Archers actor June Spencer presented lifetime achievement prize at audio drama awards
June Spencer, the 94-year old actor who has been in radio soap The Archers since its pilot episode in 1950, has been honoured with a lifetime achievement prize at this year’s BBC Audio Drama Awards.
Other winners at the event, held on Sunday at BBC Broadcasting House and designed to recognise actors, writers and producers working in audio drama, included former EastEnders actor Lee Ross and Claire Rushbrook, best known for ITV’s Whitechapel.
Spencer, who plays Peggy Woolley in The Archers, was hailed by the BBC as the longest-serving soap actor in the world and was presented her award by Tony Hall, the Corporation’s director general.
Sean O’Connor, editor of The Archers, described her as a performer who had “committed her life to the BBC”.
“At 94, absolutely nothing fazes her. She performed with heart-breaking dignity in the recent episodes, using her instincts as an actress and channeling her own difficult experiences of caring for a loved one with Alzheimer’s,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ross was named best actor for his role in King David, broadcast on BBC Radio 3, with co-star Rushbrook named best supporting actress.
Christine Bottomley was named best actress for My Boy, broadcast on BBC Radio 4, while Shaun Dooley won the supporting actor category for The Gothic Imagination – Frankenstein, also aired on Radio 4.
Billions by Ed Harris was named best original audio drama play, and Janet Frame’s An Angel at My Table was named best series.
The adaptation prize went to Jeremy Front’s dramatisation of Evelyn Waugh’s Sword of Honour, while Radio 4’s Sketchorama – Absolutely Special was named best scripted comedy.
The ceremony was hosted by Hall and Lenny Henry.
The full list of winners is:
Best original audio drama (single play)
Billions by Ed Harris, produced by Jonquil Panting, BBC Radio Drama for Radio 4
Best audio drama (series or serial)
An Angel at My Table, written by Janet Frame, adapted by Anita Sullivan, produced by Karen Rose, Sweet Talk for Radio 4
Best audio drama (adaptation)
Sword of Honour by Evelyn Waugh and dramatised by Jeremy Front, produced by Sally Avens, BBC Radio Drama for Radio 4
Best actor in an audio drama,
Lee Ross in King David, produced by Mary Peate, BBC Radio Drama for Radio 3
Best actress in an audio drama
Christine Bottomley in My Boy, produced by Polly Thomas, Somethin’ Else for Radio 4
Best supporting actor in an audio drama
Shaun Dooley in The Gothic Imagination: Frankenstein, produced by Marc Beeby, BBC Radio Drama for Radio 4
Best supporting actress in an audio drama
Claire Rushbrook in King David, produced by Mary Peate, BBC Radio Drama for Radio 3
Best use of sound in an audio drama
He Died with His Eyes Open, produced by Sasha Yevtushenko, sound design by Caleb Knightley, BBC Radio Drama for Radio 4
Best scripted comedy drama
Love and Sweets 3: Grand Canyon by Richard Marsh, produced by Ben Worsfield, Lucky Giant for Radio 4
Best scripted comedy (studio audience)
Sketchorama: Absolutely Special, written by Pete Baikie, Morwenna Banks, Moray Hunter, Gordon Kennedy and John Sparkes, produced by Gus Beattie, Comedy Unit for BBC Radio 4
Best online or non-broadcast audio drama
Doctor Who: Dark Eyes, written by Nicholas Briggs, produced by David Richardson for Big Finish
Imison award for best script by a new writer
The Loving Ballad of Captain Bateman by Joseph Wilde with Tim van Eyken.
Tinniswood radio drama award for best radio drama script
Marathon Tales by Colin Teevan and Hannah Silva.