Springwatch just won a BAFTA!
The whole team are now crazily busy, getting everything ready for another hectic month of Springwatching, starting on 30 May. Camera teams are out all the time now, catching the best of the action, and our amazing technical team are doing their most ambitious build ever in our new home at the RSPB's stunning Ynys-hir nature reserve in wild west Wales.
Right in the thick of peak preparation, we've had the most unexpected and delightful interruption... Springwatch just won a BAFTA!
The 2010 Springwatch team at Pensthorpe
At this year's BAFTA TV Craft Awards on Sunday night, Springwatch was awarded the "Special Award" for 2011. It's a bit like a lifetime achievement award - no nominations etc... the BAFTA committee just pick an individual or team that they feel has been most deserving of recognition. In his letter to us, the chairman of BAFTA pointed out that this is one of BAFTA's most prestigious awards. To give you an idea of this, last year Coronation Street got the Special Award for 50 years of soap, with Aardman Animations before that. We are in distinguished company!
The citation reads "... the award is given to Springwatch in recognition of its outstanding creative and technical teamwork and the role it has played in developing technical standards both behind the camera and online ...". Creative and technical teamwork, on TV and online - that's Springwatch all over.
For more details (and a film about us), check out the BAFTA website. You can also see the official BBC press release with quotes from our commissioner and from BBC Two. And a few of us have been blogging on a special BAFTA blog as preparations for Springwatch get going in earnest.
This is an award for the behind-the-scenes teams on the show - people you rarely see on screen but without whom the show and its wider impact would never happen. It's a huge tribute to the literally hundreds of unsung heroes backstage who have worked so hard and who have constantly stuck their necks out technically and creatively to keep Springwatch fresh and focussed on what you - our dear audience - want to see, hear and get involved in. I am sure you will join me in congratulating them for an amazing achievement.
Chris Packham and I spoke at the awards (see the video clips and web article on the BAFTA website) and we were at pains to say that Springwatch has always been made for our audience... and is now increasingly being made BY our audience. This is a big award and we simply could not have done what we've done without YOU. We think you are the best audience in the world and BAFTA are inclined to agree. So there's a bit of the BAFTA we won on Sunday that's yours too - you are our army of supporters and contributors, messageboarders and Flickr photographers. So CONGRATULATIONS to you too!
We do hope you like the new series, and we know you'll step up and get involved like you always do. We love you for that.
Keep an eye on the website - the activity is already building... And everything's due to go nuts towards the end of the month!
Here's to BAFTA, to Springwatch and to one of the most stunning springs we've had in this green and pleasant land for many years!
Here we go again... there's no going back now...!
Tim Scoones is the Executive Producer of Springwatch and Autumnwatch for the BBC Natural History Unit