Sue Perkins to host The Griersons: the 42nd British Documentary Awards in association with Sky Atlantic and Shell

Writer, presenter, broadcaster and cake authority, the multi-talented Sue Perkins will host the 42nd British Documentary Awards in association with Sky Atlantic and Shell at a star-studded event at the Southbank’s Queen Elizabeth Hall on Monday 3rd November.

More fondly known as The Griersons, these awards are the Oscars of the documentary world with directors from around the world vying for the accolades that are only awarded to the crème de la crème of documentary filmmaking.

Lorraine Heggessey said: “I’m so delighted that the fabulous Sue Perkins has agreed to host The Griersons again this November. Her wit, panache and love of documentary will add the perfect zest to the evening. And I hope that I’ll be able to pick up some baking tips at the party afterwards.”

Forty-eight films – which tackle subjects from the Syrian civil war and the hunt for sex gangs in Britain, to the music of David Bowie and a musical gay nuptials – face the ultimate factual faceoff. This year’s nominations include some of the most talked about television of last year – including Channel 4 hits Gogglebox and Educating Yorkshire - as well as some less well known gems. A wide spread of broadcasters is represented with films from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky Atlantic and Al Jazeera all reaching the final nominations. While four of the nation’s most prominent presenters are in the mix for the Documentary Presenter of the Year award featuring Stephen Fry, Rupert Everett, Arthur Williams and Michael Mosley.

Sue Perkins has long been associated with The Griersons having hosted the awards with Giles Coren in 2008 and been involved in the judging on several occasions.

She said: “It’s a privilege to be able to spend time with the filmmakers and creatives whose work reflects and challenges our perceptions of the world around us, opening up new worlds to viewers from the comfort of their sofas. I can’t wait to shake the winners by the hand and celebrate the best documentary films of the year.”

Sue Perkins has been a firm favourite on British television for nearly fifteen years and is currently entertaining BBC One viewers with her presenting partner, Mel Giedroyc, as the presenters of The Great British Bake Off. Sue has also worked on a wide range of solo projects, including documentaries on art, popular fiction and history. In 2008 she appeared on the BBC show Maestro, which she won, culminating in her conducting at The Last Night of the Proms. She has also collaborated with the food critic, Giles Coren on a number of programmes including The Supersizers series, where they got to experience food from a variety of historical periods, including sow's udder pate, Bovine Bread and Butter Pudding, Duck Tongues and several thousand bottles of wine. Last year saw the premiere of Sue’s own sitcom Heading Out of which she is the writer, star & producer. She also works on a range of radio programmes and panel shows as well as making regular contributions to Newsnight Review and The Culture Show.

During the evening, Sue will steer the event through 14 awards including Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme – Domestic, Shell Best Documentary on a Contemporary Theme – International, The Open University Best Documentary on Current Affairs, ITN Source Best Arts Documentary, ITN Source Best Historical Documentary, Satusfaction Best Science or Natural History Documentary, Nyman Libson Paul Best Entertaining Documentary, Envy Best Documentary Series, Bertha DocHouse Best Cinema Documentary, CTVC Best Newcomer Documentary, Sky Atlantic Best Student Documentary and Stockroom Archive Management Documentary Presenter of the Year as well as the Radio Times’ Readers’ Award and The Grierson Trustees’ Award.

Founded in 1972, The Grierson Trust commemorates the pioneering Scottish documentary maker John Grierson (1898 – 1972), famous for Drifters and Night Mail and the man widely regarded as the father of documentary. The annual Grierson Awards celebrate documentaries that have made a significant contribution to the form. The list of past winners – which includes Kevin Macdonald, John Pilger, Penny Woolcock, Norma Percy, Molly Dineen, Nick Broomfield, Kim Longinotto, Paul Watson, Angus Macqueen and Pawel Pawlikowski - is testament to the high standard of work which is celebrated through these awards. They are the ultimate UK prizes for documentary filmmakers from across the globe.

Published: 25 September 2014

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