Press Release


30 December 2015

Piers Haggard, Directors UK board member and Chief Executive of Stage Directors UK, has been awarded an OBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours List for services to Film, Television and Theatre. 

Piers is an accomplished, award-winning director of television (Pennies From Heaven, BAFTA 1978), film and theatre with a career spanning over 50 years, during which time he has been a tireless campaigner on behalf of the creative and economic rights of all TV, film and stage directors.

Piers was one of a very small group of high-profile directors who, in the early 1970s, first campaigned for recognition of British directors’ creative and economic rights. Piers was at the forefront of a campaign by the newly-formed Association of Directors and Producers (ADP) to win residual payments for TV repeats.

Over the course of the next five decades Piers has continued to fight for these rights on behalf of British directors, both in the UK and globally, ensuring that directors are fairly recognised and remunerated for their work. In the late 1990s Piers was a major force in the campaign to secure recognition of directors’ copyright in European law, and in 2000 was involved in the industry-wide action that produced the first UK TV rights deal for repeat use or sale of a directors’ work.

He was the founder and first Chairman of the DGGB (Directors Guild of Great Britain) in 1982, helped form the DPRS (the Directors and Producers Rights Society) in 1987, and was involved in its eventual and successful transformation into Directors UK - the professional association of film and television directors. He was, from 2010 to 2013, the Vice President and Chairman of FERA (the Federation of European Film Directors).

In 2014 Piers launched Stage Directors UK (SDUK) to champion the rights of theatre and opera directors, which now has over 1,000 members and supporters. 

Piers Haggard said: “I am touched and honoured by this recognition. For better or worse I seem unable to resist going into battle for what I see as the reasonable rights of my fellow directors. But it has been a lot of fun, and I am glad that so much progress has been made in film and TV. Now there is some urgent work to do in theatre before I finally hang up my sword”. 

Andrew Chowns, Directors UK Chief Executive said: “For the last 50 years Piers has worked tirelessly to improve the working lives of all directors in TV, film and theatre. Piers’ determination, energy and ambition to secure fair rights and creative recognition for UK directors have immeasurably improved the creative and professional lives of Britain’s directors. His campaigning benefits all established and emerging directing talent and reaches out to the wider creative industry. I am delighted that Piers has been recognised for his contribution to the industry”.

    Notes to Editors:
    • DIRECTORS UK is the single voice of British screen directors representing the creative, economic and contractual interests of over 6,000 members – the overwhelming majority of working film and television directors in the UK. DIRECTORS UK campaigns for the rights, working conditions and status of directors in the industry and works closely with fellow organisations in the UK, Europe and around the world to represent directors’ rights and concerns. It also promotes excellence in the craft of direction both nationally and internationally.
Download the press release (PDF)

Victoria Morris

Director of Communications and Public Affairs

[email protected]

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