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BBC Radio 2 to air five hours of Take That programming

Wed, 2022-11-23 12:29

BBC Radio 2 is going all out with Take That features on New Year’s Day including a two-hour countdown of Take That songs voted for by listeners.

The station is marking the 30th anniversary of the group’s first Number 1 single, Pray, in 1993.

From today, anyone can vote for up to three of their favourite songs taken from Take That’s Top 75 chart singles.

Cat Deeley will host the live countdown show – The Ultimate Take That Song – on New Year’s Day in a show which will also feature the band with new and archive interviews, plus fans such as Olly Murs and Sam Bailey talking about many of the songs which have been voted into the chart. Produced by BBC Audio.

The band says: “We are so lucky to have the best fans in the world, who have supported us for over 30 years – can you believe it! We’re honoured that Radio 2 are giving them the opportunity to vote for their favourite Take That songs, which our friend Cat will be counting down on New Year’s Day. We’ll be tuning in to find out which song is at Number One !”

Cat says: “I was a Take That fan back in the day and I’m a Take That fan today! So I can’t wait to welcome the first day of 2023 live on Radio 2 by playing two hours of their hits, chatting to the listeners about their own Take That encounters and celebrating a brand new year together.”

Jeff Smith, Head of Music, Radio 2 and 6 Music, says: “Of the 16,000 different tracks played on Radio 2 last year, quite a few were by Take That! So I’m delighted to give our listeners the chance to vote for their best-loved songs for our New Year’s Day chart, live with Cat Deeley.”

Read more about Take That’s special day on Radio 2 here.

Radiocentre research reveals what’s behind UK audio growth 

Wed, 2022-11-23 10:23

Radiocentre has unveiled Generation Audio, a robust study of listeners by market research agency Differentology, exploring why they listen and what the opportunities are for advertisers. 

  • The audio advertising opportunity is bigger than ever, with 75% of UK adults now listening to commercial audio for an average of 15 hours every week 
  • Live radio remains the lead audio format, complemented by evolving on-demand audio services 
  • Context-led occasions dominate share of total listening 
  • Need-states thinking can help hone audio planning practices 
  • Audio needs and associated listening behaviour found to evolve with age

The research, which brings to life the sheer scale of listening in the UK, explores how commercial audio is growing, and how changing listener behaviour is leading to record numbers for commercial audio listening.

It revisits the six key “need states” for listening identified in Radiocentre’s Audio Now study in 2014. The research identifies a new seventh audio need state, ‘Keep me company”, which reflects a growing need for companionship among UK adults amid changing living arrangements caused by pandemic disruption and recent economic hardship.

These factors are reducing frequency of social contact and creating a sense of isolation. The study concludes that listening to audio helps offset feelings of loneliness and provides companionship, especially for those working at home. 

The study has found that commercial radio leads listening in terms of both reach and share of time spent listening within six out of the seven need-states, including the new need-state ‘Keep me company’. 

Over the last decade the audio landscape has changed with the arrival of streaming services and podcasts heralding a wide and exciting audio ecology for listeners and advertisers. In more recent years, smartphone penetration has grown in the UK to over 93% meaning audio is always with us as people use their phones to connect to their favourite services. 

The launch of smart speakers such as Amazon’s Echo, which has found its way into our living rooms, kitchens and bedrooms, has also had a significant impact and overall audio listening has risen strongly over the past six years. With weekly reach of commercial audio services rising from 67% of the population in 2016 to 75% today, Generation Audio looks at what listeners use each form of audio for and encourages advertisers to use more sophisticated planning decisions when trying to reach them.

Based on a quantitative survey of 1,000 commercial audio listeners and a deep-dive qualitative ethnographic study, the project provides unique insight into the audio sector and confirms how the audio communications opportunity has never been bigger or more sophisticated, providing advertisers with an opportunity to achieve mass reach, underpinned by varied and nuanced targeting capabilities.

Generation Audio shows that the seven key need-states for audio listening offer advertisers sophisticated planning opportunities to reach mass audiences with tailored messages. The report offers a “Ready Reckoner” giving data for each one of the need-states, showing its share of overall listening time, its weekly reach – how many people listen to it – and the average length of the listening occasion. 

