Sir Trevor McDonald OBE to be crowned BBC Grierson Trustees’ Award winner at the 2018 British Documentary Awards
Former newsreader and journalist turned documentary maker, Sir Trevor McDonald will be honoured with the prestigious BBC Grierson Trustees’ Award at the 2018 British Documentary Awards, presented at Queen Elizabeth Hall on Monday 5th November.
Sir Trevor has made an indelible mark on the documentary genre with his ability to draw out contributors from the most heinous to the most vulnerable. His appeal stretches across audiences, including broadcasters’ much coveted younger viewers, harnessing his years in the thrum of current affairs, his journalistic prowess and his interviewing talent to create films that take viewers into worlds rarely seen on screen.
Recognised the world over as the face and voice of ITN’s news bulletins and interviewer of the great and the good, Sir Trevor presented his first documentary in 2009 – The Secret Caribbean with Trevor McDonald followed by The Mighty Mississippi and has since gone on to make more than a dozen more including Inside Death Row, Women Behind Bars, The Mafia and Mafia Women, An Hour to Catch A Killer, James Bulger: A Mother’s Story and Martin Luther King.
Announcing the award, Chairman of the Grierson Trust, Lorraine Heggessey says: “Sir Trevor is a national treasure, trusted by viewers to take them into the darkest worlds. He skilfully manages to win the confidence of his subjects, persuading them to open up in revealing interviews. It is no mean achievement to deliver documentaries that are both powerful and popular.”
Born and educated in Trinidad where his career in the media began, Sir Trevor came to London in August 1969 to work for BBC World Service. He went on to join ITN as a reporter in 1973 where his first major assignment was Northern Ireland. He covered the Province’s ‘troubles’ for more than a decade. He went on to work for both Channel 4 and ITN in news anchor and correspondent roles. He has reported from every continent, covering events and conducting interviews worldwide with Nelson Mandela, former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein, Libyan President Colonel Gaddafi, the former PLO leader Yasser Arafat, Presidents Bill Clinton and George Bush, Tony Blair and Hillary Clinton amongst them. Sir Trevor became the first sole presenter of News At Ten in 1992 and anchored the Late Evening News until December 2005. By then he had received more awards than any other news broadcaster in Britain including BAFTAs, RTS and NTA as well as receiving honorary degrees from at least eight universities. Sir Trevor was awarded the OBE in 1992 and was awarded a Knighthood in 1999.
Sir Trevor follows in the illustrious footsteps of previous Trustees’ Award winners including documentary luminaries Alastair Fothergill, Louis Theroux, Sir David Attenborough, John Battsek, Molly Dineen, Nick Fraser, Alex Graham, Kim Longinotto, Kevin MacDonald, Norma Percy, John Pilger and Penny Woolcock. Acknowledged as the Oscars of the documentary world, the Trustees’ Award crowns the crème de la crème of the industry, recognising an outstanding contribution to the art or craft of documentary making.
Now in their 46th year, the Griersons celebrate the best in documentary filmmaking carrying prestige and allure for factual filmmakers from across the globe.
The winners of Grierson 2018 will be revealed at a star-studded ceremony hosted by Susan Calman at Queen Elizabeth Hall on the Southbank on Monday 5th November, 2018.