Arrows’ Fellowship Award Awarded to Graeme Light

Written by
Graham Lakeland
Creative Director, Leo Burnett

I’ll admit, when I found out Graeme was to receive this honour I chuckled. Not because I wasn’t pleased for him, I am thrilled obviously, but more because to say Graeme is not one for the limelight is like saying Donald Trump is not one for concise sentences. Indeed, you might want to consider another award for the person who manages to get him to the evening.

It is this total disregard for the shiny things though that makes him such an utter pleasure to work with. Everything he does is born from a genuine love of film. He delights in making. In the process, the craft, and the finished article. He probably wouldn’t thank me for comparing his eagerness to that of a puppy, but I genuinely don’t think I’ve ever known him get bored of a job. I can’t say the same for myself unfortunately, so for years he’s been making me look far better than I am.

That care and desire to create the very best makes him a valuable partner in the creative process and jealously fought over. I dare say there are many times I’ve asked utterly unreasonable things from him but, quite frankly, I wouldn’t know because he’d never let on. Anyone who’s worked with him will recognise his amazing ability to simply absorb problems, making everything somehow right without ever looking like he’s the least troubled. 

2019 happens to be his 30th year at Leos, and his impact on both the agency and those that have worked with him is hard to underestimate. On McDonald’s alone, having worked on it from the very beginning, he has been responsible for an incredible body of work that has always been delivered with style, wit and sensitivity. He has been a guiding light not only for the work, but for many of the people that have worked with him over the years. Something demonstrated by the extraordinary number of people in his department that appear equally determined to match his 30 years.

He’s one of those incredible people that just improves things by his very presence and I’ve always greatly valued his opinion, skill and encyclopaedic knowledge. If you ever need to know who it was that did that thing about that woman who was once in that thing about thingy, then Graeme’s your man.

Even more infuriatingly, he manages to do this all and remain the nicest bloke in the industry. I know that’s one of those phrases that’s bandied around all too freely, but I’d be deeply shocked if there’s anyone who knows him or has worked with him that wouldn’t back me up. It’s easy to play up to the stereotypes of the industry and I thank him for never feeling the need to.

So thanks Graeme, it has and continues to be an utter pleasure to know you.

Now, if you’d just learn to spell your name correctly. 

 

Special Award
Arrows’ Fellowship Award
Awarded to Graeme Light
Awarded to Graeme Light

(L-R) Graeme Light Mark Benson

Arrows’ Fellowship Award

Graeme Light
Mark Benson