Yes!

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And the winners are … fuck!

RTS PROGRAMME AWARDS 2006, Tuesday 13 March 2007, Grosvenor House Hotel, Park Lane, London W1

It is half past seven the next morning and I still cannot believe it. Lee and I won the Breakthrough award for writing Not Going Out at the Royal Television Society Awards last night. Certain among the top ranking Avalon executives on our table seemed to have an inkling, but Lee and I did not. I was in a state of shock for the rest of the evening. Ours was fourth in a ceremony of 29 awards, so at least the agony was brief. Host Mark Austin read out this quote from the judges: “the winning programme was a real treat – well observed and well-written, with a stream of non-stop, laugh-out loud gags.” (during which we worked out it wasn’t the Moors Murderers or the documentary Banged Up Abroad that had won). The rest is a bit of a blur. Stephen Merchant won for his performance in Extras. Bruce Parry for presenting Tribe. Craig Cash and co won two for The Royle Family, so we were glad we weren’t up against them in the sitcom category. Alan Sugar went up for The Apprentice. And Richard Curtis got the Judges Award, after a dull citation by Ben Elton.

They encouraged recipients not to give speeches, but certain among them – I mean, us – did. Lee made a gag about beating Myra Hyndley and Ian Brady (as we’d beaten the producer of See No Evil, the excellent Moors Murderers drama) and I thanked the other writers, Paul, Simon, Derren, John and Tim Vine. Neither of us thanked anyone else. It was all a bit unplanned and wide-eyed and shambolic.

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I must admit I had a glass of champagne, then switched back to water (gallons of it, actually) as Lee and I are, ironically, supposed to be spending the day storylining for series two this very morning. Once we’d won I literally refused to let the award (we got one each) out of my sight, or even out of my hands. In the winners’ enclosure afterwards, where the likes of Alan Carr, Catherine Tate, Craig Cash, Ben Elton and that bloke who sailed somewhere with Ben Fogle gathered. I congratulated Stephen Merchant, and Simon Amstell (I think I may have gushed in the heat of the moment), and spent a long time chatting to the charming and gentle Richard Curtis about Comic Relief, Ray Stubbs, premium rate phone lines, poverty, Bob Dylan and the fact that after Vicar Of Dibley he is still waiting for the BBC to offer him his next sitcom. BBC economics editor and Dragon’s Den host Evan Davis joined us, with his camp wallet on a chain, and we discussed the chances of Cameron at the next election (Evan says 40 per cent). What a jolly television gathering it was. I still cannot believe it. Never once when Lee and I were slaving away in that soulless Oxford Street office did we think we were writing something that might win awards. What a vindication.

Oh, and you can hear our acceptance speech on Media Guardian. Click on the MP3 link at the top. It’s right at the end, so you can zip through past Mark Austin; we’re after Craig Cash and Phil Mealey. Sorry I didn’t pronounce my “t”s properly in the word “writers”. It was the excitement of winning.

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76 thoughts on “Yes!

  1. Well done, mate! It made getting dressed up utterly worthwhile. And don’t worry about the gushing – I once ran my hand up Darren Day’s inner thigh in a similar moment, and that must be the worst you can do.

  2. Well done, mate! It made getting dressed up utterly worthwhile. And don’t worry about the gushing – I once ran my hand up Darren Day’s inner thigh in a similar moment, and that must be the worst you can do.

  3. Can I be amongst the first to offer my congratulations? As I wrote when it first came out, pretty much uniquely amongst all the stuff you’ve done NGO wasn’t really my cup of tea (no accounting for taste, eh?), but I was happy for you to see it was well received ratings-wise and this is further vindication for you. Top stuff.Can I also congratulate you on your self-control – I know you’re not a regular drinker but one glass of champagne is abstemious in the extreme given the circumstances, and possibly unprecedented in the context of an awards ceremony…….

