Written by Radio

Sony Radio Academy Award Nominations 2011

Well the Sony Radio Academy Award nominations were announced earlier this evening (in a much nicer venue than previously) by Classic FM’s Margherita Taylor and BBC 6 Music’s Huey Morgan. They fairly rattled through the categories, with Morgan in particular entertaining us even if he mispronounced the odd nominee.
Once again, Absolute Radio (my employer!) did especially well coming away with a total of 15 nominations in total. BBC Radio 4 leads the pack with 24, but Absolute Radio’s haul is bigger than that of any other station. So please allow me my moment of pleasure.
Standout nominations must surely go to Annabel Port in the Best On-Air Contributor category as well as Geoff Lloyd’s Hometime Show – on which she appears – in the Best Music Programme Category. Frank Skinner is up for three awards, as is Ronnie Wood. Most entertainingly, he’s a nominee in the only category that’s voted for by the public – the DAB Rising Star Award. I should admit that I find this category a tiny bit disingenuous since although all the nominees are new to radio, they’re not exactly new to the entertainment industry. Last year, the little known Jarvis Cocker won in this category (he’s up for another award this year too). Wood is up against Robbie Savage, who many might know more for his footballing skills, currently at Derby County. However, he’s undoubtedly a radio talent as anyone who heard his commentary of the New Zealand v Italy fixture will attest.
Elsewhere, it’s wonderful that Matt Deegan is up for station programmer of the year. Victoria Derbyshire is up for three, and has certainly put out some powerful radio over the last year. There was enormous amusement at Jeremy Vine’s Gordon Brown interview getting a nomination. You will recall that this was the place where brown had to apologise for calling Gillian Duffy a bigot!
While A History of the World in 100 Objects might be a shoe-in for Best Speech Programme, as it was superb, I’m personally delighted that Brian Cox and Robin Ince’s The Infinite Monkey Cage has been nominated.
In the podcast category, The Guardian’s Francesca Panetta is up against herself again, as The Guardian’s London Walks Podcast with Iain Sinclair is up against her own Hackey Podcast. I don’t live in Hackney, but I certainly listen to her terrific pieces of radio. That category also features the Answer Me This! podcast, again up against many of last year’s nominees.
It’s always wonderful to see Danny Baker nominated – even if he’s up against Frank Skinner. I certainly look forward to his return to the airwaves.
The one award I always find a tiny bit disappointing is the Comedy Award. That said, I listen regularly to three of the five comedies nominated – The Unbelievable Truth, Just a Minute and Tom Wrigglesworth’s Open Letter to Richard Branson (he’s had other “open letters” since). I’d like to see the odd actual sitcom get in. And yes, I am thinking of Ed Reardon’s Week.
I’ve not heard any of the dramas, although I did read the book that Murder in Samarkind was based on. And that brings me to a plea to the awards’ organisers, and the stations involved. I’ve asked for this before in vain, but I’ll ask again.
Could the nominated programmes please be placed online somewhere so that we can either stream or download them?
Yes I know there are rights issues. But it’s a terrible shame that many of these programmes simply won’t even get another broadcast. In some instances, the podcasts are freely available. But even the carefully edited pieces of nomination audio would suffice.
The big national Station of the Year award will be between Radio 3, Radio 4 and talkSport. How difficult will it be to compare those services?
Anyway, a fine selection of nominees with lots of really good radio programmes showing the vibrancy of the medium. Now if only there was a way to easily listen to all that radio online in a much easier manner…
Read more about Absolute Radio’s nominations here, and there’s a full list of nominees at Media Guardian.