BAFTA success for Marvellous

Posted on 11 May 2015

Marvellous, which told the story of Neil Baldwin, a man with learning difficulties who has been adopted by the student body at Keele over the last 50 years and became became kit man with Stoke City, was one of the night's big winners at the Bafta TV awards.

It picked up best single drama, while Gemma Jones, who played Neil's mother, Mary, won best supporting actress.

The 72-year-old appeared close to tears as she said: "I'd like to thank the real Neil [Baldwin] for allowing us to intrude on his extraordinary life."

In his acceptance speech Neil thanked all his friends at Keele and his football team; and added "I would like to thank everyone in Marvellous for how great it was."

Broadcast on BBC2, a lot of it was filmed at the University during the summer of 2014: in the Chapel, the students' union, the sports centre and sports field, and Keele Hall. These locations are in some cases masquerading as somewhere else but Keele people will know! Students played roles as extras and others gained fabulous work experience with the production team. Very funny and heart-warming but also real pathos - the marvellous tale of how a boy "with difficulties" became a man who never acknowledged any obstacle to doing whatever he wanted.

The awards, hosted by Graham Norton, were held at the Theatre Royal Drury Lane, London.

Neil was awarded the honorary degree of Master of the University in 2013. He has watched, supported and kept in touch with successive cohorts of Keele students building an impressive network of alumni contacts both national and internationally. He serves the students offering advice and support, remaining steadfastly proud and loyal to Keele. In doing so, he has openly defended Keele and voiced his concerns about any issue that has or would affect Keele to his numerous contacts within parliament, the various leaders of Christian denomination churches, volunteer organisations and business leaders across the country, of whom he regularly visits.

Earlier in the year Toby Jones was been named best actor at the Broadcasting Press Guild awards for playing Neil in Marvellous and Lance in comedy Detectorists. Marvellous also won best single drama.