Frank Gillard Awards launched

The categories for the 2007 Frank Gillard Awards have been announced. Mark Thompson, the BBC's Director-General will host the awards, which celebrates the best of BBC local radio services across the UK. The deadline for entries is Friday 13 July 2007.

Stephen Powell, best known for his staging of the Manchester Passion last year, has devised an affectionate celebration of the spirit of local radio as a preface to the award ceremony, to be held in Birmingham's newly refurbished Town Hall in November.

This year's Gillard categories have been refined to reflect the need to recognise the achievements of BBC Local Radio over the past 40 years with no less than four Outstanding Contribution to BBC local radio awards to be made.

The other categories, which are for work over the year to June 2007, are:

* Best Breakfast Programme;
* Programme Presenter;
* Original Journalism;
* Interactivity;
* Sports Coverage;
* Religious Programming;
* Outside Broadcast;
* Diversity;
* Station Sound;
* Station Of The Year (won by BBC Radio Manchester last year).

Thirty judges include: John Inverdale, Adrian Chiles, Vijay Sharma, Lorna Clarke, Richard Bilton, Director of the Radio Academy Trevor Dann, and member of the BBC Trust, Alison Hastings.

David Holdsworth, Acting Controller, BBC English Regions, says: "These awards reflect the rich and varied way that local radio serves local communities across the country, but this year's event will be particularly special as we celebrate 40 years of what Frank Gillard set up as 'the people's radio'."

All BBC local radio stations and services in England are invited to enter the awards, which are highly regarded within the radio industry. The awards are named in honour of the founder of BBC Local Radio in England, Frank Gillard, who died in 1998.

[link=]Last year's awards[/link] took place on September 28th and saw BBC Radio Manchester take home the title of Station of the Year.

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