You may not recognise the name Serena Armitage but we'll wager you've heard of the programmes she makes. The producer collected an Oscar last night for her work on the Irish short film Stutterer (directed by debutant Ben Cleary).
The 13-minute flick portrays an isolated man who awkwardly struggles to overcome a speech impediment and form a meaningful relationship with another person – and Armitage is no stranger to portraying awkward struggles. As full time producer of the (sometimes painfully) competitive culinary show Come Dine with Me, it’s back to making episodes Monday.
“It’s been wonderful to get the time to come over but then it’s back to reality immediately as I land, it’s straight to work,” she said
Serena was part of a team of four that accepted the award. As the only Irish nominee to win anything on the night, Dublin-based director Ben Cleary added, “Every day is a proud day to be Irish, but today even more so.”
Armitage didn’t mince her words in a brief acceptance speech where she thanked the team for their efforts and “the Academy for honouring short films.”
The producer, from Yorkshire, is not the first British filmmaker to taste success in the Short Film category.
Peter Capaldi, before he was Malcolm Tucker or the Doctor, was honoured for his writing and directing of the 1995 winner Franz Kafka’s It’s a Wonderful Life. The short film follows a frustrated Franz Kafka (played by Richard E Grant) being continually interrupted by ridiculous events as he tries to write the first lines of his novella Metamorphosis.
However, the 23-minute long film ends happily in the Christmas snowfall. If only every episode of Come Dine with Me concluded with such goodwill and harmony…