You are here

BAFTA Honours Ray Merrin with Special Award

29 January 2018
Event: A Tribute to Ray MerrinDate: Wednesday 24 January 2018Venue: Host:- Area: Portraits BAFTA/Jonny Birch

BAFTA-nominated re-recording mixer honoured at ‘A BAFTA Tribute: Ray Merrin’

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has honoured legendary re-recording mixer Ray Merrin with a BAFTA Special Award for his outstanding contribution to sound design. The Special Award was presented to Ray Merrin’s wife, Hazel, at a BAFTA Tribute event yesterday evening at BAFTA 195 Piccadilly in London. The event had been scheduled prior to Ray Merrin’s death on Monday 15 January and continued as planned at the request of his family. 

Read the tribute's official brochure here

Marc Samuelson, Chair of BAFTA’s Film Committee, commented: “Ray Merrin’s contribution to film is truly outstanding. Through his unstinting dedication to his craft, he produced sound mixes for many of the finest and most memorable films from the past 50 years. We’re honoured to pay tribute to his career through this Special Award.”

At the event, hosted by film journalist and writer Ian Haydn Smith, the audience revisited some of Merrin’s most well-known work, and heard from a selection of his most esteemed collaborators including directors, producers and fellow crew members.

Amongst the industry figures who gave tribute to Merrin were: Sir Ridley Scott, Barbra Streisand, Sir Alan Parker, Lord David Puttnam and Walter Murch.

BAFTA hosts a small number of Tribute events each year to recognise major figures in the film, games and television industries who have made a significant contribution to the moving arts and demonstrated excellence in their field. In recent years, BAFTA has paid tribute to writer-producer Henry Normal, editor Terry Rawlings, journalist and broadcaster Peter Taylor OBE, factual filmmaker Roger Graef, broadcaster Delia Smith, costume designer Phyllis Dalton, production designer Sir Ken Adam, producer Betty Willingale, cinematographer Douglas Slocombe, animator Ray Harryhausen and director Nicolas Roeg.

Ray Merrin’s career in film spanned five decades, during which time he brought sound to many of the most celebrated films in cinema history.

In 1953, when he was 15 years old, Merrin started working as a lighting operator at a cinema and variety theatre in St. Leonards-on-Sea. In 1959 Merrin secured a job in the re-recording room at Elstree Film Studios in Borehamwood, following his national service in the RAF, during which time he became the chief projectionist of the sole cinema at his base in Aden. After a five year apprenticeship at Elstree, he was appointed as re-recording mixer, working with Len Shilton and Eddie Haben, who had given Merrin his first job a decade earlier.

Merrin worked at Elstree for 25 years, and during this time he helped bring state-of-the art sound to countless box office successes and award-winning films, as well as popular TV series such as Danger Man, The Prisoner, The Saint and The Avengers. It was on the latter two shows that Ray began his creative partnership with Bill Rowe. Amongst the many acclaimed films they worked on together were A Clockwork Orange (1971), Tommy (1975), Midnight Express (1978), The Killing Fields (1984), The Mission (1986), The Last Emperor (1987) and Memphis Belle (1990). It was on Tommy (1975) and then Watership Down (1978) that Ray Merrin began working with Terry Rawlings, who had moved from sound to a successful career as an editor. Their collaboration resulted in a lifelong friendship, and in 2014 Merrin presented Rawlings with his own BAFTA Special Award.

From Elstree, Merrin was invited by Ridley Scott to become the re-recording mixer at Shepperton. His work there saw him receive four BAFTA nominations, for Hilary and Jackie and Little Voice (both 1998), Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (2001) and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (2002). It was also during this time that he embarked on another creatively rich collaboration, with Danny Boyle. He remained at Shepperton until he retired in 2003.

Ray Merrin’s Special Award was agreed by BAFTA’s Film Committee in October 2017.

Selected Filmography:

2004     The Blue Butterfly

2003     Johnny English

2002     The Hours

2002     Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

2002     28 Days Later…

2002     The Count of Monte Cristo

2001     Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone

2001     Strictly Sinatra

2001     Bridget Jones’s Diary

2000     Greenfingers 

2000     The Beach

1999     Mansfield Park

1999     eXistenZ

1998     Hilary and Jackie

1998     Little Voice

1997     G.I. Jane

1996     Brassed Off

1996     When Saturday Comes

1996     Trainspotting

1995     The Neon Bible

1994     Shallow Grave

1994     Tom & Viv

1994     Being Human

1993     The Baby of Mâcon

1992     City of Joy

1990     Memphis Belle

1990     Everybody Wins

1989     Batman

1988     The Land Before Time

1988     The Lair of the White Worm

1987     The Last Emperor

1986     An American Tail

1986     The Mission

1986     Clockwise

1986     F/X

1985     Return to Oz

1984     Birdy

1984     The Killing Fields

1983     Yentl

1983     Never Say Never Again

1983     Krull

1983     The Hunger

1983     Local Hero

1982     The Dark Crystal

1981     Chariots of Fire

1981     The French Lieutenant’s Woman

1981     The Great Muppet Caper

1980     The Shining

1979     Alien

1979     Quadrophenia

1978     Watership Down

1978     Midnight Express

1977     Cross of Iron

1977     Jabberwocky

1974     Stardust

1974     Murder on the Orient Express

1975     Barry Lyndon

1975     The Rocky Horror Picture Show

1975     Tommy

1971     A Clockwork Orange

1970     The Railway Children

1968     The Birthday Party

1968     The Devil Rides Out

1965     The Brigand of Kandahar (uncredited)

For further information and interview requests please contact:
Alice Le Maistre at freuds
T 020 3003 6595.
E [email protected]

For press photography, please visit: A selection of images can be found in the folder entitled ‘BAFTA Events 2018’.

For accreditation, press releases and transcripts visit:


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is a world-leading independent arts charity that brings the very best work in film, games and television to public attention and supports the growth of creative talent in the UK and internationally. Through its Awards ceremonies and year-round programme of learning events and initiatives – which includes workshops, masterclasses, scholarships, lectures and mentoring schemes in the UK, USA and Asia – BAFTA identifies and celebrates excellence, discovers, inspires and nurtures new talent, and enables learning and creative collaboration. For advice and inspiration from the best creative minds in working in film, games and television, visit For more, visit