COMEDY writer Jason Cook is toasting a home town win after his BBC show Hebburn scooped a prestigious TV gong.
The hit BBC2 series, featuring Jim Moir (better known as Vic Reeves), Gina McKee and South Tyneside’s own Chris Ramsey, was named Best Drama at the North East Royal Television Society Awards.
The success caps a fantastic start to 2013 for show creator Jason Cook, who hails from Hebburn.
Hebburn has already secured a second series and a Christmas special after strong ratings on BBC, as well as winning Best New Sitcom in the British Comedy Guide Awards and Best Comedy Series in the SP Entertainment Awards.
Cook said: “It’s huge, it’s the biggest category in the awards. We genuinely didn’t think we had a chance of winning.
“When our name was announced, it was all a bit of a blur.
“Everyone in the cast has worked really hard, as we all wanted to make it good, as it’s the first Geordie sitcom for 30 years.”
The sitcom stars Jason’s best pal Chris Ramsey as Jack Pearson, who moves back to Hebburn after marrying middle-class Jewish girl Sarah in Manchester.
He returns home to introduce her to his dad Joe, played by Moir, his mum Pauline, portrayed by McKee, and their family and friends.
More than 400 guests, including Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson, South Shields singer Joe McElderry and actress Melanie Hill attended Saturday night’s ceremony at the Hilton Hotel in Gateshead, hosted by BBC presenter Kirsten O’Brien.
Victoria Elliott, who plays Denise in the show, said: “It was a really good night. It’s great to get that recognition, particularly for Jason, as it’s based on his home town.
“We’re all just really pleased with how the show has gone. We’ve got a little break now and we’ll be filming again in August.”
Steffen Peddie, who stars as Big Keith in the series, had to miss the awards bash, as he had stand-up gigs in Leeds and Bradford – but he caught up with the cast in Newcastle as the celebrations continued until the early hours of yesterday.
Mr Peddie said: “I caught up with the cast for celebratory drinks. Jason and Chris were there, along with Jim, Graham Duff, one of the writers, Neil Grainger – basically everyone who was at the awards show.
“Jim had a good time. He was one of my comedy heroes and he has really lived up to that.
“We are very much an ensemble cast. We are a big team, everyone is in it together. I’m really, really proud to be part of the cast.”