As we recently announced here, MultiMediaMouth is delighted to launch the Gavin Blyth Award for Outstanding Contribution in Television.
The first winner, Gavin Blyth himself is sadly no longer with us to accept the award, and so it is with great pleasure that our TV Editor and Co Editor in Chief Chris Nelson was able to speak to his wife Suzy, who accepted the award on his behalf.
Chris Nelson: It’s with great pleasure Suzy that we can announce the first winner of the Gavin Blyth Award for Outstanding Contribution to Television is Gavin himself and we’re deeply honoured that you’re able to accept the award on his behalf. We felt really that he was the only candidate for the award due to the quality of his work and the fact his influence is still clearly evident on Emmerdale in particular. Do you get to keep up with the show at all? Do you see parts of it that you recognise as being resulting from his work? Do you keep in contact with anyone from Emmerdale?
Suzy Blyth: Firstly, thank you so much for this incredible award and the honour of having it in Gavin’s name.
I still love to sit down and watch Emmerdale, though I found it very difficult for the first few months following his death. Gavin would have been so proud to see Aaron’s story with Jackson play out, and Carl’s wedding bust up with Chastity and Eve . Unfortunately I don’t get to watch the show as often as I would like, however I did make a conscious effort to tune in for the 40th Birthday episodes and found myself suitably gripped. There remains a supreme quality to the show, the writing and performances were electric. Sarah’s story with Debbie is something that Gavin worked hard on before his death and I feel Charlie, Kelvin, Dominic and Jeff have played it to perfection. There are still other stories I see Gavin’s influence in, however I also think Stuart Blackburn and the story team have done an incredible job, with not only keeping the show strong but also continuing to move it forward. I do still see many of the cast and the amazing crew, they have been incredibly supportive to myself and the family over the past two years.
Chris: I’ve said before on MultiMediaMouth how much of an inspiration Gavin has been on me personally, and while reading about him something that comes over is how respected and well loved Gavin was. I haven’t read one negative or derogatory statement about him from people in the industry or fans which speaks volumes about the effect he had on people. Could you tell us a little about Gavin and how much of his personality was reflected in his work?
Suzy: Gavin was fastidious about his work. It reflected his search for perfection, he wanted drama to reflect real life and real people. On a more personal level he was one of the cheekiest most enigmatic people you could wish to meet. Utterly charming, and a great listener, full of positive words of advice. He adored finding solutions to problems and there was always a ‘Plan’, be it for a work story or a family day trip. One of his greatest gifts was an ability to show his emotions. If he wasn’t happy one look would tell you, his eyes spoke chapters, but if he was happy or had just come up with an idea they’d sparkle like the North star.
Chris: What do you think Gavin would make of being the inspiration behind an award like this?
Suzy: He would be humbled. He held public opinion, press, websites and independent forums with such high regard, as they are often a true reflection of a dramas success. He took everything to heart, so to have an award named after him he would find utterly humbling – and incredibly exciting, he’d be celebrating if he was still alive, he loved a bit of pomp and ceremony and was the king of parties!
Chris: Finally, there anything you’d like to say to fans of Gavin’s work?
Suzy: I would personally like to thank the fans of Gavin’s work for keeping his memory alive and opening our eyes to his success. He would be so honoured that he has had any sort of impact on drama , this reflects all his hard work was not in vain. He would encourage anyone following in his footsteps to keep following their dreams. Keep knocking on doors until they open. I still have many pieces of his work that we ‘d discussed and he worked on over the years, hopefully we will get them off the ground one day – perhaps produced by someone he has inspired. That would be incredible!