AN Irish filmmaker yesterday described the winning of a prestigious BAFTA award as "a spectacular surprise".
Paul Glynn, from Clonskeagh, Dublin, and his team partied into the early hours of yesterday morning after winning first prize for Best Documentary Series for 'Welcome to Lagos' at the 57th annual Philips British Academy Television Awards at the London Palladium.
Mr Glynn (30) said the accolade was "fantastic", particularly as he and his colleagues "had concluded for various reasons we would not win".
'Welcome to Lagos' is a three-part series exploring life in one of the toughest urban environments in the world.
The three programmes, which have already been broadcast by the BBC, show how successfully slum dwellers in Nigeria's financial capital are adapting to the extreme challenge of surviving among the 16 million inhabitants of the megacity.
Apart from Mr Glynn, the six-person production team included director Gavin Searle, producer Will Anderson, camera man Frankie Fathers, editor Chris King and Andrew Palmer, executive producer for KEO Films, the company behind the documentary.
Mr Glynn , who is now based between London and Africa, is a graduate of Dun Laoghaire's Institute of Art and Design.
He said he first became "hooked" on Africa after travelling there, aged just 22, when a "few months doing some voluntary work" turned into a two-year stay. "I love the wildness of the place and the people who are incredibly open, warm and relaxed," Mr Glynn said yesterday.
He is currently editing a documentary on Sierra Leone, which follows a child soldier living in Iraq, earning valuable dollars for his family back home.
Mr Glynn's work has taken him from west Africa to India and Bangladesh following subjects as diverse as killer chimps, slum recycling and diamond miners.
There was also some disappointment for other Irish nominees, with actor Robert Sheehan and Brendan O'Carroll's 'Mrs Brown's Boys' losing out, while Graham Norton picked up the gong for best light entertainment programme.
Robert Sheehan was nominated in the category of Best Supporting Actor for his role as Nathan in 'Misfits' but the prize was ultimately won by Martin Freeman from 'Sherlock'.
Brendan O'Carroll's hit sit-com 'Mrs Brown's Boys', nominated in the category of situation comedy, lost out to BBC Two/Big Talk Production's 'Rev'.