Former Buxton schoolboy and Advertiser alumnus wins Bafta television award for work on Born Without Trace

Alongside all the big names taking home Bafta awards on Sunday there was also recognition for a behind-the-scenes star from Buxton who helped to craft some of the year’s most moving documentary scenes.

Monday, 7th June 2021, 4:14 pm
Updated Tuesday, 8th June 2021, 4:33 pm

Jonathan ‘Paddy’ Lynas, 50, was the series editor on ITV programme Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace, which was named winner in the features category at the British television industry’s most prestigious awards.

It is a crowning moment in a career which began as a cleaner in the offices of the Buxton Advertiser at age 14.

Mum Pauline Whitehead, who also worked for the Advertiser then but is now 75 and living in Northern Ireland, said: “I’m thrilled to bits for him. I’m very proud of the way he worked his way up from knowing no one at all in London.

“And for all his success, he’s still just a very modest, nice guy. There is no arrogance to him at all. He’s so pleased to win, you could almost see him jump for joy when it was announced.”

Paddy acquired his nickname as the only Irish pupil when he joined Burbage Primary School aged nine, after Pauline remarried to a man working at Otter Controls. The name followed him to Buxton College and has stuck ever since.

Doing odd jobs to fund his boat at Errwood Sailing Club, it was while helping out at the Advertiser that he eventually discovered his calling in the photography department.

By the time he left art college in Plymouth that passion had turned to film editing and he headed to London to start out as a production runner.

Bafta winner Jonathan 'Paddy' Lynas launched his glittering career from these very pages.
Bafta winner Jonathan 'Paddy' Lynas launched his glittering career from these very pages.

Pauline said: “There was a strange twist to it all as Jonathan ended up at a production company run by someone who’d lived on Corbar Road in Buxton. He was the first one to give him editing work.”

From there, things snowballed. Paddy later set up his own company and worked on household favourites like Grand Designs, Top Gear, Military Wife’s Choir, and Who Do You Think You Are?

Long Lost Family helps reunite separated or adopted children with family members around the world. For the spin-off Born Without Trace, DNA research was used to uncover the heritage of people abandoned at birth.

Paddy is now living in Hertfordshire with childhood sweetheart Su Lynas, née Nolan, from Chapel, and their two children.

Presenters Davina McCall and Nicky Campbell helps people who were abandoned as babies reunite with their birth family as part of the third series of Long Lost Family: Born Without Trace. (Photo: ITV)

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together.” – Louise Cooper, editor.