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Winner of Red Planet Prize revealed

Jonathan Neil has been announced as the winner of this year’s Red Planet writing prize.

Organised by production companies Red Planet Pictures and Kudos Film and TV, the Red Planet Prize has been running for five years and is aimed at discovering new talent.

Winners have the opportunity to be mentored by the production companies.

Neil’s script is called Darby and Joan and is described as a 1950s tale of “spies in very British suburbia”.

The writer beat more than 2,000 people to win the competition.

Tony Jordan, managing director of Red Planet, said: “The script was a real page turner, great characters inhabiting a unique world and, as you finished it, you wanted to know what happened next. I read a lot of scripts and you’ll be amazed how rare that is.”

Previous winners of the prize include Robert Thorogood, who penned the BBC series Death in Paradise, which was produced by Red Planet. It has been commissioned for a second series.