The Secret History of Our Streets has won the Radio Times Reader’s Choice Award at the Grierson British Documentary Awards.
Presenting the prize for the BBC2 series, in which a variety of directors examined the personalities and history of various London streets, Radio Times editor Ben Preston said: “Such was the strength of the shortlist that Radio Times’ readers agonised and then voted in their thousands for this award.”
“They chose a documentary series which was so much more than a about bricks and mortar, one which beguiled viewers by unearthing poignant human stories in a largely undiscovered and neglected place and brought the history of our capital to vivid life.”
The prize was one of 14 given at the 41st British Documentary Awards, better known as the Griersons because they commemorate the pioneering Scottish documentary maker John Grierson (1898–1972), famous for Drifters and Night Mail and the man widely regarded as the father of documentary.
Hosted by TV presenter and journalist Claudia Winkleman, Monday night’s awards ceremony took place on London’s Southbank at Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Other winners included ventriloquist Nina Conti who trook home the Nyman Libson Paul Most Entertaining Documentary award for her docu-mocumentary requiem Nina Conti: A Ventriloquist’s Story – Her Master’s Voice.
The Vinten Best Science or Natural History Documentary Award was presented to director Tom Coveney for his worldwide quest to discover How To Build a Bionic Man.
Imagine: The Fatwa – Salman’s Story won the Halo Best Arts Documentary award, presented to the show’s host Alan Yentob and director Jill Nicholls.
Grayson Perry was named Clockwork Capital Best Documentary Presenter for the documentary All in the Best Possible Taste. The judges commended Grayson’s “immersive, enthusiastic and funny” style.
The Open University Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme – Domestic award went to director Ben Anthony for 7/7: One Day in London, which illustrated the effects of the terrorist attacks on London in 2005.
Dawn Airey, Chairman of The Grierson Trust opened the evening saying: “A Grierson Award is now rightly recognised as one of the industry’s most prestigious accolades. What really makes these awards special is the talent and dedication of the nominees and the scale, scope and ambition of the films they have created.
“We have documentaries featuring countries from as far afield as: Peru, India, Afghanistan, Mexico, Sri Lanka, Iraq, Syria, Australia, Palestine, the USA, China and Kenya, demonstrating the truly international nature of these awards.”
Viewers will be able to watch the awards on Sky Atlantic HD on Thursday 8 November at 9pm
The winners in full :
The Open University Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme — Domestic
7/7: One Day in London
Ben Anthony for Minnow Films; first shown: BBC Two
Shell Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme — International
Law of the Jungle
Michael Christoffersen, Hans La Cour for Radiator Film; first shown: Sheffield Doc/Fest
ITN Source Best Documentary on Current Affairs
Syria: Across the Lines
Olly Lambert for Quicksilver Media; first shown: Channel 4
Halo Best Arts Documentary
Imagine: The Fatwa – Salman’s Story
Jill Nicholls for BBC; first shown: BBC One
ITN Source Best Historical Documentary
The Secret History of Our Streets: Deptford High Street
Joseph Bullman for Century Films & Halcyon Heart Films; first shown: BBC Two
Vinten Best Science or Natural History Documentary
How to Build a Bionic Man
Tom Coveney for Darlow Smithson Productions; first shown: Channel 4
Nyman Libson Paul Most Entertaining Documentary
Nina Conti: A Ventriloquist’s Story – Her Master’s Voice
Nina Conti; first shown: BBC Four
Envy Best Documentary Series
The Year The Town Hall Shrank
David Nath, James Newton for Blast! Films; first shown: BBC Four
Bertha DocHouse Best Cinema Documentary
The House I Live In
Eugene Jarecki for Charlotte Street Films; first shown: Sheffield Doc/Fest
CTVC Best Newcomer Documentary
High Tech, Low Life
Stephen Maing for Mud Horse Pictures, LLC; first shown: Sheffield Doc/Fest
Sky Atlantic Best Student Documentary
Adeyemi Michael for National Film and Television School; first shown: BFI Southbank
Documentary Presenter of the Year
GRAYSON PERRY for All in the Best Possible Taste with Grayson Perry
Seneca Productions; first shown: Channel 4
Radio Times Readers’ Choice Award
The Secret History Of Our Streets
Joseph Bullman, Brian Hill, Mary Cranitch, Paul Berczeller, Chris Durlacher for Century Films, Halcyon’s Heart Films
Coutts Grierson Trustees’ Award