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THE TRANSGENDER TELEVISION AWARDS 2015 (ARCHIVE)
For the forth year running Channel 5 has proven again that transphobia is at least avoidable. Many of the winners over the years are from the Channel 5 stable, and this is a channel that not only listens to what we say, but acts upon it to change it. A prime example is how ‘Big Brother’ has changed in the last 5 years. They listen and adapt.
‘The Wright Stuff’ and its presenter Matthew Wright, is one example. Matthew again handled trans stories and negative comments with aplomb, especially when he corrects panelists or audience members.
The general feel of the programming on this channel is that it is a far better fit than any other channel. Their competition we can so easily tear apart almost daily! Channel 5 is by no means perfect (who is?), but they are light-years ahead and add a country mile on top of that from the other channels.
Best Programme of the Year
Celebrity Big Brother 2014/ Endemol
Celebrity Big Brother 2014 gave us Kellie Maloney – and you can follow her entire timeline in the house here.
In 2014 it was questionable if there was a big enough Transgender ‘name’ for the show. Rumours abounded with potential international names like Jenna Talackova, Lea T, Andreja Pejic or Laverne Cox might have been on the cards (maybe next year?). But then to the surprise of the nation (we were forewarned) the then Boxing Promoter Frank Maloney had transitioned and was living as Kellie Maloney. We immediately thought this is such great timing for ‘Celebrity Big Brother’. The then Frank was a huge character in the past, and was at times quite controversial in ‘his’ then UKIP political leanings, especially about (ironically) the LGBT community. Lo and behold on Launch Night out marched Kellie to cheers and applause. This was not only VERY expensive for the production company, Endemol, it was also risky. As she could have damaged the trans*community.
To begin with, it did not look good, as Kellie’s moods swung from bad to worse, even at times the face of Frank appeared when becoming aggressive. And to add fuel to the fire they had one of her old sparing partners, Boxer, Audley Harrison, in the house who had known Kellie previously as Frank. The scene was set for what at first appeared to be a transphobic show-down, but as I stated here (see important comment to producers). Audley was under pressure too, and thankfully they did not eject Audley. This after sometime (read the blog here that has a day-by-day account of all the happenings and opinion) resulted in this moment.
This I can honestly say was one of the best moments in transgender television history. As it has so many layers of acceptance. 1. It is two Boxers embracing. 2. They are emotional. 3. Kellie and Audley are tough characters! 4. It was being broadcast to the nation! and 5. TransgenderZone.com has a massive television archive, and very few moments are at this level. and finally 6. Audley’s acceptance of her as a woman!
This image above is the moment the show won this accolade, as to arrive at this point, took money, risk, fantastic decisioning on the part of what to do about Audley’s reluctance to deal with Kellie, as he said, he didn’t want to be in the bathroom at the same time as Kellie (later resolved). We saw Kellie grow into the woman she is today before our very eyes. And finally, Kellie is an older woman, and older transgender women need more representation in the media (ageism) and proves it is never too late to transition – not least because of their life-experiences.
Endemol and ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ ticked all the boxes this year and gave us a great programme.
Their after-show show, entitled ‘Celebrity Big Brother’s Bit on the Side’, hosted by past award winner, Emma Willis and Rylan Clark, also ensure trans voices are heard, Luke Anderson (Past winner and Trans Man – search this site we have interviewed him), Lauren Harries (search this site for plenty on her) to name but two, but also many trans* and young gender-variant people appear in their studio audience.
What more can we ask(?), plus it was on for 3 weeks! Not a 10 minute interview, or 30minute tokenistic programme to shut the trans* community up. Investment is a risk and Endemol took that risk and it paid off!
@TransgenderZone thanks guys me and Emma appreciate it x
— Rylan Clark-Neal (@Rylan) January 21, 2015
Congratulations Endemol, Emma Willis, Rylan Clark the Big Brother Team – well deserved . This year the Show won it and everyone is part of that.
Matthew Wright, Wright Stuff.
Forth year win for Matthew!
