Reef Television and BBC Two tonight won the Czech Crystal award at the Golden Prague TV Festival for their 60 minute drama documentary Messiah at the Foundling Hospital which told the extraordinary story of how Handel’s Messiah helped raise vital funds for Thomas Coram’s Foundling Hospital rescuing tens of thousands of abandoned children from London’s streets.
The drama documentary presented by historian Amanda Vickery and BBC Radio 3 presenter Tom Service was part of the BBC’s cross-channel arts season, Eighteenth Century Britain: Majesty, Music and Mischief. It was executive produced by Ben Weston, Head of Specialist Factual at Reef Television and ordered by Jan Younghusband, BBC’s Head of Commissioning, Music and Events TV.
Kim Shillinglaw, Controller of BBC Two, commented: “BBC TWO is delighted that Messiah at the Foundling Hospital has won this prestigious international award which recognises the channel's role in showcasing the very best music and arts programmes as well as the hard work and dedication of the commissioning and production team.”
Richard Farmbrough, Managing Director Reef Television commented: “Winning the Czech Crystal is a wonderful accolade for this ambitious and profoundly moving film. I am delighted that the hard work of the production team, led by Ben Weston, and the eloquence of presenters Tom Service and Amanda Vickery has been recognised by the jury here at The Golden Prague Festival. Our thanks go to all our talented musicians and performers along with Jan Younghusband at the BBC for helping us bring to life the extraordinary story of Messiah at The Foundling Hospital.”