Dame Jacqueline Wilson to receive the BAFTA’s Special Award


The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) is to honour Dame Jacqueline Wilson with the Special Award at this year's British Academy Children's Awards, held this Sunday 26 November at the Roundhouse.

Born in Bath in 1945, Jacqueline has sold millions of books around the world, including more than 40 million in the UK alone. A former Children's Laureate, she has won the Guardian Children's Fiction Award and the Children's Book of the Year Award and was appointed a Dame for services to children's literature in 2008.

One of Britain’s most popular children’s authors, Jacqueline’s work plays a huge role in introducing the nation’s children to the joys of reading. Many of Wilson’s literary creations have gone on to become BAFTA-winning and nominated screen adaptations and the Special Award recognises Wilson’s outstanding contribution in this area.

Here are just a few of the novels that have been adapted into hit TV shows and films...

The Story of Tracy Beaker

One of CBBC's highest rating shows ever, The Story of Tracy Beaker first hit our TV screens back in 2002. Focusing on the lives and experience of young people in care and their care workers, it ran for five series until 2005, during which a feature length-episode, Tracy Beaker's Movie of Me, was broadcast. Since 2005 the world of Tracy Beaker has returned to CBBC in the shape of Tracy Beaker Returns, and The Dumping Ground, which is now in its fifth series.

The Illustrated Mum

Channel 4's Films4Schools adaptation of Jacqueline Wilson's The Illustrated Mum won the 2004 BAFTA award for best schools drama. First published by Transworld in 1999, The Illustrated Mum is a first-person narrative told by Dolphin, who lives with her sister and mother, Marigold, who has bipolar disorder. Debbie Isitt also won a BAFTA for best adapted writer for her work on the production, and the director Cilla Ware went on to adapt another of Jacqueline's novels, Best Friends. 

Dustbin Baby

First broadcast on BBC One in December 2008, the television film of Dustbin Baby featured Dakota Blue Richards, Juliet Stevenson and David Haig. It was awarded the International Emmy in the Children and Young People category in 2009, and Helen Blakeman won a Children's BAFTA for the screenplay. The film itself was shortlisted for a Children's BAFTA in the Drama category, and Wilson said that she thought it was the best film adaptation of any of her works.

Hetty Feather

Hetty Feather focuses on the life of the title character, who was abandoned as a baby and lives in Foundling Hospital in London. The compelling, funny and moving tale was first published in 2010, and was adapted for TV in 2015. The third series aired on CBBC this summer, with Series 4 set to be released in 2018.

Commenting on the choice of Jacqueline Wilson for the Special Award, Helen Blakeman, chair of the BAFTA Children’s Committee, said: “Jacqueline Wilson’s impact on children’s media has touched and inspired both audience and industry alike, with popular characters such as Tracy Beaker and Hetty Feather providing the inspiration behind much-celebrated, long running series and single event pieces. Behind-the-scenes, Jacqueline has played an integral role in this process, allowing broadcasters and creators both the freedom and support necessary to adapt her stories into award-winning and often ground-breaking television.

"With this year marking the 15th anniversary of the Tracy Beaker-inspired drama series, there is no better time than now to award Jacqueline as 2017’s Special Award recipient.”

Jacqueline said: “I’m so pleased and proud to be given this very special award. I’m very much looking forward to the event and being able to celebrate with all the talented people who have made this possible.”



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