TOP TV award for battle coverage
A SHORT web documentary highlighting the history of Yorkshire’s bloodiest battle has won a top television award.
Yorkshire producer Roger Keech of RKPRODUCTIONS has won a Royal Television Society award for a web movie filmed to promote the infamous Yorkshire battle.
The film, which featured actor Robert Hardy, patron of the Towton Battlefield Society, was scripted by author and historian George Peter Algar, from Horsforth, Leeds, and produced by Roger, a well-known tv producer from Shadwell in Leeds who for many years worked for the BBC in Yorkshire, now an independent producer.
The short film, which can be viewed at http://www.towton.org.uk/, was shot as part of a wider ‘1461 Country’ campaign to raise awareness of the battle, which some fear is in danger of becoming ‘Britain’s forgotten battle.’
Contemporary sources claim that 28,000 combatants died on Palm Sunday 1461 during the clash between the Yorkist Edward IV’s forces and those of the Lancastrian Henry VI.
The short won in the Best Promotion or Commercial Production category, in a shortlist of three at the RTS Yorkshire Centre Programme Awards ceremony held at the Queen’s Hotel, Leeds recently.
Scriptwriter George, author of The Shepherd Lord and Dead Man’s Hill historical novels, known as Peter to his friends, says:
“We are delighted with this award, not only because it recognises first class production prowess, but also because it firmly puts Yorkshire and Towton on the map in terms of local and national significance.
“Key to the whole was actor Robert Hardy, famous as Siegfried in All Creatures Great and Small, whose wonderful acting skills truly evoke the haunting mystery of Towton.
“Roger was filming at Towton some time back to gather visuals to promote the 550th anniversary of the battle, and it was then we decided to do something for the Towton website.
“I wrote a short script, Roger pieced the visuals together, and we were then delighted to get Robert Hardy – who youngsters might know from the Harry Potter series of films, involved.
“To my amazement, Robert being the professional he is, took a glance at the script, said it was good and did a marvellous one-shot first-time take to camera.
“We were expecting him to do just a voice over, but his visual commentary at the beginning and end of the piece, interspersed with Roger’s wonderful helicopter footage of the battlefield and other action sequences, really made it, and clearly caught the eye of the RTS judges. It remains a very evocative piece.
“Roger was delighted with the finished piece and decided to enter the awards, with this first class result.
“We hope this award will further draw focus to Towton and the Society and history in Yorkshire as a whole. It’s a great story for Yorkshire and nice to see history being recognised.
“Despite its notoriety among historians, we are aware from the feedback we get that the man on the street isn’t fully aware of the significance of Towton to Yorkshire – and this is a further step in the right direction in succesfully promoting the importance of the site to Yorkshire and the world.”
Producer Roger Keech added: “Towton was an event of the greatest importance for England. It was the bloody culmination of a campaign of seven military engagements over the preceding eighteen months and the final and decisive battle in the first of a series of English civil wars, collectively known as the Wars of the Roses, that took place between 1455 and 1487.
“When the wars began, England was a medieval country, but after their conclusion, the victorious Tudor dynasty would make England a distinctly different nation state.
“It was both a delight and privilege to showcase this important battle site and I’m delighted the RTS have generously recognised these efforts.”
The Royal Television Society is Britain’s leading forum for television and related media. Membership is open to everyone with an interest in the medium.
The RTS was granted its Royal title in 1966 and HRH The Prince of Wales became Patron of the Society in 1997.
The RTS Awards are an internationally recognised hallmark for quality and originality. There are 13 regional centres in the UK; each provides a mix of programme, technical, and craft events.