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June Whitfield and John Hurt honoured at BBC Audio Drama Awards

John Hurt and June Whitfield at the BBC Audio Drama Awards. Photo: BBC/Guy Levy
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June Whitfield was honoured with a lifetime achievement award at the BBC Audio Drama Awards 2016, which also saw prizes go to John Hurt and Alfred Molina.

Playwright Charlene James also took home the award for best original single drama for the radio version of her play Cutting It, which won the George Devine playwriting prize in 2015 and the Alfred Fagon award in 2014.

Hurt received an outstanding contribution award for his roles in BBC Radio 4’s War and Peace and Jeffrey Bernard is Unwell.

Welcoming the prize, the actor claimed he liked working in radio dramas “because one is using what is fast becoming the actors’ forgotten weapon: the voice”.

Molina was named best actor for his performance in A View from the Bridge, while Monica Dolan won the best actress prize for her part in Vincent in Brixton.

Best supporting actor went to Susan Wokoma in Three Strong Women, and Karen Bartke won the best debut performance award for her role in My Name Is….

The ceremony at Broadcasting House in London saw Julian Simpson’s thriller Fugue State scoop two prizes: best radio drama script and best use of sound in an audio drama.

Later, Whitfield’s lifetime achievement award was presented in recognition of her extensive radio career, which has spanned eight decades.

On receiving the accolade, Whitfield said: “I’m absolutely delighted to have received this lifetime achievement award. It really does feel like a lifetime – I first worked for BBC Radio in the 1940s. Thank you so much BBC for this much appreciated award.”

Not restricted to BBC broadcasts, the BBC Audio Drama Awards recognise acting, writing and sound design talent in radio broadcast across all channels, as well as online.

Lenny Henry, who hosted the evening ceremony on January 31, said the radio industry should be proud of the “range of excellence” it attracts and produces.

He added: “It’s great that this year’s awards include both classic plays and innovative dramas reflecting modern Britain. Long may it continue.”

Full list of winners

Best audio drama (adaptation)
The Master and Margarita, by Mikhail Bulgakov, dramatized by Lucy Catherine, producer Sasha Yevtushenko

Best audio drama (original single)
Cuttin’ It, by Charlene James, producer Jessica Brown

Best audio drama (series or serial)
Children in Need: D for Dexter, by Amanda Whittington, producer Mary Ward-Lowery

Best actor in an audio drama
Alfred Molina in A View from the Bridge

Best actress in an audio drama
Monica Dolan in Vincent in Brixton

Best supporting actor or actress in an audio drama
Susan Wokoma in Three Strong Women

Best debut performance in an audio drama
Karen Bartke in My Name Is…

Best use of sound in an audio drama
Fugue State, sound by Julian Simpson and David Thomas, producer Karen Rose

Best scripted comedy drama
In and Out of the Kitchen, by Justin Edwards, producer Sam Michell

Best scripted comedy with a live audience
Reluctant Persuaders Ep 3, by Edward Rowett, producer Gordon Kennedy

Best online only audio drama
The Kindness of Time, by Deirdre Burton and Tom Davis, producer Rosie Boulton

Imison award for best radio drama script by a new writer
30 Eggs by Eoin O’Connor

Tinniswood radio drama award for best radio drama script
Fugue State by Julian Simpson

Outstanding contribution
John Hurt

Lifetime achievement
June Whitfield

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