Emmy winner dedicates award to the 96

LIFELONG Liverpool supporter Brian Percival has dedicated the Emmy he won on Sunday in memory of the victims of the Hillsborough disaster.

He won the Emmy for best director for Downton Abbey, the popular ITV show that returned to screens at the weekend. It was one of four Emmy awards for the show, alongside best mini-series, best supporting actress (Dame Maggie Smith) and outstanding writing in a mini-series, movie or dramatic specialfor Julian Fellowes.Percival was obviously delighted with his award but took time out dedicate it to the 96 in the hope it would bring more publicity to the fight for justice and the quest for the truth to be told.

Speaking to the Liverpool Echo from Los Angeles Brian said: “I wanted to dedicate the award because any publicity for that cause and anything that gets these families justice has got to be a good thing.I’ve been a Liverpool fan all my life. I go to as many home games as I can and it is a big part of my life.”

He went on: “It’s something I feel really strong about. It seemed like an opportunity to try to help in a tiny way. It is something so close to our lives, as it is to other supporters of the club and to anybody from Liverpool.”

He recalled his memories of the days following the disaster when the city was in shock but everyone was pulling together to help each other through: “I remember I went to lay some flowers after the disaster and there were two women there at the time. One of the women handed me a flower. There was a real sense of kindness throughout the city and that feeling stayed with me.”

After an online petition drew well over 100,000 signatures a debate will now be held in Parliament discussing the release of documents from the government relating to the disaster, including correspondence with the Primer Minister of the time. Brian said: “I just hope something happens soon with the campaign to win justice for the 96 Hillsborough victims.”

Downton Abbey is a period drama set in an English country house and. The second series begins at the outbreak of World War I and covers the impact of that war on those who live and work in that house, including the wealthy family who own the house and their servants. Brian has also won Baftas for his work in the past but with Downton Abbey available on US television it has struck a chord with viewers across the Atlantic.

He was born in Garston, went to school in Allerton, went to art college in Wrexham and now lives in Meols, Wirral. He said: “I’ve won three Baftas and have been successful in the UK, but Downton is the most successful worldwide. Americans adore it. It was sold to 200 countries, it’s turning into a worldwide phenomenon.”

Margaret Aspinall is chairman of one of the support groups for Hillsborough, the HFSG, and she told the Echo: “What a lovely thing to do, we’re all delighted. It just shows that after all these years people are still thinking about what happened there and want to tell the world not ever to forget about the tragedy.”

* The Don’t Buy The Sun concert takes place on Saturday night, presented by The Hillsborough Justice Campaign and in memory of James McVey, details here.

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