  4. Can I be amongst the first to offer my congratulations? As I wrote when it first came out, pretty much uniquely amongst all the stuff you’ve done NGO wasn’t really my cup of tea (no accounting for taste, eh?), but I was happy for you to see it was well received ratings-wise and this is further vindication for you. Top stuff.Can I also congratulate you on your self-control – I know you’re not a regular drinker but one glass of champagne is abstemious in the extreme given the circumstances, and possibly unprecedented in the context of an awards ceremony…….

  5. Very many congratulations – Not Going Out was excellent and this was a well deserved award. As I’ve said before, I can’t wait for the next series of the “Award Winning” Not Going Out. Well Done!!Now, there’s the small matter of a presentation I have to write for work and if you and Lee weren’t too busy…….(Sorry – before you panic – only joking!!)

  6. Very many congratulations – Not Going Out was excellent and this was a well deserved award. As I’ve said before, I can’t wait for the next series of the “Award Winning” Not Going Out. Well Done!!Now, there’s the small matter of a presentation I have to write for work and if you and Lee weren’t too busy…….(Sorry – before you panic – only joking!!)

  7. Well, congratulations to both of you! You must feel brilliant right now. A certain vindication and a great sign that ‘traditional’ comedy is still valued.Can you both have a go at making ‘The Abbey’ funny now?I’m really chuffed for you.

  8. Well, congratulations to both of you! You must feel brilliant right now. A certain vindication and a great sign that ‘traditional’ comedy is still valued.Can you both have a go at making ‘The Abbey’ funny now?I’m really chuffed for you.

  9. Well done Andrew.Like a previous poster NGO wasn’t my cup of tea, however I know how hard you worked on the show so I applaud your well-deserved success. That career quandary must surely be over now?

  10. Well done Andrew.Like a previous poster NGO wasn’t my cup of tea, however I know how hard you worked on the show so I applaud your well-deserved success. That career quandary must surely be over now?

  11. Well done and Well deserved AC.Although 6Music should be ashamed of their news coverage at breakfast. They informed us a 6Music presenter had won a RTS award and gave coverage and soundbite to Stephen Merchant. PAH!

  12. Well done and Well deserved AC.Although 6Music should be ashamed of their news coverage at breakfast. They informed us a 6Music presenter had won a RTS award and gave coverage and soundbite to Stephen Merchant. PAH!

  13. Yah, never mind about Stephen ( are you planning on jacking in 6 Music, though – am I reading too much into why you might have said that to him?). Congratulations in the extreme to you. See, you CAN swim with the killer whales…

  14. Yah, never mind about Stephen ( are you planning on jacking in 6 Music, though – am I reading too much into why you might have said that to him?). Congratulations in the extreme to you. See, you CAN swim with the killer whales…

  15. Attaboy! You can probably grow fat and self-satisfied now, but hopefully your recent self-assessment will continue and spur you on to continued production, in whatever form you fancy (nothing wrong with not becoming complacent). How many shots did it take to get that photo of your award without the flash or reflection ruining it?

  16. Attaboy! You can probably grow fat and self-satisfied now, but hopefully your recent self-assessment will continue and spur you on to continued production, in whatever form you fancy (nothing wrong with not becoming complacent). How many shots did it take to get that photo of your award without the flash or reflection ruining it?

  17. Top Banana.Really pleased for you, and indeed Lee. A second series AND an award, you’ll be getting a Christmas Special next, and why not? You deserve it. Enjoy.

  18. Top Banana.Really pleased for you, and indeed Lee. A second series AND an award, you’ll be getting a Christmas Special next, and why not? You deserve it. Enjoy.

  19. Jolly well done fella.I did think Banged Up Abroad suffered from a lack of non-stop, laugh out loud gags.Though good job Helen Mirren wasn’t in the category.Oh, and an extra cookie for bigging up Michael Mann’s The Keep (which I recently blogged about) in RT. It must come out on shiny disc soon because I’ve almost worn my VHS tape out.

  20. Jolly well done fella.I did think Banged Up Abroad suffered from a lack of non-stop, laugh out loud gags.Though good job Helen Mirren wasn’t in the category.Oh, and an extra cookie for bigging up Michael Mann’s The Keep (which I recently blogged about) in RT. It must come out on shiny disc soon because I’ve almost worn my VHS tape out.

