This year’s Sony Radio Academy Award nominations have been announced in a special lunchtime webcast presented by Capital FM’s Dave Berry and Lisa Snowdon.
The BBC leads the field – but only just – with 53% of the nominations, signalling a decent representation from commercial radio.
Of the 165 nominations, 88 are for the BBC, 69 for commercial radio, 3 for Prison Radio (community/satellite), 1 is for BFBS and 4 are for other organisations (The Guardian twice, British Comedy Guide and Mind who are all nominated in the Best Internet Programme category).
The station with the most nominations is BBC Radio 4, which together with sister station 4 Extra has been shortlisted 24 times. Radio 2 and 6 Music together have 19 nominations, while 5 live has 11. BBC’s Nations and Regions stations are shortlisted 11 times and together Radio 1 and 1Xtra have 10 nominations.
In the commercial sector, the biggest two groups Global and Bauer have 13 nominations each in the main awards (Bauer has a 14th, however, in the Rising Star Award nomination). Absolute are next with 10 shortlisted entries, then UTV and GMG with 9 each. There are also 4 nominations for Oxis Media (Jack FM & Glide FM in Oxfordshire), 3 for UKRD, and Orion Media have 2 nominations. Prison Radio Association also has three shortlisted entries, and there are single award nominations for BFBS, Garrison FM, Jazz FM, French Radio London and Fun Kids.
The hotly-contested UK Station of the Year award will be between sister stations Radio 2 and 6 Music along with Bauer’s Kerrang! Radio, while the other highly sought-after prize – for best breakfast show (in a TSA of more than 10m) is between 5 live, Chris Evans on Radio 2, Christian O’Connell on Absolute Radio, Heart London’s Jamie & Harriet, and Rickie, Melvin and Charlie on KISS breakfast.
Prison Radio’s ‘Porridge’ is shortlisted in the breakfast category for stations with a TSA under 10m – along with Juice FM Liverpool’s morning show with Adam and Leanne, Gary and Lisa from Real Radio North East and the breakfast programmes from BBC Radio York and BBC Essex.
Chris Evans – who hosts the awards ceremony on 14th May at London’s Grosvenor House Hotel – is a double nominee. As well as in the breakfast category, Evans also shortlisted in the Music Radio Personality of the Year category where he comes up against Christian O’Connell again – plus fellow BBC presenters Gemma Cairney (1Xtra), Huey Morgan and Lauren Laverne (both from 6 Music)
Radio 1’s Fearne Cotton gets her first ever Sony nomination – in the Best Music Programme category – and faces competition from Radio 3’s In Tune, Bauer Scotland’s In:Demand show, Steve Lamacq on 6 Music and Magic 105.4’s series hosted by Michael Buble.
Absolute Radio’s Ronnie Wood – who won Gold last year – is nominated in the Best Specialist Music Programme category where he’s up against David Rodigan’s Radio 2 series, Mary-Anne Hobbs’ Music:Response show on Xfm, Radio 2’s Friday Night Is Music Night and Radio Scotland’s Another Country, hosted by Ricky Ross.
And in the Entertainment Award shortlist, we find the oldest ever Sony nominees – 86-year old Beryl and 90-year old Betty from BBC Radio Humberside. They’re up against 6 Music’s Adam & Joe, Absolute’s Frank Skinner, Bauer Scotland’s Boogie & Dingo and Real Radio Yorkshire’s Dixie & Gayle.
BBC Radio 5 live’s Danny Baker and Richard Bacon square up against each other for the Speech Radio Personality of the Year prize in 2012, along with talkSPORT’s Alan Brazil, Metro Radio’s Alan Robson and stand-up comic turned radio host Toby Foster from BBC Radio Sheffield.
In the Speech Broadcaster category, Jenni Murray and Victoria Derbyshire lead the charge for the girls and go up against the Today Programme’s Evan Davis, Radio 2’s Jeremy Vine and LBC breakfast man Nick Ferrari.
In the Speech Programme shortlist, there are two 5 live programmes up for the award – Kermode & Mayo’s Film Review and Stephen Nolan’s weekend late show – along with long-running Radio 4 programme Gardeners’ Question Time, the World Service’s World Have Your Say, and LBC’s weekend politics talk show hosted by Ken Livingstone and David Mellor.
Best Sports Programme features three nominations for UTV Media – talkSPORT’s Keys & Gray and My Sporting Life go up against Gerr’ um On Side which is broadcast on Wish FM and Wire FM in Wigan and Warrington. Absolute Radio’s Survival Sunday edition of Rock N Roll Football completes the shortlist in that category.
GMG Radio’s North West News Team, which earlier this week was named commercial radio news team of the year at the IRN News Awards, is shortlisted four times – for News Journalist of the Year, Best Community Programming (Cocaine Unwrapped), Best Breaking News Coverage (The Riots) and Best Feature/Documentary (Walking With The Wounded).
John Myers, Chief Executive and Chairman of the Sony’s organising committee, said: “What a privilege it is to listen to the enormous talent displayed by this year’s nominations – there is no question that the UK has the most richly diverse radio industry in the world. Radio is the most intimate media, it has the power to make us laugh, cry, think, learn and, of course, irritate and anger…these nominations honour the producers and presenters that are masters at this. We look forward to celebrating them on what is going to be an incredible 30th Anniversary evening.”
The shortlist for the ‘Sony DAB Rising Star Award’ has also been announced and is the only ‘people’s choice’ award not decided by Sonys judges. Voting is now open on the Rising Star website for the public to pick between Jazz FM’s ‘Broken Heart DJs’, KISS presenter Clara Amfo, French Radio London’s Frank McWeeny, Luke Franks from Fun Kids and Phil Taggart of BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio Ulster.
As well as the categories for which shortlists have been announced, the Awards Committee will also award the 2012 Gold Award and the Special Award. These will be announced on the night of the Sony Radio Academy Awards in May.