Esther Dean on the awards she received for her work

When I got the BAFTA for Hard Times, there hadn’t been craft awards before. I remember being very excited watching the awards when it was Country Matters and Derek Granger got the award for the best series, and we were jumping up in the air. I was in my flat but leaping round cheering that he’d got that. I had no idea you could get one. And again, I bumped into Peter Eckersley in reception or somewhere. A lot of stuff was just done with bumping into people. And he said, “Oh, they’re having some awards and you’ve been nominated for the costume award.” And that was the first I’d ever heard of it. I went down to London. It was all very haphazard. There was no party. I think I went with a friend. And I got the award. I was the first one to get it and it was very nice.

When I went up to Manchester, it must have been over the weekend and I went up presumably on the Monday, and I thought one thing I must make sure is that one thanks everybody who’s worked for you. So I went in with some bottles of champagne. All the dressers and the other people who’d worked, I wrote them little letters to say thank you because really nobody took very much notice. So we started having a party. And then, was it Bill Tomlinson, or Stuart [Aidison?], came down and realised. Nobody else had had an award. I was the only one. I think makeup got it but I don’t think she was employed. I was the only Granada employee who got an award. So they were a bit embarrassed. It was quite a party, and then I can remember going on to the Stables. Again, there was somebody who came over and was quite ashamed that they hadn’t made a bit of a… There used to be a magazine, how well we’ve done this year, and there was something about how we’d won these awards, but of course we don’t make a big show of it. One was almost being put in one’s place. Don’t think because you’ve won award that you’re going to… It was quite interesting. They were very ambivalent.

Did you go on to win other awards?

Then for Jewel. Then I was also nominated for an Emmy for Jewel, which was in America. Again, I knew I would not win that but I thought, sod it, I’d like to go! We used to have a travel desk, I don’t know if you remember the travel desk. I phoned somebody up and said, what about it? The craft awards were different to the major ones, and at a different time. I remember phoning someone up and asking if I could go. They said we were not having a representative at the craft awards. I said, “I’m not a representative, I’m a nominee.” And a whole load of them were going out to the major ones. I can remember phoning the desk. I almost had to pay my own way. In fact, I shamed them. They did pay my air ticket but I think I had to pay my hotel. She booked my hotel. But it was terribly boring. It was a dreadful ceremony. But I’m glad I went. One’s only time in Hollywood or Beverly Hills!

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