The BBC's celebrating this morning after its radio stations and personalities picked up 24 out of the 33 Sony Radio Academy Awards in central London last night. Among those picking up prizes were Chris Evans and John Humphreys who both made two trips to the stage to collect Gold awards. Paul Gambaccini and the late great John Peel were the night's other big winners.
GCap Media's Classic FM took the UK Station of the Year title with the judges saying it was "back on top form, oozing enjoyment of the music thanks to imaginative use of celebrities not generally known for their love of classical music, and polished, approachable presentation".
BBC WM's Tony Butler was given a new Lifetime Achievement Award recognising a regional broadcaster, with former colleague Richard Park describing him as "a broadcasting legend, one of a kind, and a passionate presenter whose programmes are essential listening". Tony's been a massive part of sports broadcasting in the West Midlands for more than 30 years.
John Peel was named The Broadcasters' Broadcaster – a special one-off prize to mark the 25th anniversary of the Sony Awards. The trophy was picked up by John's wife Sheila. Multiple Sony Gold winner John was voted their greatest influence by UK broadcasters from a shortlist of 25 radio icons drawn up by the Awards Committee.
Radio 2 had a haul of five Sony Golds – including the two for Chris Evans who won the Entertainment Award and was also named Music Radio Personality of the Year. Radio 4 was, as usual, nominated in many categories and didn't disappoint. Among them The Today Programme picked up the Breakfast Show Award, and John Humphrys was named News Journalist of the Year.
Colin Murray was Radio 1's only Gold winner on the night – picking up the Music Broadcaster of the Year prize. The judges said they were impressed with his "fierce passion for music", saying he was a "broadcaster with a winning blend of charisma and charm who proves that the best broadcasters are big enough to foreground music rather than themselves."
So again the BBC's night… just 7 Golds for commercial radio groups (2 for GCap, 2 for Emap and 1 each for Chrysalis, TLRC and SMG) – plus one for GaydarRadio and one for Wise Buddah's Firin' Squad Unsigned Podcast.
The Chairman of the Awards Committee Tim Blackmore said: "The ongoing power of audio communication is more than amply demonstrated by the breadth and depth of these Awards. Whatever platform was used to distribute their work, every one of our winners has demonstrated the kind of creativity, credibility, or objectivity that has come to exemplify a quarter of a century of 'the Sonys'."
Virgin Radio's Christian O’Connell won the Best Competition Award for Who’s Calling Christian?. His boss, CEO Paul Jackson, was pleased with the win and told us: "This award shows that Who’s Calling Christian? went down as well with the Sony Awards judges as it did with Christian’s 1.2m listeners, a combination of a great prize, top quality celebrity callers and Christian’s own style of executing the mechanic made for some really compelling and engaging radio."
Here's the full list of the night's winners…
The Community Award – BBC Radio Berkshire for The Plot
The Sports Programme Award – BBC Five Live for Sportsweek
The Internet Programme Award – Wise Buddah Talent for Firin' Squad Unsigned Podcast
The Feature Award – BBC Radio 2's Radio Ballads 2006 – The Song of Steel
The Music Special Award – BBC Radio 2 for Malcolm McLaren's Musical Map of London
The Live Event Coverage Award – The Alan Shearer Testimonial – Magic 1152
The Breaking News Award – The London Tornado on BBC London 94.9
The News Journalist of the Year – John Humphrys, BBC Radio 4
The Music Programme Award – The Mark Radcliffe Show, BBC Radio 2
The Promo Award – The Ashes, BBC Five Live
The Drama Award – Lorilei – BBC Radio 4
The Comedy Award – 1966 And All That – BBC Radio 4
The Speech Programme Award – The Reunion – BBC Radio 4
The Competition Award – Who's Calling Christian? – Virgin Radio
The Lifetime Achievement Award – Tony Butler, BBC WM
The Station Imaging Award – Planet Rock
The News & Current Affairs Programme Award – BBC Five Live Breakfast
The News Feature Award – Letters from Guantanamo Bay – BBC Radio 4
The Music Broadcaster of the Year – Colin Muray, BBC Radio 1
The Station Programmer of the Year – Francis Currie – Heart Network
The Interactive Programme Award – PM, BBC Radio 4
Station of the Year (under 300,000) – Isle of Wight Radio
Station of the Year (300,000 to 1 million) – BBC Radio Derby
The Breakfast Show Award – The Today Programme, BBC Radio 4
The Specialist Music Programme Award – Friction, BBC Asian Network
The Entertainment Award – The Chris Evans Show, BBC Radio 2
Station of the Year (1 million plus) – Radio City 96.7
The Speech Broadcaster of the Year – Eddie Nestor, BBC London 94.9
Digital Terrestrial Station of the Year – GaydarRadio
The Music Radio Personality of the Year – Chris Evans, BBC Radio 2
UK Station of the Year – Classic FM
The Gold Award – Paul Gambaccini
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