Former Doctor Who showrunner Russell T Davies has been presented with an Outstanding Achievement Award at this year’s Edinburgh International Television Festival.
The award, which Davies received at last night’s Edinburgh TV Awards, honours his illustrious career as a television screenwriter and producer. Before bringing Doctor Who back to television screens in 2005 – as well as creating spin-offs Torchwood and The Sarah Jane Adventures – Davies had already created several acclaimed dramas including Queer as Folk, Bob & Rose, The Second Coming and Casanova.
Davies’ post-Who career, meanwhile, has seen him create the trilogy Cucumber, Banana and Tofu for Channel 4, as well as adapt Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream for BBC One. His work has led to several accolades including the BAFTA Television Dennis Potter Award in 2006 and an OBE in 2008 for services to drama.
Davies said on receiving the award:
“I have worked with Daleks, Casanova, I’ve worked with gays, I’ve worked with Penelope Wilton, I worked on children’s programmes, I’ve worked in documentary, I worked on a quiz show with Terry Wogan, I worked with Jesus, I worked in Cardiff, Manchester, at Granada, I’ve worked with all sorts of shows, I’ve worked with David Tennant, Billie Piper, Freema Agyeman, I’m so lucky.
“I’ve been a presenter on Play School, I’ve actually been to Norway with Keith Chegwin, I love my job and I hope you all grow up and get in the industry and love the job too.”
Davies has also recently added his voice to the discussion surrounding the casting of Jodie Whittaker as Doctor Who‘s first female Doctor. Speaking in this month’s issue of Doctor Who Magazine, Davies praised the move:
“There will be some kids sitting down on Christmas Day who don’t follow the news – and the Doctor will change into a woman and they won’t know. For those kids it will be as mysterious and as exciting as it was in 1966 when William Hartnell changed into Patrick Troughton. The programme has never been that original since.”
Davies also claimed that new Doctor Who showrunner Chris Chibnall – who will take over the show from its eleventh series – was ‘brilliantly’ making both him and outgoing showrunner Steven Moffat ‘look old-fashioned’:
“We look like the past. And that’s exactly what we are – we are the past. This isn’t some big political strategy by the BBC. This is one man, Chris, moving into the big chair and deciding that’s what he wants to do.”
Davies is currently working on an adaptation of A Very English Scandal, a story about former politician Jeremy Thorpe, directed by Stephen Frears and starring Hugh Grant and Ben Whishaw. The writer has also recently turned illustrator for a new collection of Doctor Who poetry, Now We Are Six Hundred, written by James Goss.
[Source: Doctor Who News]