Sunday, 5 October 2008

ITV3 CRIME DRAMA AWARDS - winners and report


Bourne, Ian Rankin, Colin Dexter & The Wire

Celebrate Wins at Inaugural Awards

The Ballroom of the Grosvenor Hotel in Park Lane, London, was the location for the inaugural ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards. The room was packed with writers, agents, industry people and a host of TV stars. From Lee Child, Val McDermind, Jeffrey Deaver, Michael Robothom, P.D. James, Ruth Rendell, Roger Jon Ellory to Robson Green, Marie Helvin, Raza Jaffrey, Keeley Hawes and Alex Walkinshaw. Obviously there were many more but the above is just a teaser.

Executive producer Amanda Ross spoke about how excited she was that ITV3 and Cactus TV was able to present this new award and believed it would grow from strength to strength. The event was hosted by actor, Alan Davis, himself no stranger to the crime and thriller genre. The winners were presented with their awards by a selection of star names, led by Dame Helen Mirren, Robson Green and Ricky Gervais. The ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards will be broadcast on Monday 6th October at 2200 on ITV3.

Before sitting down for the event I spoke to Roger Jon Ellory about his new book A Simple Act of Violence which had just been published. It’s a big doorstep of a book that dented my floor when it landed. Mind you it was in company with another big ‘un Dennis Lehane’s The Given Day. When I mentioned to Roger about the length of the book he said that we got the cut down version. “Why so long?” I asked in all innocence. “I just can’t shut up,” came his honest reply. He was in the company of his editor, Jon Wood, and the gorgeous supermodel Marie Helvin. She could still give some of the current supermodels a run for their money. As a young man, I remember her photoshoots for David Bailey – and yes, that is an admission.

I was sat at a table near the stage with fellow Crime Fest organizers Adrian Muller, Myles Allfrey and Liz Hatherell. We were joined by Coronation Street stars Helen Worth (Gail Platt) and Michael le Veil (Kevin Webster) and his friend, Stevie Bell. In the course of the conversation Helen said that Michael was a big crime fan and we spoke of how well The Place of Execution had been adapted from Val McDermid’s book, then onto what books to read and some of the great stuff being screened on FX in the UK. Later on in the evening I was able to introduce Val to Michael, whom she remembered from her days as a journalist.

The pinnacle of the star studded event was the announcement of the ITV3 Writer’s Award for Classic TV Drama, voted for in an entirely free vote by viewers of the channel. Morse author, Colin Dexter, was announced at the winner by Oscar-winning actress Helen Mirren.

In the hotly contested Film of the Year category, presented by Ricky Gervais, Matt Damon's The Bourne Ultimatum beat blockbusting and critically acclaimed films The Dark Knight, Gone Baby Gone and No Country for Old Men to the honour.

Criminal Justice scooped the award for TV Crime Drama of the Year – beating Ashes to Ashes, He Kills Coppers, The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency, Spooks and Wire in the Blood.

The final season of massively acclaimed US drama The Wire saw off challenges from CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, Dexter, Numb3rs, CSI: Miami and Shark to walk away with the gong for International Crime Drama of the Year.

Best Actress winner Hermione Norris, who won for her role as Ros Myers in Spooks, had seen off a varied selection of her peers - Kelly Reilly (He Kills Coppers), Jill Scott (The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency), Amanda Redman (New Tricks) and Keeley Hawes (Ashes to Ashes)

Miranda Raison & Raza Jaffrey (Spooks)

The best actor award was won by Rupert Penry-Jones, for his role as Adam Carter in Spooks. Runners up in the Best Actor category were - Philip Glenister (Ashes to Ashes), James Nesbitt (Midnight Man & Murphy’s Law), Dominic West (The Wire) and Ben Whishaw (Criminal Justice). He was unable to attend the event as he is currently filming a version of John Buchan’s 39 Steps in Scotland for transmission this Christmas the BBC..

At the ceremony, as well as the winners of the awards above the first three entries into the The International Crime Writing Hall of Fame were announced – three authors who throughout their illustrious careers have represented the pinnacle of the crime thriller genre. Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Dame Agatha Christie and PD James were all inducted into the Hall of Fame. A visibly moved PD James collected her accolade from award presenter Alan Davies, and paid tribute to her many peers at the event.Rebus author Ian Rankin’s last novel about the Scottish detective, Exit Music, gained him the coveted Author of the Year title. Beating competition from acclaimed authors Peter James (Not Dead Enough, Pan), Robert Harris (The Ghost, Hutchinson) and Lee Child (Bad Luck and Trouble, Bantam). Ian sent a recorded message as he was unable to attend due to current book tour.

Stieg Larsson was posthumously awarded the International Author of the Year title. His father, Erland Larsson, collecting the award on his behalf paid tribute to his son in a moving speech about his pride for his son’s work and life. Larsson’s debut novel, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, had seen off competition from Jeffery Deaver (The Sleeping Doll, Hodder & Stoughton), Karin Slaughter (Skin Privilege, Arrow) and PJ Tracy (Snow Blind, Penguin)

With the awards and dinner out of the way, it was time to chat with old friends and meet new ones. On the way back from the bathroom I spotted Ali Karim speaking to Jeff Deaver and Mark Smith (CEO of Quercus Publishers). I congratulated Mark on Larsson’s win, and thought it would bring the author an even wider UK audience especially since The Girl Who Played With Fire (the second installment of the Millenium series) will be published in January 2009. And before Ali could say another word, I turned to him and said, “Don’t you dare ask Jeff about Garden of Beasts. That brought about much hilarity as it is now a running joke between Jeff, Ali and I. If you happen to be at an event with Jeff and Ali is in the audience you can bet your bottom dollar Mr Karim will ask Jeff about Garden of Beasts despite my kicking him under the table.

After chatting with Lee Child, Val McDermid, Mark Billingham, I met up again with Michael Robotham. We last met at Thriller Fest New York 2007 and got on really well. In my opinion Shatter is Michael’s best novel to date and we spoke about his new novella - a fast paced thriller entitled Bombproof, which will be out in the UK next year (I was lucky enough to obtain an advance copy). It was written as part of an Australian government programme to promote reading and literacy, and given away for free.

A surreal part of my evening was bumping into the dazzling Keeley Hawes and a group of her friends trying to take a photograph with her iPhone. I volunteered my services and snapped them in their "happy" and "unhappy" looks - and thank goodness for auto focus. And that's one photo you'll never get to see!

My night ended in early morning and thanks to Snapper Karim you’ll be able to see a selection of photos over on the website. I have a feeling that the exposure given by ITV3 will be of great benefit to everyone involved in crime & thrillers, and to me, that can’t be a bad thing.

ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards Season & Crime Thriller Awards are commissioned by Claire Zolkwer, Commissioning Editor, Entertainment on behalf of Emma Tennant, Controller of ITV3 and CITV. The Executive Producer is Amanda Ross and the series is Produced by Gareth Jones.

ITV3 Crime Thriller Awards will be screened on 6th October, 10pm. ITV3

Click here to see the Red Carpet Gallery

No comments: