The Dennis Potter Writer's Award



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Known variously as the Dennis Potter Play of the Year Award, the Dennis Potter Screenwriting Award, and the Dennis Potter Award,was set up on 16th June 1995, a year after Potter's death, to nurture and encourage the work of new writers of talent and personal vision.

According to Bafta, it is "given to a single individual or occasionally to a team for outstanding writing".

"Its spirit is that of the writer who provides its name, probably the greatest writing talent to have worked in television." BBC

However, the BBC Writersroom page indicates, perhaps ironically with Cold Lazarus or some such in mind, that "... we do not want to encourage clones of Dennis Potter" !!!

I'm not convinced that talent such as Potter's can be cloned : at the very least it results from a combination of intellect, vision, passion and, perhaps above all, personal experience.

As far as I can discover there is no single definitive source for identifying the winners of this award, so, after some research on the Web, I contacted BAFTA direct and was provided with the following definitive list.

My thanks are due to Donna Bell at BAFTA for her hard work and speediness. Thanks, Donna!


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Winner of the BAFTA Writers Award prior to 1995

1954 Iain McCormack
1955 Colin Morris
1956 Spike Milligan
1957 Colin Morris
1958 Colin Morris/Ken Hughes
1959 Alan Simpson/RayGalton
1960 Alun Owen
1961 Giles Cooper
1962 Troy Kennedy Martin
1963 Harold Pinter
1964 Ken Taylor
1965 Michael Mills/Richard Waring
1966 Dennis Potter
1967 John Hopkins
1968 Marty Feldman/Barry Took
1969 John Terraine
1970 Colin Welland
1971 Benny Hill
1972 Award Discontinued
1973 Award Discontinued
1974 Award Discontinued

1975 Dick Clement/Ian La Frenais
1976 Jack Rosenthal
1977 Tom Stoppard
1978 Dennis Potter
1979 John Mortimer
1980 Trevor Preston
1981 Trevor Griffiths
1982 Alan Bleasdale
1983 Alan Bennett
1984 Leon Griffiths
1985 Arthur Hopcraft
1986 John Sullivan
1987 Antony Jay/Jonathan Lynn
1989 Andrew Davies
1990 Simon Gray
1991 G. F. Newman
1992 Laurence Marks/Maurice Gran
1993 John McGrath
1994 Jimmy McGovern

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Winner of the BAFTA Dennis Potter Award since 1994

1994 Jimmy McGovern (first winner)

1995 Roy Clarke
1996 Peter Flannery
1997 Kay Mellor
1998 David Renwick
1999 Tony Marchant
2000 Lynda La Plante
2001 Stephen Poliakof
2002 "Not Given" but see this page on Rosemary Kay's "This Little Life"
2003 Paul Abbott

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