The former head of Danish pubcaster DR Drama, Ingolf Gabold, will receive a Prix Europa Lifetime Achievement Award from the European television industry on 24 October at Europe’s largest festival for television, radio and online media, which takes place in Berlin from 18-25 October.
When he left the Danish Broadcasting Corporation in 2012, he was signed up as senior producer for Copenhagen’s Eyeworks Fine & Mellow, now Scandi Fiction, where he is developing new series, including Witnesses for US broadcaster HBO, about American terrorists in Scandinavia.
While he was the chief of DR Drama, he launched such internationally acclaimed series asUnit 1, Nikolaj og Julie, Better Times, The Eagle, The Killing and The Bridge; during his reign, Denmark won four American Emmy Awards, two British BAFTAs, two Prix Italias and one Prix Europa.
Dubbed “the godfather of Danish TV shows” (by Danish actor Lars Mikkelsen), his recipe was “Always stop before you start repeating yourself!” as well as “Treat the writers like kings. Give them a ‘writers’ room’, full employment and creative freedom.”
Born in Germany to a Danish mother and a German father, Gabold became a Danish citizen in 1956 after his parents’ divorce; in 1967, he graduated from the Royal Danish Academy of Music and started a career as a composer and music producer for DR.
After various jobs – a producer with a private company, training staff at DR, media professor at the University of Aarhus and director of television programming at DR – he was asked to return as the Danish Broadcasting Corporation’s head of drama in 1999.
Before he resigned, he developed the idea for a European crime series, The Team, with German ZDF partner Peter Nadermann, which will be aired in early 2015. “Gabold is a visionary – he made his idea of modern TV drama come true in Denmark, and the worldwide success of his series is the reward for his work,” said Nadermann.