Casualty writer wins Imison prize for best new radio drama

Liz Thomas

EastEnders and Casualty writer Nazrin Choudhury has won the Imison Award for the best original radio drama script this year for her piece Mixed Blood.

Choudhury won £1,500 in prize money, donated by the Peggy Ramsay Foundation, for scooping the accolade, which was created for authors new to radio.

Naomi Gryn, chair of the judging jury which included Edwina Currie and Christopher Lee, commented: “The play had great humanity, a clear plot and emotional depth, both in terms of a young woman escaping from the shadow of her late mother and the backdrop of arranged marriages and mixed relationships. Skilfully propelled by dialogue, the story seemed wholly authentic, with not a false line anywhere, which also had the effect of creating characters you could easily identify with. You cared about them.”

The shortlist included Reality Check by Carol Leeming, Dead Code: Ghosts of the Digital Age by Jeff Noon, The Waterbucks by Adrian Penketh and Folie a Trois by Sarah Wooley. The play will be repeated on Radio 4 on October 24, 2006 at 2.15pm.

Meanwhile leading writer Nick Warburton won the gong for best original radio drama script [broadcast during 2005] for his piece entitled Beast, seeing of competition from Getting the Joke by Neil Brand, Last Loves by Rony Robinson and Sally Goldsmith, as well as A Certain Age (The Brother) by Lynne Truss.

Former BBC radio drama head Gordon House, who chaired the jury in this category, said: “Beast is a beautifully understated play with real emotional power that creates strong and believable characters, and reverberates in the mind long after you’ve finished reading it. A play totally conceived for radio; it would be diminished by being performed in any other medium.”

The production will be repeated on Radio 4 on October 23 at 2.15pm and both winning plays will be available for the week following on the BBC’s ‘Listen Again’ internet repeat service. The award is jointly administered by the Writers’ Guild of Great Britain and the Society of Authors.

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