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Last Updated: Monday, 21 May 2007, 01:46 GMT 02:46 UK
How does it feel to win a Bafta?
By Kevin Young
Entertainment reporter, BBC News

Among the winners at the Bafta TV Awards was a special edition of Granada Reports, ITV1's news programme for north-west England, about the deaths of 21 Chinese cockle-pickers in Morecambe.

It was the first time in Bafta's 54-year history that any such "regional" TV news team had recognised.

Correspondents Rob Smith and Elaine Willcox, who worked on the story, told the BBC News website about their day in London - and how it felt to beat some household names to the prize.


The Bafta-winning Granada Reports team
The winning team included Smith (second left) and Willcox (centre)
Rob Smith: We came down on a very impressive coach today which we'd hired especially for the occasion, with a bar and a kitchen and people waiting on you hand and foot, never expecting we were going to win.

We were thinking that was quite impressive in itself, and then we get here, to a hall full of celebrities and people who are incredibly famous and who you see on the telly every day, and then they say, 'Actually, by the way, you've won.'

The day couldn't have got any better, really.

Elaine Willcox: Our boss said that because we were sitting mid-row - with Jon Snow of Channel 4 News at one end and Huw Edwards on the other end - we're not going to win, and he seemed really disappointed.

Rob Smith: You find yourself getting ready and putting on a dinner suit, but at the back of your mind, this little voice says, 'You really shouldn't be wearing this. Why don't you put it back in the case and just go home? That's probably a much, much better idea.'

Elaine Willcox: On the red carpet, we milked it with a very slow walk - and we were star-spotting. What was lovely was that Robson Green was there.

We went over and asked for our pictures with him. We felt really embarrassed. And then when we won, he came over to us with our Bafta and kissed us!

Rob Smith: I was absolutely stunned and delighted when we won. It's an amazing recognition of a hell of a lot of work from a hell of lot of people.

It's an amazing recognition for a regional programme which was breathtaking in its range, its analysis, its production and its scope.

Elaine Willcox: Obviously we're all delighted to be here because it was a really important story to tell, faceless, nameless victims - and that's why we went out to China to find out about their stories. So today was very much about them as well.

Cockle-picking on Morecambe beach
Cockle-picking is a major industry in the Lancashire town of Morecambe
And we were told that it couldn't be done. ITV, Channel 4 News and CNN took our footage. They said it was too dangerous to go and film undercover in China. They didn't really help us to do it.

We proved that, at a regional level, the whole team took this story seriously, and we really wanted to find what drove these Chinese people to come here.

Tonight was just so fantastic because the whole team was there - but it was all surreal as well because we didn't feel as though we should be. Someone said she felt like a burglar because she'd just come with all these huge stars.

Now we've won, we're dying for a drink and something to eat.

Rob Smith: And maybe holding that fantastic trophy a bit more. But it's so heavy. I never imagined anything could be that heavy. It weighs a tonne.

You hold it and you think it's going to be made of plastic with a polystyrene base, but it's not something you can just pick up and hold aloft because suddenly you'd find your arms dragging on the floor.


SEE ALSO
Man guilty of 21 cockling deaths
24 Mar 06 |  Lancashire

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