I've an Ivor at last – songwriter waits 32 years for award

Uncollected statuette, sold at jumble sale, finally reaches its intended recipient

When Britain's best songwriters celebrate winning Ivor Novello Awards this Thursday, for most of them it will be the pinnacle of their career. But their jubilation will pale in comparison to that felt by a fellow songwriter who has had to wait 32 years for his award.

The lyricist Gary Osborne has belatedly received one of the famous bronze prizes for his work on the 1978 concept album, Jeff Wayne's The War of the Worlds.

The discovery of the previously unknown trophy bearing his name is doubly sweet, making him and his dad – the late Tony Osborne, who won Ivors in 1960 and 1962 – the first father and son composers to receive statuettes in the event's 55-year history.

Mr Osborne, 62, now the chairman of the Ivor Novello Awards committee, who has written for the likes of Elton John and Kiki Dee, thought it was a "bloody cheek" when he failed to receive a 1979 Ivor for The War of the Worlds (TWOTW). To add insult to injury, Wayne won an award for Best Instrumental or Popular Orchestral Work, despite the album – which has sold about 15 million copies to date – featuring lyrics by Mr Osborne and including singers such as David Essex.

Although an award statuette was made for him, Mr Osborne was not invited to the ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, in 1980.

The uncollected trophy ended up at a car boot sale in Blindley Heath, Surrey, where Peter Shepherd, 60, a decorator from Croydon, bought it for £60 in 1987. It lay forgotten in his shed for 20 years until he found it when moving house.

Mr Shepherd looked into selling the award at auction or to a memorabilia collector. But his "conscience got the better" of him and he contacted the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers and Authors (Basca), the organisation that runs the Ivors.

Basca bought the statuette from Mr Shepherd at cost price – much less than he could have raised at auction – and he handed over the Ivor to its rightful owner last month. The trophy has since enjoyed pride of place in Mr Osborne's home in Angmering-on-Sea, West Sussex. "I am the only lyricist who has an Ivor for an instrumental, which puts me a cut above the rest," he said.

It is not known why the award was made but never presented, but Mr Osborne suspects it was a "cock-up" rather than a conspiracy. Its existence is particularly poignant for him because when his father emigrated to Australia in 1984, he gave both his Ivors to Gary's sister, Jan, and told his son that, as a songwriter, he could win his own. Tony died in 2009 without knowing his son had done just that.

Mike Wilson, who has made the Ivor statuettes since 1975, confirmed the award was genuine. He said the event's sponsors, the Performing Right Society (now known as PRS for Music), commissioned the statuette but it may not have been on the list held by Basca, which presented the awards.

Jeff Wayne said Mr Osborne's award was "so long overdue". He claimed the category into which his album was placed was "absolutely ridiculous". "Considering TWOTW has Richard Burton narrating, and Justin Hayward, David Essex, Phil Lynott and Julie Covington singing, along with a number of other highly regarded singers singing their hearts out, how could TWOTW possibly be even the worst instrumental work of the year, much less the best? Or the best orchestral work?"

Brian Willey, the chairman of Basca in 1979, assumed the publishers had given PRS Mr Osborne's name but said that, as it was an instrumental award, it would not have been acceptable to give it to a lyricist.

Basca will present the award to Mr Osborne at a later date. "I wouldn't want too much fuss made but on the other hand it would finish the story if they give it to me," he said.

Arts and Entertainment
Nick Frost will star in the Doctor Who 2014 Christmas special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
TV
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Actor and director Zach Braff

TV
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Meera Syal was a member of the team that created Goodness Gracious Me

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The former Doctor Who actor is to play a vicar is search of a wife

film
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Pointless host Alexander Armstrong will voice Danger Mouse on CBBC

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell dismissed the controversy surrounding

music
Arts and Entertainment
Jack Huston is the new Ben-Hur

film
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne modelling

film
Arts and Entertainment
Emma Thompson and Bryn Terfel are bringing Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street to the London Coliseum

theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape

Robin Thicke admits he didn't write 'Blurred Lines'

music
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'

film
Arts and Entertainment
Matt Damon as Jason Bourne in The Bourne Ultimatum (2007)

film
Arts and Entertainment
Sheridan Smith as Cilla Black

Review: Cilla, ITV TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Tom Hardy stars with Cillian Murphy in Peaky Blinders II

TV
Arts and Entertainment

art
Arts and Entertainment
Keira Knightley and Benedict Cumberbatch star in the Alan Turing biopic The Imitation Game

film
Arts and Entertainment
Kanye West is on his 'Yeezus' tour at the moment

Music
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

    Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

    Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
    Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

    Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

    The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
    The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

    Scrambled eggs and LSD

    Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
    'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

    'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

    Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
    Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

    New leading ladies of dance fight back

    How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
    Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

    A shot in the dark

    Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
    His life, the universe and everything

    His life, the universe and everything

    New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Save us from small screen superheroes

    Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
    Reach for the skies

    Reach for the skies

    From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
    These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

    12 best hotel spas in the UK

    Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
    These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

    Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

    Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

    Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    How to make a Lego masterpiece

    Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

    Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
    Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

    Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

    His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam