Jacob's Award

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For the American football award, see Jacobs Blocking Trophy.
Jacob's Award
Jacobs Award 1966 (reduced).jpg
Jacob's Television Award
Awarded for Outstanding contributions to Irish TV and radio
Country Republic of Ireland Ireland
Presented by National newspaper TV and radio critics
First awarded 1962
Last awarded 1993

The Jacob's Awards were instituted in December 1962 as the first Irish television awards. Later, they were expanded to include radio. The awards were named after their sponsor, W. & R. Jacob & Co. Ltd., a biscuit manufacturer, and recipients were selected by Ireland's national newspaper television and radio critics. Jacob's Award winners were chosen annually until 1993, when the final awards presentation took place.

Winners of a Jacob's Award include Fionnuala Flanagan (1965), Gabriel Byrne (1979), and Brendan Gleeson (1992). The record for the most awards won is held by Gay Byrne, who was honoured six times between 1963 and 1981.

History[edit]

Telefís Éireann was launched as Ireland's first indigenous television station on 31 December 1961. Three months later, it was announced by W. & R. Jacob & Co. Ltd. that they intended to sponsor an award for outstanding contributions to the new medium.[1]

On 4 December 1962, the first awards ceremony took place at the sponsor's headquarters in Dublin. There were nine winners, chosen by a panel of national newspaper television critics. Each winner received an award designed by the artist, Richard Kingston. This consisted of a silver St. Brigid's Cross mounted on a base of bog oak and Connemara marble.[2]

The Jacob's Awards honoured teams of programme makers as well as individuals. For instance, in 1962, Telefís Éireann's Sports Department won an award for its general coverage during the station's first year of broadcasting. In 1965, a limit of eight annual awards was set, and the critics also decided not to confine themselves to fixed categories in making their selections.[3]

A special "Golden Trophy" was introduced in 1966 to recognise exceptional performance. This was awarded every five years although it was dropped in the mid-1980s.[4]

In 1969, the number of awards was increased to a maximum of thirteen in order to incorporate radio. A separate panel of national newspaper radio critics was formed to choose recipients of the new award, a highly polished, white metal cylinder designed by Robert Costelloe. This was replaced in 1981 by a trophy comprising a painted canvas mounted on a stainless steel background, designed by Theo McNab.[5]

For most of their history, Jacob's Awards were awarded to programmes broadcast on RTÉ because the national state broadcaster held a monopoly in Ireland. However, in 1989, commercial radio was introduced and RTÉ's monopoly in sound broadcasting was broken.[6] The critics responded by widening the scope of the awards to include the new local stations. RTÉ did not face indigenous competition in television until the advent of TV3 in 1998, by which time the Jacob's Awards had ended.

Awards ceremony[edit]

In the 30 years of its existence, compères of the annual Jacob's Awards event included Hilton Edwards and Frank Hall. Winners were presented with their awards by a senior member of the Irish Government, sometimes the Taoiseach of the day.

Due to the "economic circumstances of the sponsoring company", the 1983 and 1984 awards were presented at a single event, which took place on 22 February 1985.[7]

What turned out to be the final awards ceremony took place in Dublin on 11 November 1993. Presenting the awards on that occasion was Michael D. Higgins, then Minister for Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht.[8] No formal announcement was made by the sponsor subsequently as to the future of the Jacob's Awards so the reason why they were terminated remains a mystery. However, the death of Frankie Byrne shortly after the 1993 event may have been a factor.

Frankie Byrne[edit]

From the inception of the Jacob's Awards, each of the annual presentation events was organised and promoted by public relations consultant and radio presenter Frankie Byrne. However, according to former Jacob's chairman, Gordon Lambert, Ms. Byrne actually started the awards in 1962 and her role in their eventual longevity seems to have been crucial. This is borne out by the fact that no further awards ceremonies took place following Frankie Byrne's death in December 1993.[9]

Recalling her role five years after her death, television critic Tom O'Dea summed up Frankie Byrne's unique contribution:

"I think it is no skin off anyone's nose to accord her the distinction of giving the awards night the character it had, wheelchairs for the irretrievably drunken, and all." [10]

Controversy[edit]

The 1970 awards were attended by some controversy. Eoghan Harris refused to accept an award for his production of the Irish-language current affairs programme, Féach. In a statement issued on the day of the awards ceremony, Harris criticised RTÉ for its involvement with commercial sponsorship.[11] However, five years later his attitude changed and he accepted a second award for a special report on 7 Days.

