Salford secures eight gongs at RTS North West Student Awards

Categories: School of Arts, Media and Creative Technology

The University of Salford celebrated another historic evening at the Royal Television Society (RTS) North West Student Awards last night as our students won gongs in every category that they were nominated in at the ceremony in Salford Quays' Vue Quayside Cinema.

Our students picked up eight of the 13 available awards on the night, winning in four of the six main categories, including Best Drama and Best Journalism and in four of the seven craft awards.

The evening marked a fifth year of consecutive success for our students at the awards, after sweeping the board in 2023, picking up two gongs in 2022, four in 2021 and five in 2020.

Our winners in the main categories were:

  • Best DramaPink Carnations and Purple Hyacinths ­– Adam Cowell, Tom Walters, Colin Lewin, Luke Hearne-Brown, Ella Frost, Jake Greaves, Faye Greenwood, Luke Denney-Welsh, Michael Brooks-Sheeley, Madeleine Neve, Megan De Brett, Gemma Walker and Joe Gaughan.
  • Best Entertainment & Comedy – Lulu’s Zoo – Sarah Baker
  • Best Factual Short Form – Operation Babylift – The Stunt That Saved Lives - Samuel Taylor
  • Best Journalism Screen Time – Sophie Rumsby

Our winners in the craft categories were:

  • Best Drama Director – Ben Robertson for Pause
  • Best Drama Screenwriter – Ryan Johnson for Love, Death and Lime Dresses
  • Best Short Form Factual Director – Samuel Taylor for Operation Babylift – The Stunt that Saved Lives
  • Best Journalism Director – Sophie Rumsby for Screen Time

Tom Walters, third-year BA Film Production student and Director of Pink Carnations and Purple Hyacinths, said: “I was quite shocked when I found out we’d won but felt very honoured to receive it for our team.

“This is a film that came about by chance, it was something outside of our assignments and was the culmination of our crew’s efforts after working together on various projects over the last few years. It feels like the pinnacle of our work as a team.”

Pink Carnations and Purple Hyacinths is a one-take nine-minute film that showcases the unending love of an elderly couple facing the realities of dementia.

Samuel Taylor, a BA Broadcast Journalism graduate and now Production Journalist at ITV Granada said on his double victory; “It’s such an honour to have won an RTS Award for my work at University, but I definitely couldn’t have done it without the help of my lecturers and members of my year group – who aided with the filming and gave me constant advice on how to structure my piece.

“I came to Salford just looking for a degree, not win any awards! But the passion and skill of my lecturers made me fall in love with journalism and I feel so lucky that I got to make this piece and now I get to do what I love every day.”

Samuel’s winning programme Operation Babylift – The Stunt that Saved Lives is a two-part series that looks into the mass evacuation of children from South Vietnam to Western countries at the end of the Vietnam War, the people at the heart of the feted operation, the Daily Mail’s involvement and the ramifications of the event 50 years later.

Fellow double-award winner and BA Broadcast Journalism graduate Sophie Rumsby said: “I am still in shock that I won! I was absolutely thrilled to be nominated let alone walk home with two awards…I still can’t quite believe it!

“I wouldn’t have stood a chance at even a nomination if it wasn’t for the support of the University, specifically my mentor Paul Duckworth, so thank you! Now I have two awesome trophies to show off!”

Sophie’s series Screen Time looked at not just how long young people spend on screens but the sort of content they see during that time. It showed some of the feelings that harmful content provoked and whether it should be regulated.

Sarah Baker, a BA Television and Radio Production graduate, said: “I can’t put into words how surreal this feels winning an RTS award. I’ve never felt more proud in my life. I’d like to thank all my cast and crew who made the show come to life. I had so much fun making Lulu’s Zoo and it was an experience I will never forget. Thank you RTS!”

Lulu’s Zoo is a CBeebies-style television show which follows zookeeper Lulu on her adventures around her zoo. The show uses a blend of on-location filming at Chester Zoo and studio-based filming at our MediaCity campus. The show was crowd-funded via a GoFundMe page.

Debra Prinselaar, Director of Film, Broadcast Media and Creative Technology said: "Some say pride is a sin but it is difficult not to proud of the result our students achieve in their studies here at the University of Salford.

“Their industry allocates reflect hard work, determination, resilience and imagination. Our Film, TV, Animation and Journalism students emerge top of their game - highly employable and industry-ready. So of course, we are proud of their achievements, their potential and their successes.”

Louise Ready-Syrat, Programme Leader for BA TV and Radio Production, said: “We are delighted that so many of our students’ work has been recognised by the RTS, both in nominations and winners. For Salford to win all the categories it was nominated in across the school is a huge achievement for the students and staff.

“We are really pleased for Sarah and her hugely successful CBeebies style show. One of the judges, Fabian Bohan-Taghian, MultiStory Media’s Development Producer personally congratulated Sarah on her show and the work she put into it highlighting the standard and talent that it displayed. As always, we hope this is a springboard to success for our graduates and wish them all the best in their future.”

Paul Duckworth, Lecturer in Journalism, said: "It was great to see four of our graduates recognised for their fantastic work in their major projects. Jess, Lois and Sophie made up three of the four nominees in journalism. For Sam to also get the nod and the win, in the very competitive Short Factual category, is great.

“All four are now working in industry and that's just as important as these awards. Our students graduate industry-ready and having already done broadcast quality work, something that's vital in job applications and interviews.”

For all press office enquiries please email communications@salford.ac.uk.