Meryl Streep as the Iron Lady.  Credit: Alex Bailey

Meryl Streep as Margaret Thatcher in The Iron Lady.
Photo Credit: Alex Bailey.

BAFTA nomination for Exeter alumna

Abi Morgan, the Exeter alumna who wrote the screenplay The Iron Lady has been nominated for a BAFTA.

The Iron Lady is a portrait of the life of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher - the only woman in history to have held the position. The screenplay was written by Abi and confirms her place as one of the leading writers for film, theatre and television in the UK.

Margaret Thatcher is played by actress Meryl Streep, who has already won a Golden Globe award for her portrayal of the former premier. A host of other British stars are in the film, including Jim Broadbent as Denis Thatcher, Richard E. Grant and Anthony Head.

Abi graduated in English and Drama and her career has gone from strength to strength over the past fifteen years. Her first professional theatre credit was the play Skinned in 1998 and in the same year she wrote for the ongoing TV drama Peak Practice.

In 2001 her play Tender earned her a nomination for most promising playwright in the Laurence Olivier Theatre Awards.

She was subsequently commissioned by Channel 4 to create a story about a teenage girl trafficked from the Balkans to Britain – the hard-hitting drama Sex Traffic.

Success followed with her film adaptation of the best-selling novel Brick Lane.

Two productions she has written for have already won awards from the British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) - Sex Traffic (Drama Serial Award) in 2004 and White Girl (Single Drama Award) in 2008. This latest Film Awards nomination is in the Original Screenplay category and is up against four others, including Woody Allen’s Midnight in Paris and silent-era film The Artist.

Most recently Abi was the writer behind the BBC Two drama series The Hour about journalists working on a BBC current affairs programme in 1956. It has since been commissioned for a second series, which is currently in production.

Professor Tim Kendall, Head of English at the University said: “We’re delighted to see Abi doing so well. Her success acts as inspiration to our current students.”

Winners will be announced at the BAFTA Awards ceremony in London on 12 February 2012.

Date: 19 January 2012

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