Also in 1970, guests arriving at the awards ceremony were confronted by a picket of 50 female employees of W. & R. Jacob who were protesting against the cost of the banquet. One picketer carried a placard bearing the legend: "Only room at the inn for the in-people".[11]

In 1990, RTÉ threatened to pull out of its longstanding practice of broadcasting the awards ceremony because of the involvement of Tánaiste, Brian Lenihan. Lenihan had been invited to present the awards in his capacity as Tánaiste and Minister of Defence. However, in the meantime, he was chosen by Fianna Fáil as that party's candidate in the forthcoming Irish presidential election. RTÉ claimed that going ahead with its planned broadcast would give unfair additional publicity to Lenihan, leaving the station in breach of its own guidelines on election coverage. After a brief stand-off, Lenihan agreed to withdraw from the awards ceremony. He was replaced by Minister for Labour, Bertie Ahern.[12]

Winners - multiple awards[edit]

Six[edit]

  • Gay Byrne (1963, 1970, 1971, 1976, 1978, 1981)

Four[edit]

  • Mike Murphy (1978, 1979, 1980, 1988)
  • Andy O'Mahony (1969, 1981, 1986, 1989)

Three[edit]

Two[edit]

Winners - full details[edit]

1960s[edit]

1962[edit]

Television

1963[edit]

Television

  • Blaithin Nic Chaomhin (Best contribution in the Irish language)
  • Radharc (Most enterprising programme)
  • Conor Cruise O'Brien (Best original script for programme on Charles Stewart Parnell)
  • Telefís Éireann's Sports Department (Best outside broadcast)
  • Cyril Cusack (Best actor for Triptych)
  • Gay Byrne (Outstanding personality)
  • Peter Collinson, (Best producer for The Bomb)
  • Monica Sheridan (Individual award for her cookery programme)[13]

1964[edit]

Television

1965[edit]

Television

1966[edit]

Television

Golden Trophy

1967[edit]

Television

  • John Cowley (acting performance in The Riordans)
  • John Healy (scriptwriter for Headlines and Deadlines)
  • Telefís Scoile (factual programme)
  • Muiris Mac Conghail (producer of 7 Days)
  • Amuigh Faoin Spéir (wildlife programme)
  • The Forsyte Saga (BBC adaptation)[17]

1968[edit]

Television

1969[edit]

Radio

  • Diarmuid O Muirithe (presenter of Idir Shugradh is Dairire)
  • Andy O'Mahony ("for his consistently high standard in broadcasting and presentation")
  • Noel O Briain (producer of Judas Iscariot agus a Bhean)
  • Maire Ni Mhurchu ("for the intuitive sympathy she shows towards those to whom she talks and the manner in which she conveys her enjoyment in broadcasting")
  • Ciarán Mac Mathúna ("for his work in the discovery and conservation of traditional Irish music")
  • Mike Burns (news and current affairs)
  • Dr. A. J. Potter (composer of Sinfonia de Profundis)

Television

1970s[edit]

1970[edit]

Radio

  • Rick Walshe
  • John Bowman
  • Pat Sweeney
  • Rhoda Coghill
  • P. J. O'Connor
  • Aidan Grennell

Television

1971[edit]

Radio

  • Eamonn Keane (radio drama)
  • Liam Nolan ("for his achievement in improving the prestige of sound broadcasting")
  • Liam Hourican (reports on Northern Ireland)
  • Sunday Miscellany (magazine programme)

Television

  • Brian Mac Lochlainn (producer of A Week in the Life of Martin Cluxton)
  • Canon J. G. McGarry (contributor to Outlook, religious series)
  • Michael Ryan (presenter of Enterprise)
  • Alpho O'Reilly (designer of 1971 Eurovision Song Contest)

Golden Trophy

1972[edit]

Radio

Television

  • Pan Collins (researcher on The Late Late Show)
  • Noel Smyth (producer of Encounter)
  • Rory O'Farrell (film editor of Belfast 1972)
  • Mike Twomey (cast member on Hall's Pictorial Weekly)
  • Frank Duggan (cast member on Hall's Pictorial Weekly)
  • Paddy Gallagher (presenter of Report, current affairs series)[21]

1973[edit]

Radio

  • Roibeard Ó Faracháin (Controller of Radio Programmes for "his defence of free speech since the early days of broadcasting and for his aesthetic sense in encouraging programmes like the Thomas Davis lectures")
  • Kieran Sheedy (editor of Imprint)
  • Tommy O'Brien (presenter of Your Choice and Mine)
  • Olivia O'Leary (news reporter)

Television

1974[edit]

Radio

  • Eoin Ó Súilleabháin (acting performance in The Father)
  • Aine McEvoy (producer of Church in Action, religious affairs programme)
  • Norris Davidson (opera commentaries)
  • Neassa Ní Annracháin ("for her outstanding contribution to a distinguished company of actors")
  • John O'Donovan (host of Dear Sir or Madam, listener feedback programme)
  • Joe Linnane ("long and meritorious service to broadcasting")

Television

1975[edit]

Radio

  • Diarmuid Peavoy (Listen and See - programme for the blind)
  • Michael O'Callaghan (My Own Place)

