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
Best radio plays of 1979
Best radio plays of 1980
Best radio plays of 1981
Best radio plays of 1982
Best radio plays of 1983
Best radio plays of 1984
Best radio plays of 1985
Best radio plays of 1986
Best radio plays of 1987
Best radio plays of 1988
Best radio plays of 1989
Best Radio Plays of 1990
Best radio plays of 1991
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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