Television producer and writer to be honoured at Children’s Awards ceremony on 24 November
London, 13 November 2013: The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has today announced that Biddy Baxter, television producer and writer, will be presented with the Special Award at this year’s British Academy Children’s Awards on Sunday 24 November at the London Hilton on Park Lane.
The Special Award recognises an individual’s outstanding contribution to children’s media and the entertainment industry. This year, the Award will be presented by Biddy’s long-term friend, Sir David Attenborough.
Harvey Elliott, Chairman of BAFTA’s Children’s Committee, said: “Biddy's impact on children’s media and entertainment is undeniable. She is a veritable national institution and we are delighted to honour her contribution at the Children’s Awards ceremony on 24 November.”
Biddy first joined the BBC in 1955 as a radio studio manager, later becoming the producer of Listen with Mother and School Radio’s Junior English programmes and then of BBC Television Children’s Programmes. She then worked as Editor of Blue Peter from 1962 to 1988 during which time the programme won 22 awards and Biddy herself received 12 BAFTA nominations, winning two. Together with Edward Barnes and Rosemary Gill, Biddy devised the Blue Peter Badge and instigated the annual Blue Peter Appeals, which have raised millions of pounds for charities at home and abroad. She left Blue Peter on 27 June 1988 and viewers saw her awarded the programme's highest honour: a gold Blue Peter badge. She was also appointed an MBE in 1981. In 2003, in memory of her late husband, Biddy founded the John Hosier Music Trust with Sir Simon Rattle as Patron to provide scholarships to enable outstandingly talented but impoverished music students to undertake their all-important postgraduate studies; so far, 11 scholarships have been awarded and two special awards. Her book, Dear Blue Peter... which was published in 2008 with 50 years of letters and emails from viewers, raised £20,000 for the Trust.
Biddy Baxter said: “I’ve been incredibly lucky to have had such a long and rewarding broadcasting career, and to have worked with such talented and creative colleagues and so many outstanding presenters! Thank you BAFTA so very much for this unexpected and greatly prized Award.”
For further information, please contact Esther Paterson at freuds
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Notes to Editors
The British Academy Children’s Awards were introduced as a stand-alone ceremony in 1996 and they have been held at the London Hilton on Park Lane since 1999. They attract an industry audience of approx. 650. The Awards are predominantly supported by broadcasters and independent production companies but guests are drawn from all areas of children’s media including film, television, games and online. The Awards are traditionally held the last Sunday in November and have become a well-established date for the children’s industry. Hosts have included Barney Harwood, Keith Chegwin, Fearne Cotton, Reggie Yates, Richard Blackwood and Emma Bunton.
The following categories will be presented at the ceremony in November: Animation, Channel of the Year, Comedy, Drama, Entertainment, Factual, Feature Film, Game, Independent Production Company of the Year, International, Learning – Primary, Learning – Secondary, Multiplatform, Original Interactive, Performer, Pre-School Animation, Pre-School Live Action, Presenter, Short Form and Writer. BAFTA Kids’ Vote awards will also be presented for Feature Film, Television, Game and Website.
The British Academy of Film and Television Arts is an independent charity that supports, develops and promotes the art forms of the moving image by identifying and rewarding excellence, inspiring practitioners and benefiting the public. In addition to its Awards ceremonies, BAFTA has a year-round Learning & Events programme that offers unique access to some of the world’s most inspiring talent through workshops, masterclasses, lectures, scholarships and mentoring schemes, connecting with audiences of all ages and backgrounds across the UK, Los Angeles and New York. BAFTA relies on income from membership subscriptions, individual donations, trusts, foundations and corporate partnerships to support its ongoing outreach work. For further information, visit www.bafta.org and www.bafta.org/guru.
About Biddy Baxter
After graduating from Durham University in 1955 Biddy joined the BBC as a radio studio manager. She became the producer of Listen with Mother and Schools Radio’s Junior English programmes and in 1961 joined BBC Television Children’s Programmes. She was Editor of Blue Peter from 1962 to 1988 and together with Edward Barnes and Rosemary Gill devised the Blue Peter Badge to encourage children to send their ideas for the programme – resulting in a weekly postbag of 7,000 letters.
They also instigated the annual Blue Peter Appeals which ask children to organise Bring and Buy Sales or to collect rubbish to be recycled. These Appeals have raised millions of pounds for charities at home and abroad.
Whilst Biddy was Editor of Blue Peter, the programme won 22 awards and Biddy herself received 12 BAFTA nominations and won two BAFTAs. She was appointed an MBE in 1981 and in 1988 received an honorary degree of Doctor of Letters from the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne – followed by honorary degrees from the Universities of Durham and Leicester.
In 2003, in memory of her late husband, Biddy founded the John Hosier Music Trust, with Sir Simon Rattle as Patron, to provide Scholarships to enable outstandingly talented but impoverished music students to undertake their all important postgraduate studies. So far eleven Scholarships have been awarded and two Special Awards. Her book “Dear Blue Peter ...”, published in 2008 with 50 years of letters and emails from viewers, raised £20,000 for the Trust.