SDUK Founder Piers Haggard Awarded OBE in New Year's Honours

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

Piers is an accomplished, award winning (Pennies From Heaven BAFTA 1978) director of television, 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 1970’s, 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 1990’s 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.”

Kate Saxon and Jeremy Herrin, co-chairs of SDUK said: “It’s wonderful that Piers’ lifelong dedication to directors’ rights has been recognised and honoured with this OBE. Piers is tenacious and tireless in his work for Stage Directors UK, inspiring theatre directors to speak out about low pay and poor creative rights that have prevailed for too long. Piers is a true trailblazer, championing and leading the way for all directors in this country. On behalf of the many members of SDUK, we cheer this welcome news.”