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Bafta award for television hit writer

The man behind hit shows including Cilla (left) and Mrs Biggs is to be honoured with a special award at this year's TV Baftas.

Jeff Pope, who is currently making a drama about the Shannon Matthews case, will be recognised at the event next month.

"Writing is all about facing down the tyranny of the blank screen, but my message to all aspiring writers is that once you've hit that first key, you discover it's really not so difficult as you'd imagined," he said.

Andrew Newman, chairman of Bafta's Television Committee, said Pope was "one of the finest exponents of his craft".