BBC sweeps up at Sonys

IT was a night of celebration for the BBC last night, as it picked up over two-thirds of the prizes going at arguably the most prestigious radio awards competition in the UK: the Sonys.

In total, it took 24 of the 33 Sony Radio Academy Awards going, with Chris Evans and John Humphreys both making two trips to the stage to collect their titles. Paul Gambaccini and the late great John Peel were the night’s other big winners.

That said, GCap Media’s Classic FM took the UK Station of the Year title with the judges saying it was “back on top form, oozing enjoyment of the music thanks to imaginative use of celebrities not generally known for their love of classical music, and polished, approachable presentation”.

BBC WM’s Tony Butler was given a new Lifetime Achievement Award recognising a regional broadcaster, with former colleague Richard Park describing him as “a broadcasting legend, one of a kind, and a passionate presenter whose programmes are essential listening”. Butler has been sports broadcasting in the West Midlands for more than 30 years.

John Peel was named The Broadcasters’ Broadcaster – a special one-off prize to mark the 25th anniversary of the Sony Awards. The trophy was picked up by John’s wife, Sheila. Multiple Sony Gold winner, John, was voted their greatest influence by UK broadcasters from a shortlist of 25 ‘radio icons’ drawn up by the awards committee.

Radio 2 had a haul of five wins – including the two for Chris Evans who won the Entertainment Award and was also named Music Radio Personality of the Year. Radio 4’s The Today Programme picked up the Breakfast Show Award, and John Humphrys was named News Journalist of the Year.

The Scottish nominations were BBC Radio Scotland, Radio Clyde, Moray Firth Radio and XFM Scotland. And Clyde picked up a third place, bronze medal, in the entertainment category, George Bowie no doubt giving winner, Chris Evans, and runner-up, Jamie Theakston, a ‘run for their money’.

The sports programming award had seen both BBC Radio Scotland and Radio Clyde go head-to-head, while BBC Radio Scotland was also nominated in the comedy awards section and the specialist music programme award.

XFM Scotland’s Dominik Diamond received a nomination in the music personality category, while Moray Firth Radio’s nomination was in ‘Station Of the Year – with a potential audience of under 300,000’.

The full list of winners reads:

Community Award - BBC Radio Berkshire for The Plot
Sports Programme Award – BBC Five Live for Sportsweek
Internet Programme Award - Wise Buddah Talent for Firin’ Squad Unsigned Podcast
Feature Award – BBC Radio 2’s Radio Ballads 2006 – The Song of Steel
Music Special Award – BBC Radio 2 for Malcolm McLaren’s Musical Map of London
Live Event Coverage Award - The Alan Shearer Testimonial – Magic 1152
Breaking News Award – The London Tornado on BBC London 94.9
News Journalist of the Year – John Humphrys, BBC Radio 4
Music Programme Award – The Mark Radcliffe Show, BBC Radio 2
Promo Award – The Ashes, BBC Five Live
Drama Award – Lorilei – BBC Radio 4
Comedy Award – 1966 And All That – BBC Radio 4
Speech Programme Award – The Reunion – BBC Radio 4
Competition Award – Who’s Calling Christian? – Virgin Radio
Lifetime Achievement Award – Tony Butler, BBC WM
Station Imaging Award – Planet Rock
News and Current Affairs Programme Award - BBC Five Live Breakfast
News Feature Award – Letters from Guantanamo Bay – BBC Radio 4
Music Broadcaster of the Year – Colin Muray, BBC Radio 1
Station Programmer of the Year – Francis Currie – Heart Network
Interactive Programme Award – PM, BBC Radio 4
Station of the Year (under 300,000) – Isle of Wight Radio
Station of the Year (300,000 to 1 million) – BBC Radio Derby
Breakfast Show Award – The Today Programme, BBC Radio 4
Specialist Music Programme Award – Friction, BBC Asian Network
Entertainment Award – The Chris Evans Show, BBC Radio 2
Station of the Year (1 million plus) – Radio City 96.7
Speech Broadcaster of the Year – Eddie Nestor, BBC London 94.9
Digital Terrestrial Station of the Year - GaydarRadio
Music Radio Personality of the Year – Chris Evans, BBC Radio 2
UK Station of the Year – Classic FM
The Gold Award - Paul Gambaccini