Hospital Broadcasting volunteers received an extra special surprise last night as they gathered for the National Hospital Radio Awards in Watford.
British Astronaut Tim Peake sent a special message at the start of the ceremony direct from the International Space Station. He tweeted to his global followers: “Well done to all the nominees in tonight’s National Hospital Radio Awards in the UK. Thank you for all you do, entertaining patients.”
It was one of a number of surprises during the annual event, which saw Radio Tyneside confirmed as the big winners of the night.
The station, based in Newcastle, won three Golds and two Silvers during the ceremony.
The Tyneside team knew it would be a good night when they scooped Gold in the first three categories at the start of the ceremony, scooping the top prize for Best Station Promotion, Best Speech Package and, for a second year running, Best Specialist Music Programme for the station’s Geordie Hour Show.
Ceremony presenter, Lincs FM’s, Sean Dunderdale even left the stage and joined the north east team on their table, suggesting he just hand over the rest of the trophies to them – there and then! The Silver’s came for best Special Event coverage of the Great North Run and the overall Station of the Year.
Radio Brockley took the top prize, being named Gold in Station of the Year – while the station’s Keith Reeve won the prestigious John Whitney Award.
Other highlights of the ceremony included video inserts from Sky’s Kay Burley, singer Fleur East, Radio 2’s Ken Bruce, Baywatch star David Hasselhoff, while the biggest cheer of the night went to Sweep – of Puppet and Sweep fame, who appeared via his own radio studio to wish the volunteers well.
Guest presenters included Absolute Radio’s Paul Sylvester, Free Radio’s Jo Russell and Compass FM’s Richard Lyon, along with members of the sponsors PPL, PRS, Broadcast Radio and Smile Publications.
There was one final surprise for those at the event, when HBA Patron Alan Dedicoat, who’d been the Voice if God during the ceremony, turned up in person to hand over the Station of the Year prizes – having dashed from nearby Pinewood where the National Lottery is drawn.
The event will be broadcast in full from 4pm on inRadio – the radio industry radio station (and again on Monday at 7pm).