Kay Mellor threatens boycott of Royal Television Society awards and offers to return lifetime achievement accolade


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The Independent Culture

Top screenwriter Kay Mellor has offered to return a lifetime achievement award to the Royal Television Society after being snubbed at its Yorkshire awards ceremony for the second year in a row.

Mellor, who writes the drama The Syndicate, said there was “no other way but to take it personally” after being nominated six times in two years but losing in every category.

“I feel a bit like I have been given a beautiful bridal gown and only ever get to play the bridesmaid,” she told the Yorkshire Post, insisting she would not attend the awards ceremony in future.

“I won’t be going to the RTS again or putting any of my team through it,” she said.

“I had a week of dozens of people in the industry ringing me, texting me, emailing me saying they couldn’t believe what they had heard.

“We are Yorkshire-based, we shoot in Yorkshire, edit in Yorkshire and put it out and glorify Yorkshire, and when Steven Spielberg saw The Syndicate he asked where it was shot; he said it was amazing, ‘it has such a sense of place and geography,’ he told me.”

An unnamed judge told the paper that Mellor, who previously created Fat Friends and The Chase, had shown a “surprising sense of entitlement”, adding: “The fact she’s from Yorkshire in reality doesn’t give her any pre-eminence because so are the other entrants.”

Mike Best, chairman of the RTS’s Yorkshire branch, said he held Mellor in the “highest esteem” and hoped she would reconsider her decision to send back the lifetime achievement award she won in 2011.

“More than any of the other awards, it is recognition of the work she has done. Although I can sympathise with her disappointment I hope she decides to keep it because it is one she deserves,” he said.