  21. Congratulations, Andrew. The award was well deserved. I don’t mean this in a bad way but NGO wasn’t exactly a run-away monster hit or universally well-received. I think that to give such an award to a mainstream prime-time BBC1 sitcom in that position almost constitutes going out on a limb. Which is to say that it’s not just an award; it’s an award that really means something. I hope that makes sense.I know you can’t exactly pick and choose what you do in broadcasting. However, if your recent reference to a career disaster, the 6Music press release, and your remark to Stephen Merchant all mean what it looks like they mean then I hope you’re not going to give up on broadcasting. You’re very good at it.Oh yeah, and I keep meaning to say: have you considered using “abstruse” where previously you were using “obtuse”?

  22. Congratulations, Andrew. The award was well deserved. I don’t mean this in a bad way but NGO wasn’t exactly a run-away monster hit or universally well-received. I think that to give such an award to a mainstream prime-time BBC1 sitcom in that position almost constitutes going out on a limb. Which is to say that it’s not just an award; it’s an award that really means something. I hope that makes sense.I know you can’t exactly pick and choose what you do in broadcasting. However, if your recent reference to a career disaster, the 6Music press release, and your remark to Stephen Merchant all mean what it looks like they mean then I hope you’re not going to give up on broadcasting. You’re very good at it.Oh yeah, and I keep meaning to say: have you considered using “abstruse” where previously you were using “obtuse”?

  23. Well done. You could have been forgiven for thinking you were dreaming, particularly during the conversation with a frustrated Richard Curtis – sounds like a fantasy sequence from Ab Fab!The killer whale dream does have a certain resonance now (having had a premonition dream I’m open minded on this).

  24. Well done. You could have been forgiven for thinking you were dreaming, particularly during the conversation with a frustrated Richard Curtis – sounds like a fantasy sequence from Ab Fab!The killer whale dream does have a certain resonance now (having had a premonition dream I’m open minded on this).

  25. Well done. You both really deserved to win. It was by far the best comedy of last year, and I (like so many other people) can’t wait for the new series.Hurray!!

  26. Well done. You both really deserved to win. It was by far the best comedy of last year, and I (like so many other people) can’t wait for the new series.Hurray!!

  27. The funny thing is, Gari, we have got a Christmas special! (Lee and I got personal emails from BBC1 controller Peter Fincham today saying well done – how about that?) No need to read between the lines: on the subject of 6 Music – and I’ll do a full blog entry about this – I am not being sacked. It’s of my own volition. I requested, some time ago, to have my weekends back. It’s been two years on Saturday and Sunday and there have been many occasions when I’ve found myself working seven days a week (as I know I’ve mentioned before, especially when writing the, cough, award-winning NGO in that soulless office, nine-to-five last year). I need some shape and normality back in my life. Some weeks it’s madness! Sheer madness! So, 6 Music have known about my wishes for quite a while. The schedules often shift around at the end of March as that’s end of the contractual year, and the chess pieces are moved about. I gave plenty of warning, and I wondered if perhaps another slot might become available, but it hasn’t. That’s fair enough. I don’t expect the schedule to be moulded around my wishes! I think Sean Keaveny to breakfast is a good decision. I think Stephen Merchant is working out very well. I’ve loved doing the Chart and the Saturday/Sunday show. I will enjoy my last three weekends, and the messages of support, on here, at 6 Music, to my home email and on MySpace are truly heartwarming. Thank you all so much. It’s nice to know you’re making somebody smile.I feel sure I’ll pop up on 6 Music again. In other, more positive radio news, we have a new series of The Day The Music Died on R2 in the summer, and Banter has just been recommissioned for a third series by R4, plus I have a couple of other radio projects in the fire. So my nasal Jools Holland-style voice will be heard! (The “career triumph” is one of these projects and will be revealed within the week, I should think. You’ll read it hear first.) I’m also presenting R4’s Film Programme in April while Francine Stock is away, which is a thrill. You have to give something up to make way for other stuff. (I gave up presenting Back Row on R4 to start 6 Music! I also gave up writing EastEnders to start 6 Music. Sacrifices always have to be made.)And you have to live your life too!The blog will become even more useful when the shows go off the air, so stick around.I still have no idea what I really want to be. Thank God for that.And, yes, it took a while to get a decent phot of the RTS award.

