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    Abducted by Aliens’ crowned as best TV excuse video

    Animation students from Middlesex University have scooped a prestigious competition win by bringing to life a bizarre excuse for watching TV without having a TV licence. ‘Abducted by Aliens’, was judged to be the best animation by a panel of animation experts, and won the Judge’s Award film, seeing off competition from films produced by degree course students from Derby, Dundee, Belfast and Bristol.

    All teams produced a range of animations that illustrated the dubious explanations for non-payment, which visiting officers and call centre staff have heard this year.

    Set in an urban garden, the video features a stop-motion animated fly interviewing a snail who believes that he doesn’t have to pay the TV licence, as the government doesn’t believe his story of being abducted by aliens.

    The film was put together by third year students Ida Melum, Kyle Xuereb Cunningham, Adara Penelope Todd and Nicole Smith from Middlesex University, with voices by Shenoah Allen and Mark Chavez.

    Adara Todd, from ‘Bugged Out’ said: “We couldn't be more thrilled - we are beyond excited our film won against so many other great animations and want to thank everyone involved in the decision!”

    “Working on this professional project was absolutely fantastic because we got to work as a small production team where we improved our individual strengths to create the film”.

    The judging panel comprised BAFTA-winning animator Marc Crast from Studio AKA, Jason Fletcher-Bartholomew, Senior Animator at Aardman and Red Bee Media Executive Creative Director Charlie Mawer. Criteria included directing, production, animation quality and script were used to assess the entries.

    Head Judge Charlie Mawer commented:The Judges’ Award winner from the Middlesex students showed exceptional craft, alongside a strong eye for performance, and the subtle touches and attention to detail that mark out a team destined for great things in their future in animation. Both genuinely funny and visually creative, it was a standout piece.

    More than 40 excuses films were submitted from students across the UK. View the animations, including the winner, at

    Ben Craig, TV Licensing spokesperson, said: “The winning animations are a testament to the imagination of the students. We’re not so impressed, however, with the creative approach to excuses, as watching or recording live TV without a licence is against the law.

    Even though we’re effective at catching evaders, we’d always prefer people pay than risk a maximum £1,000 fine.  For those who may find it difficult to pay in one go, we offer a range of payment options to spread the cost, sign up at”

    To check if a licence is needed, visit or call 0300 790 6112.

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