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The Royal Television Society awards, #JockStein and woo hoo!

If you have stopped by this wee site recently then you’ll be aware that a film I wrote, produced and directed was nominated in the best sport programme category for a Royal Television Society award. You’ll also know that the ceremony was being held in Glasgow on the 20th of May. What happened you ask? Well, Jock Stein WON! I’m thrilled, absolutely delighted for my team at purpleTV and for the BBC ALBA channel who commissioned the documentary. The award ceremony was an emotional experience from start to finish. I was nominated last year, for a documentary film I made called Gothenburg ’83. It didn’t win so on previous form I wasn’t really expecting to win this year. Additionally (and more importantly than my sixth sense) the film was up against tough competition from programmes broadcast on BBC 1 and BBC 2, channels with big budgets and big reputations. As the ceremony progressed through the various awards my emotions were all over the place. I went from convincing myself that I was going to win, to being absolutely sure we had lost, about a dozen times before the presenters even got to the category. When Sanjeev Kohli began the preamble about each film, a few words on each production before introducing the preview clips, his analysis of the nominations seemed to hint at the strengths of the other programmes over mine (or so I thought). I therefore watched the clips while preparing my “gracious in defeat” applause face. However, when Sanjeev was only a couple of sentences into his speech about the “winning” entry I realised it was my wee film he was talking about!! Obviously, instead of smiling and waiting for the formal announcement I squealed, spurring the presenter to quip that I had already guessed… The rest is a blur; I half walked, half jived on to the stage with the rest of the production team and then excitedly gave some sort of acceptance speech.

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Jock Stein writer, producer and director Margot McCuaig collects the RTS award for best sport programme on behalf of purpleTV

Here’s what the judges had to say about “Jock Stein”:

“A powerful re-telling of one of the great and tragic Scottish football stories with a clever use of high profile interviews, archive, images and drama reconstruction. This documentary offered fresh insight into one of Scottish football’s iconic figures.”

In case it wasn’t very clear on the night (all I wanted to do was get off the stage and start celebrating) I wanted to thank my production team, presenter Alex O’Henley, editor Steven Meechan, camera op Neil MacConnell, production co-ordinator Sara Jack and my fellow purpleTV company director Allan MacDonald; the programme commissioner Alan Esslemont and the BBC ALBA channel; the programme contributors for their heartfelt testimony and the drama actors for doing such a brilliant job in the various roles they undertook. And of course, thanks to the RTS judges for believing in the narrative I structured. I can’t tell how pleased I was to win but I can show you…

Jock Stein writer, producer and director Margot McCuaig and editor Steven Meechan
Jock Stein writer, producer and director Margot McCuaig and editor Steven Meechan

Winning was amazing for a number of reasons (I won’t discuss them here, now) and I absolutely want to do it all over again, every single year! For now then, it’s head down and back to work for me on the Jim Baxter film that I am just about to take into edit. Soon. Once I stop cuddling this gorgeous delight…

Me and my RTS winners trophy!
Me and my RTS winners trophy!

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