Sally Phillips documentary A World Without Down’s Syndrome? wins Sandford St Martin Radio Times Readers’ Award

The actor’s personal and powerful documentary about Down’s Syndrome wins the Radio Times Readers' Award at the Sanford St Martins Awards for religious broadcasting


A World Without Down’s Syndrome, the BBC documentary fronted by actor Sally Phillips, has won the Radio Times Readers’ Award at the Sandford St Martin Awards for programmes about faith, belief and ethics.


The actor, whose son Olly was born with Down’s Syndrome, challenged the wisdom of a new screening test and its possible availability on the NHS, talking to experts in the Down’s syndrome community, top scientists and people with Down’s, to ask whether we would really want to live in a world without it.

“I started making my BBC2 documentary because I don’t feel that Down’s Syndrome is a disability so severe that it warrants such huge government investment in so many state-of-the-art tests,” Phillips wrote in an article in Radio Times magazine. “Some advocacy groups believed it was a government objective to reduce the Down’s Syndrome population to save money. I really hoped they were wrong.”

Phillips picked up the award in a ceremony on Wednesday night at Lambeth Palace along with her son Olly, sharing her thanks for all those who voted.

A World Without Down’s Syndrome? beat BBC2’s Muslims like Us, BBC1’s Battle for the Soul of Christianity, BBC1’s In the Footsteps of Judas, Radio 4’s PM and the Amazon Christmas advert detailing the friendship between an Imam and a Vicar.


The Sandford St Martin’s Trust promotes excellence in religious programming.