THE RED PLANET PRIZE in partnership with
KUDOS FILM AND TELEVISION
The Red Planet Prize initially launched in 2007 in order to nurture aspiring writers and find a new writing talent – something very close to Tony Jordan’s heart. Over the years, the competition has boasted stellar judging panels – including Stephen Fry, Mark Gatiss, Julie Gardner, Anne Mensah, Polly Hill, Stephen Garrett, and Ben Stoll.
The Red Planet Prize has already met with considerable success. Previous finalist, Robert Thorogood, has penned the ambitious eight part drama series ‘Death in Paradise’, which is now in its second series.
Jonathan Neil has been announced as the winner of this year's competition, with his script 'Darby and Joan - a 1950s tale of spies in very British suburbia. The script beat more than 2000 other entrants to win the coveted prize and the opportunity to be mentored by both Red Planet and Kudos.
This year’s judging panel was made up some of the most influential names in the UK TV industry – Tony Jordan was joined by Kudos CEO Jane Featherstone and BBC Wales Head of Drama, Faith Penhale to select the winning script.
On announcing the winner, Tony Jordan said: "This script was a real page turner, great characters inhabiting a unique world and, as you finished it, you wanted to know what happened next. I read a lot of scripts and you'd be amazed how rare that is."
Neil commented: “I am delighted to have won the Red Planet Prize and to have this unrivalled and privileged opportunity to continue developing my script, and gain some great insight and experience into the industry.”
Jane Featherstone added: “Assured and confident, Darby and Joan presents a unique and original world and it was a delight to read and discover Jonathan Neil’s distinctive voice. Congratulations to him for winning this year’s prize and we, alongside the fantastic team at Red Planet, look forward to helping his writing grow and develop over the coming year.”
Over a dozen previous winners and finalists are now developing projects with Red Planet and Kudos.
First launched in 2007, the competition previously “discovered” Robert Thorogood, who wrote BBC1 drama Death in Paradise for Red Planet Pictures.
Two further finalists, Chris Lindsay and Malcolm McGonigle, have also found writing success, following a stint on the initiative’s mentoring scheme, by joining the writing team of Kudos children’s drama MI High.
Details of the 2013 competition will be announced at the end of the year.