The Shiers Trust Award 2020 – worth £4,000 – has been awarded to Nick Gilbey to research and write a tribute to the late Peter Dimmock.
The BBC head of outside broadcasts made his mark organising the coverage of the 1948 London Olympics, and went on to commentate on the Boat Race and present the BBC Sports Personality of the Year Award.
The award will be used to expand the TV Outside Broadcast History website with a special section on Dimmock’s work at the BBC.
“The idea of putting together a biography on Peter Dimmock stretches back to my visit to his home in 2012. I got the impression then, that Peter did regret not writing an autobiography. Although there are many interviews on record, nobody has brought them all together,” said Gilbey.
Under Dimmock, the BBC’s outside broadcast department covered the Coronation and sports events, as well as making factual programmes as diverse as The Old Man of Hoy and Barry Bucknell’s Do It Yourself.
“Peter Dimmock was a colourful figure who did a tremendous amount to gain a mass audiences for the BBC,” Gilbey added.
This year, because of the coronavirus crisis, the judging of the Shiers Trust Award was carried out online. “The jury was amazing and really engaged. But we look forward to judging the award face-to-face next year,” said Dale Grayson, chair of the RTS Archive Group.
The judges were also highly impressed with a project to catalogue the work of EMI sound engineer Alan Blumlein, but felt that it didn’t fully meet the award criteria. “It is a worthy cause and I hope they can find support elsewhere,” said RTS archivist Clare Colvin.
The Shiers Trust Award offers a grant towards work on any aspect of television history. George Shiers, a distinguished US TV historian and member of the RTS, provided a bequest to fund the award.