Winner: 2017 Audio Drama Awards

The Archers writer Tim Stimpson presented Fritz with prizes totalling £5,000 at the BBC’s Audio Drama Awards on 29 January 2017. The star-studded ceremony was hosted by Sir Lenny Henry. Download the full press release.

Comment is Free

Imison judges said: A fiercely current, socially relevant and dramatic depiction of free speech and mob mentality. A skilfully crafted cacophony of hundreds of voices, the script uses social media as a powerful and contemporary means of comment’.

Tinniswood judges said: ‘In the wake of the murder of Jo Cox, this diamond sharp exploration of the current state of public debate couldn’t have been more prescient. Acutely observed and not without humour, we particularly admired how the scale of its construction combined with the efficiency of its storytelling. A brave and provocative Afternoon Play’.

Synopsis: Everybody hates journalist Alistair Cooper. Starring Rachael Stirling (Capital) and Tobias Menzies (Game of Thrones) alongside a cast of hundreds, Hilary watches her husband's story get chewed up and spat out by an unscrupulous media and a divided public.

Comment is Free was produced by Becky Ripley, BBC Radio & Music Bristol and was broadcast on BBC Radio 4. It will be repeated on Monday 30 January at 2.15pm. 

More about James Fritz

James Fritz’s second audio drama Death of a Cosmonaut will air on BBC Radio 4 in April. His stage plays include:  Four Minutes Twelve Seconds winner of a 2015 Critics’ Circle Theatre Award; The Fall written for the 2016 National Youth Theatre’s 60th anniversary season; Ross & Rachel which returns to Battersea Arts Centre in April; and the 2015 Bruntwood Prize winning Parliament Square which is in development with The Royal Exchange Theatre.

The 2017 Shortlists 

Imison Award judges were Stefan Buczacki, Isla Gray, Christopher William Hill, Catherine Johnson, Jamila Gavin, Marcy Kahan, Hilary Robinson, Mike Walker and Elizabeth-Anne Wheal. The other shortlisted writers were James Meek for The Virtues of Oblivion and Jonny O’Neill for Community Service.

Tinniswood Award judges were Nicholas McInerny, Shelley Silas and Tim Stimpson. The other shortlisted writers were Timothy X Atack for The Stroma Sessions and Oliver Emanuel for A History of Paper

More about the Imison Award and Tinniswood Award

The awards aim to promote the best scripts broadcast in the UK between 1 October 2015 and 31 October 2016 with the Imison rewarding the best debut script.



The Imison Award was founded in 1993 by the Society of Authors to commemorate BBC producer Richard Imison, We are very grateful to the Peggy Ramsay Foundation for their generous sponsorship  of the  £3,000 prize. Previous winners include Gabriel Gbadamosi, Mike Bartlett, Lee Hall and Nell Leyshon.

The Tinniswood Award was established in 2003 by the Society of Authors and the Writers’ Guild  of Great Britain to commemorate writer Peter Tinniswood. We are grateful to the Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society for their generous sponsorship of the Tinniswood Award, including the £2,000 prize. Previous winners include Morwenna Banks, Murray Gold, Rachel Joyce and Stephen Wyatt.