Saturday 24 February 2018

Sherlock producer Beryl Vertue 'chuffed to bits' over CBE honour

Beryl Vertue has been the executive producer for all three seasons of acclaimed series Sherlock
Beryl Vertue has been the executive producer for all three seasons of acclaimed series Sherlock

Sherlock executive producer Beryl Vertue said she was "chuffed to bits" to be awarded a CBE in the New Year's Honours list.

She has been instrumental in bringing to screens hits including the modern-day sleuthing drama, comedies Men Behaving Badly and Coupling, and the BBC's latest adaptation of Lady Chatterley's Lover, and has been aptly honoured for services to television drama.

It was a family victory for Vertue, who said the CBE was "a great honour and one I would not have received were it not for the support of the many talented people I have worked with over the years, particularly my two daughters, Sue and Debbie."

Vertue received an OBE in the 2000 New Year's Honours List for services to independent production television after founding Hartswood Films in 1988, where daughter Sue is a producer and Debbie is director of operations.

"Hartswood Films was one of the very first independent production companies when I launched it, and I'm proud to say we're still independent today," she said.

Vertue has played a hand in some of Britain's most defining TV comedies and dramas, beginning as an agent for renowned writers such as Spike Milligan and Eric Sykes and comedy stars Tony Hancock and Frankie Howerd, before moving into production.

She worked with many of the talent at her production company Associated Films London to produce feature film versions of Up Pompeii, Till Death Us Do Part, and Steptoe And Son.

Those in the USA have Vertue to thank for years of laughter too as she took the formats of the latter two across the pond, as well as making American adaptations of Upstairs Downstairs and It's A Knockout.

She said one career highlight was as executive producer on 1975 film Tommy, bringing together a star-studded cast of Jack Nicholson, The Who, Elton John, Eric Clapton and Tina Turner in pinball-mania.

Many Benedict Cumberbatch fans, however, will likely view Sherlock - which is written by her son-in-law Steven Moffat - as her greatest achievement.

Vertue has executive produced all three seasons of the acclaimed series and returns for the New Year's Day special which will transport Cumberbatch's Holmes and Martin Freeman's Watson into the Victorian period to solve The Case of the Abominable Bride.

The honour will be one on a heaving shelf-full that includes the Bafta Alan Clarke award for Outstanding Creative Contribution to Television and a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Royal Television Society Programme Awards.

Press Association

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