve -- The Pope's Brother

Best radio plays of 1991
Glendinning, Robert -- The Words are Strange
Purser, John -- Carver
Stoppard, Tom -- In the Native State
Walker, Steve -- Mickey Mookey
Warner, Craig -- Figure with Meat

The final presentation (for the 1991 plays) was in 1992. The reason the awards were discontinued was that the resulting book, published jointly by the BBC and Methuen, sold very few copies, and neither party felt able to continue.

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