Phoebe Waller-Bridge Discusses "the Most Extraordinary Year of My Life" at Britannia Awards

Phoebe Waller-Bridge attends the 71st Emmy Awards - Getty-H 2019
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

The 'Fleabag' and 'Killing Eve' creator dedicated her British artist of the year award to story producer Jenny Robins.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge dedicated her BAFTA's Britannia award for British artist of the year to a story producer on Killing Eve and Fleabag season two, someone she said was "behind the scenes" but integral to those two shows, on Friday at a star-studded gala dinner. 

Waller-Bridge kicked off her speech by saying that "this has been the most extraordinary year of my life." She acknowledged that she had a lot of people to thank but said that she would "roll them all up into one" by focusing on a collaborator with whom she's worked particularly closely.

She thanked Jenny Robins, "the woman who's been with me every step of the way." She added, "She's been a sounding board, a structure machine, and a fantastic friend." She joked that the one piece of writing she hadn't sent Robins was the speech she was delivering. 

Waller-Bridge then told a story about finishing writing and revising the second season of Fleabag at Robins' family home in the countryside and "going mad" until a series of hornets bothered and interrupted them, and they had to chase the hornets out of the house. "The next day we woke up and completely cracked the story. ... They shook everything up and solved everything, which is basically what Jenny did for me. So thank you, Jenny, my story hornet," she said. She then dedicated the award to Robins.

"I’m so lucky to make the work that I’ve dreamed of making," she concluded.

Donald Glover, who introduced Waller-Bridge, joked that he first met the showrunner when his agent told him Fleabag was his favorite show and introduced him. Glover's first instinct was to say, "Hey, I do that, too," he joked. After meeting Waller-Bridge, whom he found "sweet," he says he started watching the show.

"I was livid," he said. "Enraged." He said he went to work the next day and told all of his writers on Atlanta to watch the show because it's "rare and really exciting to see something that's new." He added that "it's really hard to make talking to the camera cool, as you can tell from the first half of this speech."

Waller-Bridge is capping off a stellar year after her BBC and Amazon series Fleabag netted six Emmy wins, including best actress, writing and comedy series. Killing Eve, on which Waller-Bridge is a creator and executive producer, won best drama actress for Jodie Comer.

While Fleabag is unlikely to get a much-demanded season 3, Waller-Bridge helped re-write the script of Cary Fukunaga's upcoming James Bond film No Time to Die, at the behest of Daniel Craig, no less, and signed an overall deal with Amazon Studios. 

Also at Friday's event: Jordan Peele was bestowed the John Schlesinger Britannia Award for excellence in directing; Jackie Chan was honored with the Albert R. Broccoli Award for worldwide contribution to entertainment; Steve Coogan received the Charlie Chaplin Award for excellence in comedy; and an absent Jane Fonda (who eschewed the event to attend climate change protests outside the U.S. Capitol building in Washington, D.C., where she was arrested for the third time in three weeks on Friday) was given the the Stanley Kubrick Award for excellence in film.