City of Culture media director Garbhan Downey talks about our Bafta winner

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Great to see a Derry man getting summoned onto the Bafta stage on Sunday night.

Colm Martin, formerly of St Columb’s College, has been Series Editor of The Apprentice for the past four years.

And the junior version of his show, The Young Apprentice, beat off competition from Made in Chelsea, Don’t Tell the Bride and An Idiot Abroad to take the gong for Best Reality Show at this year’s awards show.

While Martin’s was the name called out, along with fellow producer Michele Kurland, and he did make the trip to the stage, the trophy was accepted on their behalf by presenter Alan Sugar.

In typically modest fashion, the Amstrad tycoon told the audience: “I feel fraudulent standing here with this great award because there are people here who have worked in TV all their lives. And here’s me, just this businessman who’s won this award. So I can understand how you must be feeling. Well, hard bleeding luck, I say!”

Pennyburn man Martin cut his teeth in the BBC Business Unit and made factual documentaries, before joining Talkback Thames who produce The Apprentice in 2008.

Interviewed recently, Martin said he has great respect for Sugar’s business nous: “And yes, you have to be robust when you are dealing with him, because he is a robust man. But he respects people who in the end are not just yes-men.

“We’re good at making great entertainment programmes, and he’s good in business. And we respect that in each other.”

Incidentally, Martin wasn’t the only winner from this collection of parishes at the Bafta ceremonies.

Donegal actress Amanda Woods, who stars in Mrs Brown’s Boys, was on the stage to see her real-life father-in-law, Brendan O’Carroll pick up the award for Best Sitcom. Amanda, who plays Betty Brown (Mrs Brown’s daughter-in-law) in the show, is married to O’Carroll’s son Danny, who plays Buster Brown in the series.