Key to winning a BAFTA

Alisoun and Sandy Grant during filming at Inverquharity Castle.
Alisoun and Sandy Grant during filming at Inverquharity Castle.

A charming and thought-provoking documentary recording the final hurdles facing an elderly couple as they prepared to move out of their home of 40 years has scooped a top award at the Scottish Baftas.

Alisoun Grant, who featured in ‘Keys to the Castle’ with her husband, Sandy, attended the awards ceremony at Glasgow’s Radisson Blu Hotel on Sunday evening.

She described the win for director Darren Hercher as the “icing on the cake, with marzipan” to what has been an incredible record of their move from Inverquharity Castle, on the outskirts of Kirriemuir, to a smaller, more manageable property.

The documentary - screened on BBC2 in February - was directed by the award-winning film-maker Hercher with Tracey Gardiner as executive producer.

Their ‘fly on the wall’ film captured the Grants’ final days at the imposing 15th century property which they rescued and restored from ruin.

It was their home for over 40 years and their acceptance that time had taken its toll was both honest and moving.

Commenting on the award Alisoun told the Herald: “It’s terrific. The documentary was beautifully correct. Public reaction has been nothing but tremendous praise for his work.

“Darren Hercher is an artist, as I am an artist but in a different medium. I have always got that critical faculty at the back of my appreciation of everything. I enjoyed watching it and think it is so tremendous to be able to create something entirely untampered with.

“That is the code of honour of the documentary film; you do not alter or touch up anything.

“We put our trust in him and had to forget he was there and just get on with the job of moving. He was so unobtrusive and would come along unannounced. He would be lurking and suddenly you would be doing a job of work and would see a little red light in the corner but you just got on with it.

“We had no reservations but I was curious to see the result.”

The couple moved into the castle on their return from Nigeria and spent their lives renovating and upgrading the building.

Alisoun continued: “We knew we couldn’t cope with it any more. When you are the custodian of a wonderful place like that you are thinking of passing on the responsibility to someone else.

“It is in the hands of a super family in whose hands it will be safe for the next 50 years.

“The Scottish Bafta was the icing on the cake - and the marzipan. People were so appreciative and we had complete strangers coming up to us saying how pleased they were for us and how much they enjoyed it. It was an amazing evening.”

‘Keys to the Castle’ won the Scottish Bafta for Single Documentary.

The evening, hosted by Hazel Irvine, celebrated the best in film, television and games over the last year, with a stellar line-up of presenters that included Judy Murray, Rory McCann, Allan Little and Alex Norton.