  28. The funny thing is, Gari, we have got a Christmas special! (Lee and I got personal emails from BBC1 controller Peter Fincham today saying well done – how about that?) No need to read between the lines: on the subject of 6 Music – and I’ll do a full blog entry about this – I am not being sacked. It’s of my own volition. I requested, some time ago, to have my weekends back. It’s been two years on Saturday and Sunday and there have been many occasions when I’ve found myself working seven days a week (as I know I’ve mentioned before, especially when writing the, cough, award-winning NGO in that soulless office, nine-to-five last year). I need some shape and normality back in my life. Some weeks it’s madness! Sheer madness! So, 6 Music have known about my wishes for quite a while. The schedules often shift around at the end of March as that’s end of the contractual year, and the chess pieces are moved about. I gave plenty of warning, and I wondered if perhaps another slot might become available, but it hasn’t. That’s fair enough. I don’t expect the schedule to be moulded around my wishes! I think Sean Keaveny to breakfast is a good decision. I think Stephen Merchant is working out very well. I’ve loved doing the Chart and the Saturday/Sunday show. I will enjoy my last three weekends, and the messages of support, on here, at 6 Music, to my home email and on MySpace are truly heartwarming. Thank you all so much. It’s nice to know you’re making somebody smile.I feel sure I’ll pop up on 6 Music again. In other, more positive radio news, we have a new series of The Day The Music Died on R2 in the summer, and Banter has just been recommissioned for a third series by R4, plus I have a couple of other radio projects in the fire. So my nasal Jools Holland-style voice will be heard! (The “career triumph” is one of these projects and will be revealed within the week, I should think. You’ll read it hear first.) I’m also presenting R4’s Film Programme in April while Francine Stock is away, which is a thrill. You have to give something up to make way for other stuff. (I gave up presenting Back Row on R4 to start 6 Music! I also gave up writing EastEnders to start 6 Music. Sacrifices always have to be made.)And you have to live your life too!The blog will become even more useful when the shows go off the air, so stick around.I still have no idea what I really want to be. Thank God for that.And, yes, it took a while to get a decent phot of the RTS award.

  29. Many congrats Andrew, thoroughly well deserved. Hopefully you will now have the time to work out what exactly you want to do!! How are the birds/wildlife in your garden by the way?

  30. Many congrats Andrew, thoroughly well deserved. Hopefully you will now have the time to work out what exactly you want to do!! How are the birds/wildlife in your garden by the way?

  31. I was sorry to hear about the 6 Music situation but I am pleased that this was by mutual agreement. I’ll be looking forward to the Day The Music Died on R2 and Banter on R4.I also await with interest the news of your “career triumph”.Let us know if your next dream involves you actually swimming with those killer whales.

  32. I was sorry to hear about the 6 Music situation but I am pleased that this was by mutual agreement. I’ll be looking forward to the Day The Music Died on R2 and Banter on R4.I also await with interest the news of your “career triumph”.Let us know if your next dream involves you actually swimming with those killer whales.

  33. Birds and wildlife galore in the garden, Tim, which just goes to show you don’t need to live in the country or have a big garden to attract them. We have parrots, all your finches (especially the thriving goldfinch), robins, blackbirds, even woodpeckers on the peanut feeder, which remains a glorious sight. Still no sparrows, although I have seen them in a front garden hedge about two streets away!

  34. Birds and wildlife galore in the garden, Tim, which just goes to show you don’t need to live in the country or have a big garden to attract them. We have parrots, all your finches (especially the thriving goldfinch), robins, blackbirds, even woodpeckers on the peanut feeder, which remains a glorious sight. Still no sparrows, although I have seen them in a front garden hedge about two streets away!

