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Dame Jacqueline Wilson to Receive BAFTA Special Award

13 November 2017
Jacqueline Wilson - July 2012 . ©James JordanJames Jordan Photography

Critically-acclaimed author to be honoured at the British Academy Children’s Awards on Sunday 26 November

The British Academy of Film and Television Arts has announced today that Dame Jacqueline Wilson, one of the UK’s leading children authors, will be honoured with the Special Award at this year’s British Academy Children’s Awards on 26 November at the Roundhouse, London.

The Special Award celebrates excellence and recognises Wilson’s outstanding contribution to British children’s television and media through the adaptation of her ever-popular work.

With a writing career spanning over 45 years, Jacqueline Wilson has created some of the nation’s best-loved children’s characters, many of which have gone on to become BAFTA-winning and nominated screen adaptations, including: The Story of Tracy Beaker; The Dumping Ground; Hetty Feather; Girls in Love; Double Act; Dustbin Baby and The Illustrated Mum.

Helen Blakeman, Chair of the BAFTA Children’s Committee, said: “Jacqueline Wilson’s impact on children’s media has touched and inspired both audience and industry alike, with popular characters such as Tracy Beaker and Hetty Feather providing the inspiration behind much-celebrated, long running series and single event pieces. Behind-the-scenes, Jacqueline has played an integral role in this process, allowing broadcasters and creators both the freedom and support necessary to adapt her stories into award-winning and often ground-breaking television. With this year marking the 15th anniversary of the Tracy Beaker-inspired drama series, there is no better time than now to award Jacqueline as 2017’s Special Award recipient.”

Dame Jacqueline Wilson said: “I’m so pleased and proud to be given this very special award.  I’m very much looking forward to the event and being able to celebrate with all the talented people who have made this possible.”

Jacqueline Wilson has sold millions of books worldwide and in the UK alone the total now stands at over 40 million. She was born in Bath in 1945, but spent most of her childhood in Kingston-on-Thames. She always wanted to be a writer and wrote her first ‘novel’ when she was nine. As a teenager, she started to work for a magazine publishing company and then went on to work as a journalist on Jackie magazine before turning to writing novels full-time.

One of Jacqueline Wilson’s most successful and enduring creations has been the famous Tracy Beaker, who first appeared in her award-winning 1991 novel The Story of Tracy Beaker. Wilson’s Tracy Beaker novels have inspired many BAFTA-winning and nominated screen adaptations, including The Story of Tracy Beaker, Tracy Beaker Returns, Tracy Beaker's The Movie Of Me and spin-off series The Dumping Ground.

Jacqueline Wilson’s other novels have also featured on countless television award shortlists and have gone on to win many of them. Following Cliffhanger, adapted for Channel 4 in 1995, Double Act went on to be adapted into a BAFTA-nominated single drama for the broadcaster in 2002. Following this critical acclaim, her novel The Illustrated Mum was adapted into a multi-BAFTA-winning mini-series in 2003. More of Jacqueline Wilson’s adapted work also includes the BAFTA and International Emmy award-winning single drama Dustbin Baby (BBCOne/CBBC), BAFTA-nominated series Girls in Love for ITV and BAFTA-nominated Hetty Feather, now in its fourth season for CBBC.

In the literary world, awards and accolades include the prestigious Smarties Medal and Children’s Book Award for Double Act, as well as being highly commended for the Carnegie Medal for both this work and The Story of Tracy Beaker. The Illustrated Mum (1999) won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Award, the Children’s Book of the Year at the British Book Awards, and was also shortlisted for the Whitbread Children’s Book Award. In The Big Read, a 2003 poll conducted by the BBC, four of Wilson's books were ranked among the 100 most popular books in the UK.

One of Britain’s most popular children’s authors ever, Jacqueline’s work plays an integral role in introducing the nation’s children to the joys of reading.

In 2002 Wilson was awarded the OBE for services to literacy in schools and from 2005 to 2007 she was the Children’s Laureate. In 2008, she became Dame Jacqueline Wilson.

The British Academy Children’s Awards ceremony will take place on Sunday 26 November at The Roundhouse, London. For information on tickets, please visit

For further information:
Amanda Hearn at freuds
T 020 3003 6456
E [email protected]

Hephzibah Kwakye-Saka at freuds
T 020 3003 6482
E [email protected]

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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