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Award for Vicar of Dibley writer who showed the ‘funny side of Parkinson’s’

Media captionPaul Mayhew-Archer (left) went to meet a patient benefiting from a new treatment

The Vicar of Dibley co-writer Paul Mayhew-Archer has won an award for a documentary he made about the funny side of having Parkinson’s disease.

Mayhew-Archer, who wrote The Vicar of Dibley with Richard Curtis and has also worked on Miranda and Mrs Brown’s Boys, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s in 2011.

He fronted Parkinson’s: The Funny Side for BBC One’s Inside Out in March.

He has now been named best documentary presenter at the Grierson Awards, which celebrate the UK’s best documentaries.

Jury chair Liesel Evans said: “What sets our winner apart is his use of humour in tackling a complicated subject in a way that felt genuine and persuasive whilst being completely charming and insightful.”

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Louis Theroux was recognised for an outstanding contribution to documentary making

Mayhew-Archer beat nominees including Louis Theroux, who was shortlisted for his programme Drinking To Oblivion.

But Theroux did not go home empty-handed – he received the BBC Grierson Trustees’ Award, the ceremony’s most prestigious prize.

BBC director of content Charlotte Moore said: “There is nobody else quite like Louis Theroux.

“Over the past 20 years, he has established himself as one of the most distinctive voices in film-making, winning critical acclaim, legions of international super-fans and a rake of awards.”

The BBC won seven prizes in total, including best natural history documentary for BBC One’s The Hunt: The Hardest Challenge and best constructed documentary series for BBC Two’s The Real Marigold Hotel.

This World – Outbreak: The Truth About Ebola, which was screened on BBC Two, was named best current affairs documentary.

BBC Two’s How To Die: Simon’s Choice, which followed a man who is diagnosed with an aggressive form of motor neurone disease and given two years to live, was named best domestic documentary on a contemporary theme.

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Amy, directed by Asif Kapadia, won best arts documentary

Channel 4 took two prizes – best documentary series for The Murder Detectives and best entertaining documentary for The Secret Life of 4, 5 and 6 Year Olds.

The best cinema documentary award went to Cartel Land, about the ongoing drug problem along the US-Mexican border.

Amy, the documentary film about Amy Winehouse directed by Asif Kapadia, won best arts documentary.

Lorraine Heggessey, chair of The Grierson Trust said: “These winning films demonstrate the vibrant and innovative ways in which the UK documentary industry is the world leader and they give such optimism for the future of the genre.”

The Grierson Trust is a charity that promotes documentary film-making and is named after the “father of documentary” John Grierson.


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