Former CEO of Wall to Wall, Alex Graham, has been bestowed the Royal Television Society’s highest honour, the Gold Medal.
The award recognises Graham’s distinguished career in programme making and on behalf of programme makers in his former role as CEO of Pact.
Previous recipients of the award include Sir Trevor McDonald, David Liddiment and Coronation Street.
Presenting the award, RTS Chair and Chief Executive of ITN, John Hardie said, “It is my pleasure tonight to award the highest honour of the Society – its Gold Medal. Those who hold it are few – but distinguished.”
Graham was educated at Glasgow University and City University, London, before going on to work at the Bradford Telegraph and Argus and the Sunday Times before joining London Weekend Television. There he edited two of Channel 4’s flagship factual series Diverse Reports and The Media Show.
In 1987, he helped found the independent production company Wall to Wall and was CEO from 1997 to 2013. Hits here included New Tricks, Long Lost Family, The Voice UK, The 1900 House and Who Do You Think You Are? That last won him the Prince Michael of Kent Award from the Society of Genealogists for services to genealogy.
As chair of PACT, he fought a leading and courageous battle to establish a viable livelihood for independent producers in the fast-changing and fluid media environment.
Among his varied roles, Graham is today a non‑executive director of the Scott Trust, chair of the Sheffield International Documentary Festival, board member of the Hampstead Theatre and an ambassador for ActionAid, with whom he has travelled to Myanmar and Nepal.
He is also 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 Course.
In addition to Graham’s professional accolades, Hardie highlighted his personal achievements, remembering “As the deafened sufferers at the Edinburgh Festival of ten years ago can testify, he also delivers a really mean Joe Cocker at karaoke.”
The award was presented at an RTS/IET dinner at Savoy Place in London on Wednesday.