What wins the award for Matthew is for as much about what he says and does as it is about what he doesn’t say, or prevents other from saying. This year Scott Capurro almost said the word ‘tr*nny’, and before he even got to say, “tr…”, Matthew said, “But you wouldn’t want to say that now would you?…” Scott saw his face looking concerned and quickly added, “no of course not…”. Matthew also was on air when Kellie Maloney came out in The Mirror Newspaper, with the famous ‘Meet Kellie’ Headline. This was a golden opportunity to mock the Boxing Promoter, but Matthew and the team were very generous.
As Matthew’s show is on the same channel as ‘Celebrity Big Brother’ (Channel 5/Five). He decided to invite a number of transgender people onto his programme to discuss transgender issues, and encouraged conversation about what it means being trans* today, etc, and to talk about Kellie. This was very good. He avoided just choosing one voice, or the well known young transgender people around, and instead, ensured a number of voices of all ages, differing situations (like Kellie) were chosen to speak, and a few were placed in the studio audience, and a number of others phoned-in. This resulted in an ‘all ages’ approach and as a result was a very fair and balanced view. It is tempting to book one young trans* person to speak as it is easy, but that always tends to result in bad feeling and a very limited opinion, as how can they know what it is like to say be 60 years-of-age and hiding in stealth under threat in a sink estate? So the balanced approach, whilst taking more work to achieve was welcome! This extra ‘push’ makes the difference. To ensure many voices are heard from all ages and experiences.
Later, Audley Harrison was a guest, and they both spoke warmly of that ‘moment’ when he embraced Kellie, and it was quite frankly (no puns) wonderful to see that Audley still thinks of that moment fondly. Matthew is not a flash-in-the pan and tokensitic because it makes him look good, he walks the walk and is genuinely like that! He is the transgender community’s first line of defence when he reviews the papers every weekday morning, and it is Matthew who often sets the record straight to the viewing public long before anything unpleasant can take hold.
“Thank you – it means the world x” (Matthew Wright, 2015).
He and his guests (who read out the stories) and their agreeable demeanour (as was the case with with the Kellie Maloney headlines) trickle down to the viewing public, and may as a result, prevent transphobia from occurring, as he is educating them to not to behave in this way, as after all said and done he and his panel do not behave in an abusive way and hopefully a person watching will take this on-board in the street next time they pass a gender-variant person.
He has a sincere and safe pair of hands for newspaper reviews live on air, and as such again wins our Best Presenter Award once more!
Sometimes programmes are not intrinsically bad – they just need a good presenter!
Matthew is personally presented with the glassware this year for him to keep as it is his forth year (and on behalf of Princess Productions ). Very well done to all concerned! The DVR is already set on ‘record series’ for 2015!
ITV1’s ‘This Morning’ Team have again won our Best Daytime slot, although this year made easier by the 30 year anniversary of Lorraine Kelly and her special award (below) which meant ‘This Morning’ were clear winners.
This Morning this year, made a special effort it seemed, to increase the numbers of transgender and gender-variant guests. Some were controversial, like Matthew Attonley (search this site), but equally there were Bi-gender people and their partners, and it felt like a year of ‘couples’. After all, TV is always looking to expand on a theme, and avoid too much repetition.
Nevertheless, ‘This Morning’ did cover some really important issues, and here are just a few stories they covered!
Chelsea Attonely (later changed back to Matthew Attonely) young trans*teenage boy (important!) Leo Waddell , Bianca and Nick Bowser . The show did not have access until later to Kellie Maloney, as she was signed up with Channel 5, but This Morning’ tried to get a similar woman to Kellie in the shape of Helen here. Trans*man Kieran and his partner also appeared. And finally they managed to get Kellie Maloney onto the show after her hideous surgery panic in November – more on that here.
The show also avoided any controversial comments that past years may have been flagged up as ‘inappropriate’. In 2014 ‘This Morning’ were untouchable and giving them the award this year is a no-brainer – as you can see above. Our logs and reviews are totally transparent for this exact reason. So you can see for yourselves why this is a meritocracy, rather than personal opinions.
Well done to the ‘This Morning’ team, Phillip, Christine, Amanda (who has done a great job standing in for Holly during her pregnancy), Holly, Eamonn, Ruth and Rylan and the rest of the Team and Production Crew (Producers and PA’s are sometimes forgotten!) – keep it up!
