Absolute Radio breakfast presenter Christian O’Connell has won another two Sonys Radio Golds this year taking his total to 10.
The OC took top honours for Music Radio Personality of the Year and Best Use of Branded Content.
UK Station of the Year is BBC Radio 5 live, with Classic FM winning the inaugural UK Radio Brand of the Year and Radio 4’s Today Programme takes Breakfast Gold.
Global Radio’s Richard Park is honoured with The Gold Award and 6 Music’s Steve Lamacq receives The Special Award. Dermot O’Leary, Danny Baker, Cerys Matthews, John Humphrys and Eddie Mair are amongst those winning a Gold.
The hundreds of guests were treated to special live performances by Robbie Williams, The Saturdays and Jamie Cullum.
In honouring Richard Park with The Gold Award, the citation read: “Richard Park has been part of our industry for nearly 5 decades. He has made an unequalled contribution to the shape and sound of music radio both in the UK and further afield.” Steve Lamacq proved a popular winner of The Special Award, with the citation stating: “Steve Lamacq is one of radio’s true legends… he’s brought great music to the people. Long may he continue.”
BBC Radio 5 live was crowned UK Station of the Year. The judges said: “5 live reflected the drama and passion of some amazing events through the Jubilee and the Olympics, but also delivered really ambitious and difficult journalism.”
The station’s Olympic coverage also struck Gold in Best Sports Programme, with Peter Allen and Colin Murray receiving their trophy from Team GB’s Rebecca Adlington OBE. London 2012: the Olympic & Paralympic Games took top honours for Best Coverage of a Live Event.
Breakfast Show of the Year (10 million plus) is always a tussle between the big beasts of radio, and they don’t come much fiercer than Radio 4’s Today team who took the Gold, leaving Silver for Christian O’Connell and Bronze for Chris Evans. The Gold for Breakfast Show of the Year (under 10 million) went to Gem 106’s Sam & Amy. John Humphrys made it a double triumph for Radio 4, winning Radio Journalism of the Year. The judges said: “The Gold goes to a giant among radio news journalists… his interview with the former BBC Director General George Entwistle was one of THE news events of 2012.”
Commercial radio had much to celebrate with Classic FM, last year’s Special Award recipient, crowned UK Brand of the Year, KL.FM 96.7 retaining their title of Station of the Year (under 300,000) and Metro Radio claiming Gold for Station of the Year (1million plus). Continuing what marked a highly successful evening for the north, BBC Radio Humberside were awarded Station of the Year (300,000 to 1 million). The judges said of Classic FM: “Classic FM is not just a great radio station, it is also a superb brand.”
Some seasoned broadcasters added to their tally of Sony Golds, with Radio 2’s Dermot O’Leary beating Lauren Laverne and Jarvis Cocker to Gold for Best Music Programme. Danny Baker made it three wins in three years, triumphing in Best Entertainment Programme for Campbell Davison Media and BBC Radio 5 live, and Eddie Mair, recent nemesis of Boris Johnson, won Speech Radio Broadcaster for Radio 4. The judges praised his “intelligence, spontaneity and razor sharp wit.”
A very popular newcomer to the Sony roll of honour, was 6 Music’s Cerys Matthews, who converted her first Sony nomination to Gold, winning the prestigious Music Broadcaster of the Year. The judges described her show as: “A totally unique listen. A collection of music from a wide range of genres pulled together skilfully and with genuine love into a coherent, wonderful whole.”
Radio 1 had much to cheer about with four big wins: Best News & Current Affairs Programme for BBC Radio 1 Newsbeat, Best Music Feature or Documentary for The Story of Ed Sheeran, Best Feature or Documentary Bruising Silence – Just Radio for Radio 1 and Best Use of Multiplatform for Radio 1’s Review Show – Somethin’ Else for BBC Radio 1.
Other winners on the night were talkSPORT for Best Competition, BBC News for BBC World Service for Best Speech Programme and Real Radio North West for Best Community Programming. The judges said of the community programming winner Ciaran’s Cause: “Real Radio showed confidence and imagination in owning this story…powerful, simple storytelling around a single clear message.”
John Myers, Chairman of the Sony Radio Academy Awards Organising Committee, said: “It’s great that radio has played such an important part in the legacy of the 2012 Olympic Games: BBC Radio 5 live played a blinder and they are worthy winners of this year’s UK Station of the Year. At the other end of the scale, I’d like to pay tribute to KL.FM 96.7 who won Station of the Year (under 300,000) for the second year running. All the night’s winners are proof that we have the most exciting, creative and dynamic radio industry in the world: I salute them all.”
Radio industry newcomers Dan Howell and Phil Lester, from BBC Radio 1, have won the first ever Sony Golden Headphones Award. They received their award this evening from television presenter Caroline Flack at the prestigious Sony Radio Academy Awards.
The Sony Golden Headphones Award is a new ‘listeners’ choice’ category that has seen intense competition from radio heavyweights and newcomers alike in the battle to be crowned the nation’s favourite radio presenter.
There were four runners-up for the award, including veteran radio presenter Danny Baker (BBC Radio 5 live), the winner of the 2011 Sony DAB Rising Star Award, Robbie Savage (BBC Radio 5 live), and two strong regional contenders with Hirsty, Danny and JoJo (Capital FM Yorkshire) and Luke Marsden (97.4 Rock FM).
However, it was Dan and Phil who took the hotly contested title. Both presenters were originally video bloggers, amassing over one million YouTube subscribers, before moving to BBC Radio 1 with the support of their loyal fan base.
Additional Award presenters included Colin Montgomerie, Myleene Klass, Patrick Kielty, Clare Balding, John Craven, Tulisa, Billy Ocean, Guy Garvey, Blue, Lenny Henry, Emma Willis, Stephen Mulhern and Alfie Boe.