A MORTGAGE broker has come under the spotlight after winning a national scriptwriting competition.

Geoff Buckingham, who has run Buckingham Mortgage Services Ltd in Ealing Broadway for 38 years, has won the Diana Raffle One Act Play Award, beating nearly 650 other professional and amateur authors throughout the country.

The competition was organised by New Theatre Publications and the Playwrights CoOperative and Chris has won a publishing contract for his play, Phantom of The Arts Centre, about a broken war-time romance.

Geoff only took up drama and scriptwriting four years ago, although he wrote property tips for the Gazette in the 70s and jointly wrote a book on Brentford FC and articles for the club.

He was stunned when he scooped top prize in the national contest. He said: "I didn't think I had a chance and am still knocked out by it. I loved the plot, but was not sure if other people would love it. It's great to get such positive feedback about something you have created."

The plot is part-fiction, based on the building's history producing silver foil for aircraft during the Second World War to thwart enemy radar.

A veteran, discovered in the cellar, eventually meets his former sweetheart who thought he had deserted her when she became pregnant.

Chris said: "I found out about the history of the building and thought it would make a good play but didn't know if it would hit a chord with other people."

This is the fourth award that Geoff has won since the beginning of last year. His futuristic play, God Bless America, won the best new play award in the Spelthorne & Runnymede Drama Festival in October and a number of his 'mini' plays were selected for performances at The Lost Theatre in Vauxhall, The Daffodil Awards in Milton Keynes, and The New Venture Theatre in Brighton.

It was his involvement with two local drama clubs in Sunbury-on-Thames that prompted his interest in scriptwriting.

He said: "I went along to a drama workshop and was press-ganged into being in the panto. I was Benjamin Black, the villain in Goldilocks. I started writing plays and they eventually agreed to use them."

The father-of-two, in his 60s, has five short comedy plays coming up at the Riverside Arts Centre for the Sunbury and Shepperton Arts Festival on July 23 and hopes his passion will take him on to dizzier heights.

He said: "My aim is to get my plays on BBC Radio, TV and the bigger London theatres."