This award has been a long time coming, sadly she is always pipped to the post by her colleagues on ‘This Morning’. However, 2014 was Lorraine’s year! She celebrated 30 years as the Queen of Breakfast TV in the UK. Perennially full of fun, and almost universally liked at ‘National Treasure Status’, so this was a real pleasure to reward her finally from the Transgender community.
This award is not for 2014, although, as always, in 2014 she treated transgender guests as she always does (see our forum media section for more on those shows), as if it was the first time she had ever met a transgender person. But this award is for those 29 years previously. Younger people may not be aware of Lorraine back in those early days, in those days transgender people were still fighting to be recognised, were suffering and discriminated against every day in the workplace. Abused in public at a far higher rate than today. Back then, there was no early intervention for minors, no internet support. Medicine and family doctors still treated it as some ‘sexual deviancy’, and transgender people were only safe within the ‘gay villages’ or in the dark attending functions with friends. Unless you were fortunate enough to hook up with groups like the Beaumont Society, most transpeople hid away and took until now to transition. Many of the encounters on ‘Lorraine’ were explaining what it was (see the great Dr Russell Reid with Lorraine below) to be transgender, and explaining that their Birth Certificates had the incorrect birth listed to what they felt. So this show offered a conduit to the country to demonstrate how wrong this was. At all times Lorraine Kelly was there holding their hands saying, “It’s OK sweetheart!”
1990’s with Dr Russell Reid and Transgender Campaigners.
Jackie McAuliffe (2002) and Jan Hamilton (2008) and more recently with Jackie Green (2012).
(Source: itv/Transgender Zone Television Archives).
30 years ago there were some studio debating shows like ‘Kilroy’, ‘The Time and The Place’ and ‘Vanessa’, but Lorraine was smart from the get go. She was on the side of what was right, she treated transgender people not as ‘freaks’ or ‘weirdos’, or laughing behind her hand, she treated transgender people with dignity, respect and as old friends (as she does with so many challenging subjects she faces between the fashion, celebrities and cookery slots of this morning magazine type show). This was an important part of the transgender ‘struggle’, as to be presented well on television at that time, and taken seriously, was a game-changer.
Above, there are some stills from that time, but there have been literally hundreds of transgender bottoms on her couches over the years. Yet today, if you sit opposite her, you would never know! And that is what makes her special. When a young transgender person tries to tell Lorraine about these things – behind those deep brown Caledonian eyes is a lifetime of similar encounters, but they are all forgotten to give that person their ‘moment’. She has heard it all a thousand times before, but she would never patronise them. Her warm matriarchal generosity ensures trust – after all, for those guests today, it still is new!
There are not many presenters who have stayed the course, remained warm, and are as nice today as they were 30 years previous.
It is therefore with the greatest pleasure and appreciation, that Lorraine Paula Kelly OBE (yes she has one of those awards as well), you are awarded our ‘Special Award for Excellence‘, we cannot call it the ‘Lifetime Achievement‘ because we hope to see you there for a few more decades to come! Never change.
This year for the first time we have a Sponsor’s Special Award. This award has been decided by the sponsors and although TransgenderZone.com covered it in our logs. That was not the deciding factor. The sponsors have this year decided to give the award to S4C for their documentary ‘Y Byd Ar Bedwar’ (click here for the full story).
This was in Welsh with English subtitles. It followed a number of transgender women in Wales on their journeys. What made this special, was that it was educating Welsh speakers in their native tongue about transgender people. All those that appeared in the programme said they were treated very well by the channel, and now some are working with Welsh television on additional projects as a result – which is very exciting. Welsh television is also creating dramas with welsh transgender characters and this maybe something to look out for in the future. Something English Television is slow to assimilate in a serious way.
(Image Source: itv/S4C)
Jenny-Anne Bishop OBE, and Vice-President of The Beaumont Society, Rona Rees, Present the Transgender Television Award for 2015 to Programme Editor, Geraint Evans and the Y Byd ar Bedwar team with the award at itv Cymru Wales.
ITV News Report on the presentation made by the sponsors – click here.
The Sponsor’s Special Award is presented to S4C.