Filmmaker Norma Percy to be honoured by TV and radio writers

The documentary filmmaker and producer Norma Percy, who has persuaded a who’s who of world leaders to be interviewed for revelatory series such as The Death of Yugoslavia, The Second Russian Revolution and Inside Obama’s White House, is to be honoured later this week by journalists who write about broadcasting for a living.

At the 43rd Broadcasting Press Guild (BPG) Awards lunch on Friday, sponsored by Virgin TV, she will receive the Harvey Lee Award for Outstanding Contribution to Broadcasting. New York-born Norma Percy has been responsible, with Brian Lapping, for a host of award-winning documentaries made by the production company Brook Lapping. They include The Iraq War, Putin, Russia & The West, Iran & The West, The Fall of Milosevic, Endgame in Ireland, and Elusive Peace: Israel & The Arabs.

The Wall Street Journal called the company “The Rolls Royce of documentary makers” and the Observer said of Obama’s White House “It was as absorbing as any episode of The West Wing”. A BBC policy statement called this “a new genre of documentary which retells momentous events with meticulous objectivity, the principal actors recording their version of what happened. The narratives that emerge from The Death of Yugoslavia, The Second Russian Revolution and others are revelations.”

The BPG’s chairman Caroline Frost said: “In this headline-grabbing age, when we are fed with more breaking news than we have capacity to process, Norma Percy’s films have become not just thought-provoking but increasingly necessary. She inspires other filmmakers, broadcasters and journalists with her adherence to truth and determination to bring us the whole picture.”

The BPG Awards are highly prized by programme-makers because they are selected independently by journalists who write about TV and radio – correspondents, critics and previewers. The awards lunch, at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on Friday, will be attended by the winners, BPG members and leading broadcasting executives.

You can read more about the Broadcasting Press Guild, including a full list of winners over the past 40 years, and see pictures and videos from previous BPG awards ceremonies at:

Notes to editors:

1. The other award winners will be announced at the 43rd BPG Awards lunch in the Theatre Royal Drury Lane on Friday March 17th 2017. Winners have been informed in advance and places at the lunch are by invitation only. A full news release, embargoed till 12 noon on Friday, will be available.

2. The Broadcasting Press Guild was founded in 1974 and has more than a hundred members. They are journalists who specialise in covering television, radio and the media, and include critics, previewers, media correspondents and feature writers from national newspapers, broadcasters and leading trade journals and websites.

3. Harvey Lee (1950-1991) was the media correspondent for the Daily Telegraph and a leading light in the BPG throughout the 1980s. Previous winners of the BPG’s Harvey Lee Award, for an outstanding contribution to broadcasting, include Sir Lenny Henry, John Humphrys, John Lloyd, Sir Terry Wogan, Cilla Black, Melvyn Bragg, Andrew Davies, Sir David Frost, Michael Grade, Phil Redmond, Beryl Vertue, Tony Warren, Anne Wood and Charles Wheeler. See more details at

4. This year’s BPG Awards are sponsored by Virgin TV. Virgin TV is part of Virgin Media, which offers four multi award-winning services across the UK and Ireland: broadband, TV, mobile phone and landline. Its interactive TV service brings live programmes, thousands of hours of on-demand programming and the best apps and games in a set-top box, as well as on-the-go for tablets and smartphones. It launched the world’s first virtual mobile network and is also one of the largest fixed-line home phone providers in the UK and Ireland. Virgin Media is part of Liberty Global, the world’s largest international cable company, with operations in more than 30 countries.

Further information from Torin Douglas, BPG: or 07860 422992