Daily Mail writer wins Edgar Wallace Award
THE Daily Mail's columnist Tom Utley has won the prestigious Edgar Wallace Award for his writing at the 2011 London Press Club awards. He took the prize for "writing and reporting of the highest quality". Judges praised the "restrained elegance" of his work and admired the "gentle sense of self-denigration" which pervades his Friday column each week.
As an example - in their citation - they pointed to a piece in which he had described sleeping right through the Brixton riots which took place outside his window. He realised he had missed a big story only when he opened his curtains and saw a smouldering burned-out car in the street below.
It was said that the flavour of his writing could be judged by some of the following headlines on his column: 'Debenhams claims Mr Average spends 98 minutes on styling and grooming. So how come I manage it in 12 seconds?' Or: 'I've only taken three sickies in 34 years. What a testament to my diet of coffee, cigs and vin rouge.'
Tom joins an elite cast of previous Daily Mail writers to have won the same award over the Press Club's history, including such Fleet Street legends as Ian Wooldridge, Ross Benson, Quentin Letts, Ann Leslie and Keith Waterhouse.
The London Press Club Awards have become an important landmark in the media year. They feature such famous awards as Scoop of the Year, the Edgar Wallace Award for Fine Writing, Business Journalist of the Year, Broadcasting Journalist of the Year, Consumer Affairs Journalist of the Year and Daily and Sunday Newspaper of the Year