Television

1976[edit]

Radio

  • Gay Byrne (for The Gay Byrne Show)
  • Eavan Boland (The Arts Programme)
  • Tom McArdle (Knock at the Door - pre-school programme)
  • Padraic Ó Raghallaigh ("for the sustained excellence of his interview series")

Television

Golden Trophy

1977[edit]

Radio

  • Jane Carty (for encouraging Irish musicians)
  • Kathleen Kelliher (Helping Adults to Read)
  • Albert Rosen (conductor of the RTÉ Symphony Orchestra)
  • Pat Feeley (Coiciosan - new writing in the Irish language)

Television

1978[edit]

Radio

Television

1979[edit]

Radio

  • Morgan O'Sullivan (presenter of Late Date)
  • Marian Finucane (presenter of Women Today)
  • Dan Treston (producer of The Secret Garden)
  • Pat Feeley ("for his programmes on Irish social history")

Television

1980s[edit]

1980[edit]

Radio

  • Kevin O'Kelly (presenter of Addendum - religious affairs series)
  • John Skehan (presenter of Play It Again, John - extracts from the radio archive)
  • Anne Daly (reporting of Archbishop Romero's funeral)
  • Dave Fanning (disc jockey)
  • Mike Murphy (for his early morning radio show)

Television

  • John Lynch (producer of The Law Courts edition of Insight series)
  • Frank Cvitanovich (producer and director of Murphy's Stroke - documentary on the Gay Future betting coup)
  • Frank Grimes (acting performance in Strumpet City)
  • John McColgan (producer of Hunky Dory - musical based on songs by Dory Previn)
  • Robert Kee (writer and presenter of Ireland - A Television History)
  • Barry Cowan (presenter of Today Tonight - current affairs series)[5]

1981[edit]

Radio

  • Harry Bradshaw (presenter of Folkland and The Long Note)
  • Andy O'Mahony (presenter of Page by Page and The Church in Action)
  • John Bowman (presenter of Day by Day)
  • Pat Kenny (for "evidence of unusual versatility" as presenter of Saturday View on RTÉ Radio 1, The Kenny Report and The Outside Track, both on RTÉ 2fm)

Television

Golden Trophy

  • Gay Byrne ("in recognition of his outstanding broadcasting achievements on both radio and television")[29]

1982[edit]

Radio

  • Donal Flanagan (producer of Introspect series)
  • Ray Lynott (presenter of A Traveller's Tunes)
  • Des Kenny (presenter of Ask About Gardening)
  • William Styles (producer of radio adaptation of James Joyce's Ulysses)

Television

1983[edit]

Radio

  • Jim Fahy ("for unearthing treasures from our tradition in Looking)
  • Mark Cagney (RTÉ 2fm disc jockey)
  • Caroline Murphy (sports commentator)
  • Betty Purcell (presenter of Talk Back)
  • Venetia O'Sullivan (In Love with Ireland - documentary on Arnold Bax)

Television

1984[edit]

Radio

  • Siobhan McHugh/Shay Healy (producer and presenter of Strawberry Fields Forever - documentary series on the 1960s)
  • Padraic Dolan (documentary maker You Can't Live on Love - programme on unemployment)
  • Julian Vignoles ("for demonstrating the creative role which the producer can play in many areas on radio")
  • Michael Littleton (for development of The Thomas Davis Lectures)

Television

  • Bob Quinn (scriptwriter and director of Atlantean)
  • Ciana Campbell (presenter of Access)
  • J. Graham Reid (writer of The Billy Trilogy)
  • Joe O'Donnell (creator and producer of Bosco)[7]

1985[edit]

Radio

Television

  • Muiris Mac Conghail (for Oileán Eile - documentary on the Blasket Islands)
  • Michael O'Connell (producer of Shadows - series on Victorian Ireland)
  • Niall Mathews (producer of Live Aid for Africa)
  • David Shaw Smith (film-maker and producer of English Silk)[32]
  • Nuala O'Faolain (producer of Plain Tales)[33]

1986[edit]

Radio

  • Andy O'Mahony (presenter of Books and Company)
  • BP Fallon (presenter of The BP Fallon Orchestra)
  • Colette Proctor (acting performance in The Far Side of the Moon)
  • Brendan Balfe (presenter of The Spice of Life documentary series)
  • Larry Gogan (presenter of Ireland's Top Thirty)

Television

1987[edit]

no awards listed[35]

1988[edit]

Radio

  • John Quinn (series on Ewan MacColl and Peggy Seeger)
  • Martha McCarron (The Sad, the Mad and the Bad - series on institutional life in Ireland)
  • Colm Keane (American Profiles)
  • Myles Dungan (14-part series Vietnam)
  • Treasa Davison (presenter of Playback)

Television

1989[edit]

