A west Dorset man has been awarded £4,000 to research and write a tribute to an influential figure in broadcasting.

Nick Gibley, who lives in Charmouth, has won this year’s Royal Television Society’s Shiers Trust award to put together a tribute to the late Peter Dimmock, CVO, CBE.

Many may know Mr Dimmock from his role presenting BBC’s Sportsview, but Mr Gibley explains that behind the scenes, he was head of probably the biggest department of the BBC during the 1950s and 60s - outside broadcasts - and instrumental in bringing huge audiences to television, starting with the Coronation in 1953, then securing the rights to televise the Grand National and other popular sporting events.

Nick Gibley worked as a director of the British Entertainment History Project, the organisation that chronicles the history of the film and television industry through interviews with the people who worked in it. Now he will be able to take his passion even further.

He said: “On a personal level, Peter Dimmock had a big influence on my life. Just after I left school in 1969 and with a desire to work in television, my father, who was chairman of the National Skating Association, arranged for me to see Peter in his palatial office at BBC Kensington House, Shepherds Bush.

“He did give me advice about a possible route into the profession, although I didn’t follow it ‘to the letter’, 12 years later I did land up working at the BBC at Kensington House - not in the outside broadcasting department, but as a producer/director in the documentary features department.”

The history of television outside broadcasts has always interested Mr Gilbey, so about nine years ago, he started the website, tvobhistory.co.uk.

The first person he went to talk to was Peter Dimmock and in 2012 I travelled up to his home in Norfolk to interview him.

“Peter was always courteous and full of good humour whose work has, perhaps, not been fully appreciated,” Mr Gibley added.

“The idea of putting together a biography on Peter Dimmock stretches back to my visit to his home. I got the impression then that Peter did regret not writing an autobiography. Although there are many interviews on record, nobody has brought them all together.

“Peter Dimmock was a colourful figure who did a tremendous amount to gain mass audiences for the BBC.”

The Shiers Trust Award offers a grant towards work on any aspect of television history.