Piper Alpha film shortlisted in RTS awards

A DOCUMENTARY charting the life and death of speed record breaker Donald Campbell and a film featuring testimonies from survivors of the Piper Alpha disaster are among programmes nominated for a new awards competition celebrating the best of the nation’s television.

Fire in the Night has been nominated as best factual programme. Picture: Contributed

The Royal Television Society’s inaugural Awards Scotland ceremony covers a range of output spanning current affairs, factual programming, drama, sport and children’s television.

In the factual category there are three nominations, including one for Fire in the Night, a documentary on the tragedy when an explosion on the Piper Alpha rig killed 167 men. The BBC Scotland film is based on a book of the same name by Scotsman journalist Stephen McGinty.

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Another BBC documentary, Donald Campbell: Speed King, is nominated in the same category. The film, first shown on BBC2, tells the story of Campbell, who died in 1967 while in pursuit of the water speed record.

Also nominated is The Day Kennedy Died, an ITV co-production narrated by Kevin Spacey exploring the assassination of US President John F Kennedy.

In the drama category, three BBC programmes will compete for the prize: Shetland, the crime series from Ann Cleeves’ books; Field of Blood, adapted from Denise Mina’s novels; and The Challenger, a factual drama with William Hurt on the 1986 Challenger space shuttle disaster.

The BBC also dominates the comedy category, with three of its best-loved shows up for nomination – the Limmy’s Show Christmas Special, Mrs Brown’s Boys and Bob Servant.

Similarly, the children’s award nominations are all from the BBC stable, with Officially Amazing and All Over the Place USA and Katie Morag and the Tiresome Ted shortlisted.

In the Scoop of the Year category covering news output, BBC investigative journalist Mark Daly and producer Murdoch Rodgers are nominated for Sins of Our Fathers, examining abuse at Fort Augustus Abbey school.

Peter Smith of STV News, recognised for his reports on former Rangers chief executive Charles Green and an investigation into the links between cannabis cultivation and people trafficking, is also nominated, alongside Nicole Kleeman and Cathy Newman, who broke the story of an alleged history of sexual harassment by Lord Rennard during his time as an official of the Liberal Democrats.

In the Television Journalist of the Year category, Daly is nominated alongside STV News at Six reporter David Cowan.

BT Sport is nominated for best live sports event for its coverage of the SPFL Premiership, alongside the BBC’s broadcast of the 2013 League Cup final between Hearts and St Mirren, and its coverage of the Great Scottish Run.

James Wilson, chairman of RTS Scotland, said: “RTS is grateful to everybody who has given their time to the planning and judging of these awards. We were delighted to receive over a hundred entries from 26 different production companies.”

The awards committee includes Stuart Cosgrove, Channel 4’s director of creative diversity, Donalda McKinnon, head of programmes and services at BBC Scotland, and Bobby Hain, STV’s director of channels. The winners will be announced at a ceremony, hosted by Catriona Shearer of Reporting Scotland and comic Sanjeev Kohli, on 11 June at Oran Mor in Glasgow



• Piper Alpha: Fire in the Night, STV Productions and Berriff McGinty Films for BBC Two

• Donald Campbell: Speed King, Tern TV

• The Day Kennedy Died, ITV/Finestripe Productions


• The Challenger, BBC Scotland Science Unit

• Shetland, BBC Scotland/ITV Studios

• Field of Blood, BBC Scotland/Slate North

News Coverage

• STV News, STV

• STV News North, STV

• BBC Reporting Scotland & BBC Scotland Investigates, BBC Scotland

Scoop of the Year

• Nicole Kleeman and Cathy Newman, Firecrest Films for Channel 4 News

• Peter Smith, STV News

• Mark Daly and Murdoch Rodgers, BBC Scotland News and Current Affairs

Sport - Live Event

• The Production Team, Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run, Filmnova Sport Production for BBC

• Steven Robson and Darin Gardiner, BT Sport Friday night football - Motherwell v Celtic, Sunset & Vine Productions Ltd for BT Sport

• David Harron, The Scottish Communities League Cup Final - St Mirren v Heart of Midlothian, BBC Scotland

Sport programme

• Alan MacDonald and Margot McCuaig, Gothenburg ‘83, Purple TV for BBC Alba

• David Stoddart and Jo Roe, Driven: The Fastest Woman in the World, BBC Two

• Richard Else and Margaret Wicks, The Adventure Show: The Celtman, Triple Echo Productions for BBC Scotland


• Bob Servant, BBC Two Scotland

• Mrs Brown’s Boys, BBC/BocPix/RTE

• Limmy’s Show Christmas Special, BBC/BBC One/The Comedy Unit


• Officially Amazing, CBBC/Lion Television Scotland

• Katie Morag and the Tiresome Ted, Move on Up/Struay Pictures for CBeebies

• All over the place USA, BBC Scotland

Student Television Award

• Michael Crumley, Rosemary Levine and Jonathan Blair, Hannah, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland

• Pawel Grzyb, Christopher McGill and Michal Zagorski, Untold Story, Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art

• Ally Lockhart, Ruth Gallacher, Chris McGarrity, Kyle Spence and Guy Thomson, Fist Punch, City of Glasgow College

• Adam Gierasmiuk, Poyo and Neko, Edinburgh College of Art

Television Journalist of the Year

• David Cowan, STV News at Six, STV

• Mark Daly, BBC Scotland Investigates and Newsnight, BBC Scotland

Professional Excellence: Camera

• Carlo D’Alessandro, Michael Palin in Wyeth’s World, BBC Scotland for BBC Two

• Richard Cook, Kathry Ross, Arlene Jeffrey and Paul Murton, Grand Tour in the Scottish Islands, BBC Scotland/Timeline Films

• Alan Harcus, BBC Scotland

Professional Excellence: Sound

• Jim Hunter, Comic Relief Does Glee Club Live Final, The Royal Edinburgh Military Tattoo & Hogmanay Live, BBC

• John Cobban, Vinnie Jones: Russia’s Toughest, Tern TV for National Geographic

• Nainita Desai and Malcom Laws, The Day Kennedy Died, ITV/Finestripe Productions

Professional Excellence: Post production: Editing

• John Steventon, Super Human Challenge, BBC Scotland for CBBC

• Jonathan Seal, Sincerely, F Scott Fitzgerald, BBC Two

• Laura Wilson, Michael Palin in Wyeth’s World, BBC Scotland

Professional Excellence: Post production: Graphics & Titling

• Kathryn Ross, Paul Murton, Kevin McCrae, Johnny Harris and Arlene Jeffrey, Dreaming the Impossible: Unbuilt Britain, BBC Four/Timeline Films/Playdead

• Damien Smith, Mark Breslin and Clyde Lawson, The Shooting Gallery, ISO Design Channel 4

• Damien Smith, Mark Breslin and Clyde Lawson, Bear Grylls: Escape from Hell, ISO Design/Sky/Discovery/Betty TV

The Digital Innovation Award

• Damien Smith, Mark Breslin and Clyde Lawson, Gallery of Lost Art, ISO Design/Tate/Channel 4/AHRC

• Allan MacDonald and Margot McCuaig, BookCity Edinburgh, Purple TV