BAFTA were kind to give me a quick reply to my letter (see previous post). They address the Best Screenwriting award issue and why it doesn't get higher billing in their film award show:
"We present 25 awards on the evening of the Awards and, although we consider all our nominees and every award to be equally important, some awards do have to go earlier in the evening. What we try to do, especially for the viewer at home, is to intersperse the more specialist categories with the more familiar categories, including our two screenwriting awards.
By putting the award in the early part of the show, we are not devaluing it at all - quite the opposite - we are using it as one of the highlights of the early portion of the evening."
Here is my reply:
"Thanks for your reply, much appreciated. However, I would disagree with your logic. Writers get treated badly by the industry. I think the media, and BAFTA in particular, need to celebrate and promote screenwriting amongst the higher profile categories, as it would help to raise the awareness and importance of the work. I am not suggesting they take top billing but merely stand shoulder to shoulder with the top gongs. Writing is a craft (as is acting and directing) but it is a vital part of the creation and development of any given project.
Also, I think there is a bigger grievance in placing the TV writing award in the Craft Awards, separate to the main BAFTA TV awards, which seems inappropriate.
A lot of interest has arisen in this issue in the last few days. You may have received similar correspondence recently. I know the Writers' Guild are keen on the topic so I hope they can convince you to change your mind for future award ceremonies."
So, while they will probably remain firm on giving the screenwriting award low billing in their film show, we should be able to persuade them to move the TV writing prize from the Craft Awards into the main TV show. If you'd like to let BAFTA know your thoughts on the matter (politely, please, no need to gnash and wail), then follow this link and fill out the rest.
In slightly related news: wasn't it great to see Graham Linehan win the Ronnie Barker Writers' Guild of Great Britain Award at the Comedy Awards? He was the only comedian to receive a standing ovation for the entire night. A writer. Man alive, imagine that.