Cilla writer Jeff Pope to be honoured at TV Baftas

The man behind hits shows including Cilla and Mrs Biggs is to be honoured with a special award at this year’s TV Baftas.

Jeff Pope, who is currently making a drama about the Shannon Matthews case, will be recognised at the event next month.

He said: “I have been lucky enough to work with some extraordinarily talented people and this is a moment in my life to look back with gratitude to all those who have helped me achieve.

“Writing is all about facing down the tyranny of the blank screen, but my message to all aspiring writers is that once you’ve hit that first key, you discover it’s really not so difficult as you’d imagined.”

Previous winners of the award include Paul Greengrass, who moved from TV to Hollywood where he has directed films including The Bourne Supremacy and Captain Phillips.

Andrew Newman, chairman of Bafta’s Television Committee, said Pope was “one of the finest exponents of his craft”.

Jeff Pope won a film Bafta in 2014 for co-writing the screenplay for Philomena.

Jeff, who began his career as a reporter in regional newspapers, has been involved in some of the biggest critical and commercial hits of recent years including the Cilla Black biopic, starring Sheridan Smith, Appropriate Adult, which looked at the Fred and Rose West case, and Mrs Biggs.

The House of Fraser British Academy Television Awards will be hosted by Graham Norton at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London, and broadcast on BBC One on Sunday May 10.

Press Association

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