Radio

  • Anne Daly (reporter on Worlds Apart)
  • Andy O'Mahony (presenter of The Sunday Show)
  • Bill Long (producer of Singing Ark, Flowering Flood - documentary on Dylan Thomas)
  • John McKenna (How the heart approaches what it yearns)
  • Eamonn Ó Muirí

Television

  • Zig and Zag ("for keeping the children of the nation happy")
  • Alan Gilsenan (documentary on Irish emigrants)
  • Colm Connolly (writer and presenter of The Shadow of Béal na Bláth)
  • Bernard Loughlin (narrator of The Border - The Great Divide)
  • Shay Healy[37]

1990s[edit]

1990[edit]

Radio

Television

1991[edit]

Radio

Television

list incomplete (see Talk Page)

1992[edit]

Radio

Television

1993[edit]

Radio

Television

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ The Irish Times, "Firm to sponsor TV awards", 7 March 1962
  2. ^ a b The Irish Times, "BBC wins award for Hancock series in first T.E. critic's selection", 5 December 1962
  3. ^ The Irish Times, "Jacob's Television Awards", 12 October 1965
  4. ^ a b The Irish Times, "Television awards presented", 8 December 1966
  5. ^ a b The Irish Times, "Kee wins award for TV history of Ireland", 11 April 1981
  6. ^ Wikipedia article: Radio in Ireland
  7. ^ a b The Irish Times, "Jacob's prize producer leaving for Australia", 23 February 1985
  8. ^ a b The Irish Times, "Higgins warns of threat to service", 15 November 1993
  9. ^ The Irish Times, "Frankie Byrne dies after long battle with illness", 13 December 1993
  10. ^ Irish Independent, "Frankie: we did it her way", 21 December 1998
  11. ^ a b c The Irish Times, "Controversy is indication of RTÉ's success, says minister", 11 December 1970
  12. ^ The Irish Times, "Lenihan pulls out of Jacobs show", 4 October 1990
  13. ^ The Irish Times, "Presentation of television awards and citations", 4 December 1963
  14. ^ The Irish Times, "Television awards presented", 2 December 1964
  15. ^ The Irish Times, "Television awards presented", 9 December 1965
  16. ^ Gaeilgeoir whose media career spanned four eventful decades Irish Times, 2011-07-23.
  17. ^ The Irish Times, "RTÉ advised to fight defeatism", 7 December 1967
  18. ^ The Irish Times, "Presentation of Jacob's TV awards", 12 December 1968
  19. ^ The Irish Times, "Awards for radio and TV presented", 11 December 1969
  20. ^ The Irish Times, "Radio and TV awards presented", 31 January 1972
  21. ^ The Irish Times, "Jacob's Awards presented", 22 January 1973
  22. ^ The Irish Times, "Radio awards presented by O'Brien", 25 February 1974
  23. ^ The Irish Times, "Jacob award marks return of Peggy Dell", 24 February 1975
  24. ^ The Irish Times, "Taoiseach presents radio, television awards", 1 March 1976
  25. ^ The Irish Times, "Critics honour 'Olives' and 'Riordans'", 16 May 1977
  26. ^ The Irish Times, "Decision to drop 'Spike' was correct, says Lynch", 13 March 1978
  27. ^ The Irish Times, "Jacobs present awards", 31 March 1979
  28. ^ The Irish Times, "RTÉ asked to portray N.I. culture", 12 April 1980
  29. ^ The Irish Times, "Gay Byrne wins award", 3 April 1982
  30. ^ The Irish Times, "Nealon pledges local radio", 26 March 1983
  31. ^ The Irish Times, "Derek Davis among 11 RTÉ award winners", 7 March 1984
  32. ^ The Irish Times, "Taoiseach presents Jacob's Awards", 10 April 1986
  33. ^ Caldwell, June (14 May 2008). "'She gave a voice to Irish women'". The Guardian (Guardian.co.uk). Retrieved 12 November 2010. 
  34. ^ The Irish Times, "TV and radio awards presented", 6 June 1987
  35. ^ The Jacob's Awards were subject to erratic scheduling, and there were no awards made between June 1987 and October 1988. The 1987 awards ceremony is deemed to relate primarily to 1986 and, as the subsequent presentation covered programmes broadcast in 1988, no awards are listed for 1987.
  36. ^ The Irish Times, "Jacob's Award for McAnally", 17 October 1988
  37. ^ The Irish Times, "'Worlds Apart' may not continue", 16 October 1989
  38. ^ The Irish Times, "Jacob's awards presented", 15 October 1990
  39. ^ The Irish Times, "6 out of 7 can't be bad", 11 November 1991
  40. ^ The Irish Times, "Household Games", 12 November 1991
  41. ^ The Irish Times, "Duignan named as new press secretary", 18 February 1992
  42. ^ The Irish Times, "Winners of radio and TV awards", 16 November 1992