The Life of Muhammad wins top prize at Sandford St Martin Trust Awards

The BBC2 documentary was praised at the event for tackling a difficult subject with great sensitivity


BBC2 documentary The Life of Muhammad has won the top TV prize at this year’s Sandford St Martin Trust Awards.


The awards ceremony, which took place at Lambeth Palace on Wednesday 23 May, is held annually to celebrate the best religious broadcasting in the UK over the past 12 months.

Announcing the TV winner, journalist Paul Donovan praised the way The Life of Muhammad had tackled a difficult subject with admirable sensitivity.

He said “This is a subject around which much ignorance has festered – and the programme convincingly debunked many of the western-based myths about the Prophet Muhammad and Islam.”

The event’s top radio prize was won by BBC Radio Scotland’s Resurrection Stories, in which presenter Anna Magnusson reflected hopefully on the death of her brother Sigi.

Priscilla Chadwick, chair of the Awards’ radio judges said: “This was a most impressive programme…a very reflective, highly personal and deeply theological exploration of the issues which allowed space for ‘questioning hopefully’ that one day Anna would be reunited with her much loved brother.”

Radio Times editor Ben Preston was also on hand at the event to hand over the Radio Times Readers’ Award to the three-part Songs of Praise 50th Anniversary.

The Chairman of the Sandford St Martin Trust, The Right Rev Nicholas Baines, Bishop of Bradford praised the imaginative programming that had been entered for the awards, and explained that religious programming is no longer of marginal interest.

He said: “Religion is not primarily about mere ideas; it is about people, communities and the stuff of human existence. It is rich, ripe and fertile soil for stories that expand and enrich our understanding of life and its biggest questions.”

A full list of this year’s winners is below:


2012 Television winners

Premier Award:
The Life of Muhammad: Ep 1 – The Seeker
(Crescent Films for BBC2)

Runner Up:
The King James Bible: The Book that Changed the World
(BBC Religion for BBC2)

Merit Award 1:
Ian Hislop: When Bankers Were Good
(Wingspan productions for BBC2)

Merit Award 2:
Wonderland: A Hasidic Guide to Love, Marriage and Finding a Bride

(BBC Factual for BBC2)

2012 Radio Winners

Premier Prize:
Resurrection Stories
(BBC Radio Scotland)
Runner Up:
Faith and 9/11
(TBI media for BBC Radio2) 

Merit Award 1:
Something Understood: Abraham
(Unique: the Production Company for BBC Radio 4)  

Merit Award 2:
Good Friday Reflection
(Central FM)