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Sir John Hurt picks up accolade at Audio Drama Awards


Sir John Hurt has been honoured for his radio work

Sir John Hurt has been honoured for his radio work

Sir John Hurt has been honoured for his radio work

Veteran actor Sir John Hurt has won a top award for his roles in audio drama.

The 76-year-old star picked up the Outstanding Contribution Award at the Audio Drama Awards in central London.

Recognised for his work on BBC Radio 4's War And Peace and Jeffrey Bernard Is Unwell, as well as many previous credits, Sir John said: "I like working in radio drama because one is using what is fast becoming the actors' forgotten weapon - the voice."

The event in the Radio Theatre at BBC Broadcasting House recognises the cultural significance, range and originality of audio drama - on air as well as online - and credits the creativity of the actors, writers, producers, sound designers and others who work within the field.

June Whitfield, who has starred in shows including Absolutely Fabulous and EastEnders, was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for over 70 years in radio drama and comedy.

She said: "I'm absolutely delighted to have received this lifetime achievement award. It really does feel like a lifetime - I first worked for BBC Radio in the 1940s. Thank you so much BBC for this much appreciated award."

Sir Lenny Henry, who hosted the event, said: "I'm honoured to have once again presented the BBC Audio Drama Awards, which showcase outstanding work by a diverse group of talented writers and creators.

"We should be proud of the range of excellence that the industry attracts, and produces, and it's great that this year's Awards include both classic plays and innovative dramas reflecting modern Britain. Long may it continue!"

One of the nation's leading actors, Sir John has been nominated for two Oscars, for The Elephant Man and Midnight Express, and he enjoyed a big hit with sci-fi horror Alien in 1979.

His distinctive voice has been used several times as narrator, and accompanied a chilling Aids awareness advertising campaign in the 1980s.