  35. What a pity that you won’t be on 6music any more – your Saturday/Sunday show was one of my Monday morning Listen Again staples. I’ll really miss you and Rich doing the papers, but by the sounds of it the both of you will be kept busy enough anyway.Enjoy your weekends!

  36. What a pity that you won’t be on 6music any more – your Saturday/Sunday show was one of my Monday morning Listen Again staples. I’ll really miss you and Rich doing the papers, but by the sounds of it the both of you will be kept busy enough anyway.Enjoy your weekends!

  37. Aah – shame about the demise of your 6 Music show ( if they’re not careful they’ll lose all their good presenters; only Marc Riley, Stewart Maconie and Gideon Coe left now, in my book), but understand the need for some normal life. Thanks for some fine radio moments!Is the ‘career triumph’ announcement going to be that you’re playing drums for Cud at Leicester Summer Sundae, then?

  38. Aah – shame about the demise of your 6 Music show ( if they’re not careful they’ll lose all their good presenters; only Marc Riley, Stewart Maconie and Gideon Coe left now, in my book), but understand the need for some normal life. Thanks for some fine radio moments!Is the ‘career triumph’ announcement going to be that you’re playing drums for Cud at Leicester Summer Sundae, then?

  39. Firstly congrats! Good to see the show recognised like that and news of the Xmas special. Sad that you will leaving your weekend shows but onwards and upwards!

  40. Firstly congrats! Good to see the show recognised like that and news of the Xmas special. Sad that you will leaving your weekend shows but onwards and upwards!

  41. There are many myths about the rose-ringed parakeets, Gwen. Some say Jimi Hendrix released a pair in the 60s. Others say they escaped from a Tarzan film at Pinewood. It may simply be a pair of escaped pets. Either way, they weren’t indigenous, but they flourished in Surrey and South London. There are thousands of them, living happily off berries and seeds, and making a racket. I adore them. Only yesterday, I saw about a dozen in the garden.

  42. There are many myths about the rose-ringed parakeets, Gwen. Some say Jimi Hendrix released a pair in the 60s. Others say they escaped from a Tarzan film at Pinewood. It may simply be a pair of escaped pets. Either way, they weren’t indigenous, but they flourished in Surrey and South London. There are thousands of them, living happily off berries and seeds, and making a racket. I adore them. Only yesterday, I saw about a dozen in the garden.

  43. I love the fact that myths have sprung up around them and who knows they could be true. My cousin lives in Essex (near Chelmsford) and I wonder if they may have spread that far. I will have to ask her. It must be wonderful to see something as exotic as parakeets in the garden.

  44. I love the fact that myths have sprung up around them and who knows they could be true. My cousin lives in Essex (near Chelmsford) and I wonder if they may have spread that far. I will have to ask her. It must be wonderful to see something as exotic as parakeets in the garden.

  45. Nice one, Andrew. Congratulations on the award! Can’t wait to see the show.Must say I’m pretty sad to hear your 6Music days are nearly at an end. I’ve very much enjoyed your shows over the years, but I suppose everything comes to an end (or, as I learned from The Outsiders, nothing gold can stay). Sounds like you’ll be making good use of your extra time. Perhaps a podcast will be in your future. Many more triumphs ahead!

  46. Nice one, Andrew. Congratulations on the award! Can’t wait to see the show.Must say I’m pretty sad to hear your 6Music days are nearly at an end. I’ve very much enjoyed your shows over the years, but I suppose everything comes to an end (or, as I learned from The Outsiders, nothing gold can stay). Sounds like you’ll be making good use of your extra time. Perhaps a podcast will be in your future. Many more triumphs ahead!

  47. Andrew – On the subject of parakeets, you might be interested in this link.CheersGwenhttp://innocentdrinks.typepad.com/innocent_drinks/2007/03/ringnecked_para.html

  48. Andrew – On the subject of parakeets, you might be interested in this link.CheersGwenhttp://innocentdrinks.typepad.com/innocent_drinks/2007/03/ringnecked_para.html

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