BBC launches new Audio Drama Awards

From the BBC Press Office:
Today sees the launch of the BBC Audio Drama Awards. The awards aim to celebrate and recognise the cultural importance of audio drama, on air and online, and to give recognition to the actors, writers, producers, sound designers, and others who work in the genre.
The short-listed entries will be announced on Monday 9 January 2012 and the winners announced at a ceremony to be held on Sunday 29 January 2012 in the Radio Theatre at BBC Broadcasting House, London.
The award categories are:
Best Audio Drama
Best Actor in an Audio Drama
Best Actress in an Audio Drama
Best Supporting Actor/Actress in an Audio Drama
Best Adaptation from Another Source (script award)
Best Use of Sound in an Audio Drama
Best Scripted Comedy Drama
Best Online Only Audio Drama
Innovation Award
Tim Davie, Director of BBC Audio & Music, says: "As a devotee, I know that radio drama builds a uniquely deep connection with its audience, as well as being hugely important to the nation's cultural and creative life. It deserves to be formally recognised, and the BBC, which invests in so many outstanding productions, is very proud to launch these awards."
David Hare, playwright, says: "Great radio plays are still produced in such abundance and to such high standards that we either miss them or take them for granted. The BBC's new Audio Awards will draw welcome attention to some of the many which might have got away."
David Tennant, actor, says: "The quality of our radio drama is one of the things that makes me proud to be British. Acting on the radio is challenging, inspiring, delicate and always a privilege. Radio drama is often overlooked and undervalued next to its showier younger siblings on the television and in the cinema, and yet it is on the wireless that so many important and brilliant talents have been discovered and nurtured. I am delighted radio drama is being celebrated in this way, it's about time."
Lynne Truss, author and journalist, says: "Every day of the week there is great drama on the radio, acted by great actors and produced with great expertise and creativity. The only problem is that sometimes the best stuff is easy to miss! I'm so pleased the BBC is launching these awards."
Bill Nighy, actor, says: "Radio drama is to be treasured: an essential part of our country's experience."
Johnny Vegas, actor, writer and comedian, says: "Radio drama is both a leveller and a kingmaker. It brings writers, actors and directors the challenge of working with drastically smaller budgets than in TV or film production – but that in turn comes with a hugely valuable freedom because commissioners will take risks and experiment.
"History constantly reaffirms it but we tend not to recognise it – that despite being one of the oldest mediums, this is still the avant garde for broadcasting."
The closing date for submissions will be midnight on 14 November 2011.
Further details are available online on
the BBC Radio Blog.