The Grierson Trust announces the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Trustees’ Award: Alex Graham

London, 15th October: Acclaimed film-maker and producer Alex Graham is named today as the 2014 recipient of the prestigious Grierson Trustees’ Award.

Creator of the groundbreaking history series Who Do You Think You Are? and The 1900 House, Alex was the force driving one of the UK’s leading production houses, Wall to Wall, for 16 years.

The Griersons are acknowledged as the Oscars of the documentary world. Crowning the crème de la crème, the Trustees’ Award recognises outstanding contribution to the art or craft of documentary making. Previous winners include luminaries John Battsek, Kevin Macdonald, John Pilger, Penny Woolcock, Norma Percy, Paul Watson, Mike Salisbury, Nick Fraser, Jonathan Gili, Molly Dineen and Sir David Attenborough.

Announcing the award, Chairman of the Grierson Trust, Lorraine Heggessey says: “Alex Graham has been a driving creative force in the UK television industry for decades and his work is revered throughout the world. Alex's passion for the documentary in all its forms, his unerring eye for a good story well-told and his high quality threshold have been behind many successful television and feature documentaries. I can think of no worthier winner for this year’s highest accolade, The Grierson Trustees’ Award."

Alex Graham started his career as a print journalist at the Bradford Telegraph and Argus and then the Sunday Times, before joining London Weekend Television in 1979. Between 1983 and 1991 he edited two of Channel 4’s flagship factual series Diverse Reports and The Media Show.

In 1987, he helped found Wall to Wall and was CEO from 1997 to 2013. During his tenure, Wall to Wall has produced a remarkable range of popular and critically acclaimed programming from hit series New Tricks, Long Lost Family and The Voice UK to award winning films including A Rather English Marriage and Man on Wire. Alex created two of Wall to Wall’s groundbreaking history series – The 1900 House and Who Do You Think You Are? Real Screen magazine’s poll placed Wall to Wall as one of the top seven companies in the world. Its programmes have won almost every major television award on both sides of the Atlantic and in 2009, the company’s first feature documentary – Man on Wire – won the Academy Award for Best Documentary.

Alex is chair of The Space and a non executive director of the Scott Trust. He is chair of the Sheffield International Documentary Festival, a board member of the Hampstead Theatre, a trustee of The Creative Society and an ambassador for ActionAid. He is a former chair of the Producers’ Alliance for Cinema and Television (Pact).

He is a fellow of the Royal Television Society and the Royal Society of Arts. He is a visiting professor of television at Lincoln University and a member of the Advisory Board for the National Film and Television School’s new Creative Business for Entrepreneurs and Executives (CBEE) Course. In 2009 he received an honorary doctorate from City University for services to journalism.

The most prestigious awards in the documentary world and now in their 42nd year, the Grierson Awards celebrate the best in documentary filmmaking carrying prestige and allure for factual filmmakers from across the globe. This year’s nominations include some of the most talked about television of the year 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 represented.

The winners of Grierson 2014: The 42nd British Documentary Awards in association with Sky Atlantic and Shell will be revealed at a star-studded ceremony hosted by Sue Perkins at the Queen Elizabeth Hall on November 3, 2014.

Published: 15 October 2014

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