International award for Ulster
The Stephen Nolan Show on BBC Radio Ulster has achieved global recognition by reaching Gold World medallist status at the 24th annual International Radio Programming and Promotion Awards in the category for Best Two Way Phone Talk/Interview Show.
The programme was also nominated for Best Investigative Report for its campaign Families Against Drugs.
Each year the awards are presented to those short-listed radio programmes which best exemplify the aims and the ideals of the United Nations — global concerns regarding topics such as peace and security, advancement of women, development, health issues, human rights, literacy and crime and violence.
Stephen – who was busy with Radio Ulster and BBC Radio Five Live commitments – sent two members of his team, right-hand man Cameron Mitchell and Malachy McCourtalong to the ceremony to collect the award.
Back in Northern Ireland, Stephen was "on cloud nine" at the news.
He said: "This is the icing on the cake. We have been voted the Best Speech Radio Programme in the whole UK by the UK Radio Academy and to now have this world wide recognition is really special.
"Northern Ireland is very important to me. Our success is based on the simple formula: we are not fake — everything we do on air is authentic and we fight for every listener who supports me.
"Northern Ireland is a special place and my listeners are extraordinary. That is why I care about them so much and sometimes that means getting close to literally fighting for them.
"I am proud of the people who listen to my show, but who drive, dictate it and tell us when they are happy or sad.
"The listeners trust me and it is on their behalf that I accept this award. Thank you from all our listeners in Northern Ireland."
The International Radio Programming and Promotion Awards – established in 1996 by United Nations Department of Public Information in collaboration with The New York Festivals – were elected by an elite panel of judges convened by the United Nations Department of Public Information and The New York Festivals.
They are made up of radio experts from stations and companies throughout the world for their production values, organisation, presentation of information, creativity and use of the medium.