Mark Barber, Planning Director of Radiocentre, said “This project moves audio insight on from just numbers on a page, and shows us the real thoughts, feelings, and faces of those who matter most – the listeners, who are often simply reduced to percentages and bar charts. This is a chance for advertisers to re-centre, focus on the listener and really understand what people seek from audio in general and the crucial role that live radio plays within this. We hope that the research will encourage advertisers to progress beyond just reach and frequency to adopt a more sophisticated need-states-based approach to planning audio to help enhance overall campaign performance.”

Mark James, CEO of  Differentology said: “It’s been a real privilege getting to spend quality time with such a broad range of audio listeners, having in-depth conversations to fully understand all their inner needs and motivations.

“The data set we went on to produce gave us half a million commercial audio listening minutes to analyse. The sheer breadth and depth of the study has meant we’ve been able to unearth exciting new trends and to also robustly size existing habits. The addition of mood based data, derived from a mixture of human and AI analysis, has provided some fascinatingly unique insights, that importantly will help advertisers to better plan their campaigns.”

Times Newspapers Limited is changing its name to Times Media

Tue, 2022-11-22 16:39

Times Newspapers Limited, owner of Times Radio, is changing its name to Times Media.

The company says the new name better reflects the modern media business it is today.

Times Radio, the portfolio of podcasts including Stories of our times and the news Off Air podcast with Jane Garvey and Fi Glover, as well as the TLS, will all be promoted as part of the Times Media family.

Times Media EVP Publisher Chris Longcroft said: “The last few years have seen us undergo a powerful transformation in all parts of our business – from the newsroom, which is now well set as a digital-first environment, to bold new digital products like Times Radio, and most recently we have experimented with Times Documentaries, as well as continuing to service our loyal and valuable print audience.

“This brilliant work is reflected in our business performance. We have shifted from loss to profit as we have driven record subscriptions. This last quarter we recorded 468k digital-only subscribers, compared to 380k in the prior year, and our ambition is to continue to grow.

“Our new name – Times Media – much better reflects our onward journey.

“Of course, some things remain the same. The foundation of everything we do is world-class journalism. It always has been and it always will be. The Times and The Sunday Times retain their unique identities, sharing resources where it makes sense to do so, and we will continue to provide our journalism in print and in new and innovative digital formats on our app and website, through video and through audio – thanks to our outstanding Times Radio and podcasts team.”

The new Times Media logo was designed by the Times Media creative team.

Former communications minister Ed Vaizey joins Times Radio

Tue, 2022-11-22 14:31

Former culture minister and Conservative peer Ed Vaizey is joining Times Radio to present a new live weekly evening show.

Lord Vaizey of Didcot will talk through the big political stories of the week every Friday at 7pm, a slot previously hosted by Michael Portillo, starting on Friday 3rd December.

Ed Vaizey was the Conservative MP for Wantage between 2005 and 2019 and served as the UK Government Culture and Digital Minister from 2010-16. He was appointed to the UK House of Lords in September 2020, where he sits as a Conservative peer and is a member of the Communications and Digital Committee.

Ed Vaizey said: “I grew up listening to speech radio as a kid – yes, I was that nerdy – so to have the chance to present my own programme is a dream come true. Times Radio has quickly established itself as the destination for intelligent and thoughtful analysis of the news and culture.

“With my passion for politics, the arts and technology, I want to bring listeners the most interesting interviews of the week, and above all have a lot of fun in the process.”

Times Radio Programme Director, Tim Levell, said: “Ed Vaizey has had an extensive career in politics, and his arrival will make Friday evenings on Times Radio unmissable. Our listeners lap up our political coverage, from Matt Chorley’s PMQs Unpacked to John Pienaar at Drive, and this new show will offer his first-hand analysis of the week’s political events.

“Ed has already presented some guest shows on Times Radio, and engaged our listeners with his lively and funny insights. I’m sure they’ll love his entertaining approach to life.”

Highlights of the WorldDAB Summit event in London

Tue, 2022-11-22 12:22

Economics, environment and emergencies will drive the case for DAB+ adoption, said WorldDAB President, Patrick Hannon, opening the organisation’s annual Summit in London on Thursday.

“DAB+ offers lower costs of distribution than FM, coupled with lower energy requirements, and greater resilience in emergencies, especially out of home,” said Hannon.

“It’s essential to protect the core benefits of broadcast radio – it’s free to air, universal and reliable in emergencies. DAB+ is key to securing this,” he added.

This was supported in keynote sessions, with Shuja Khan, CEO of UK communications infrastructure company Arqiva, arguing that governments need to safeguard broadcast services – not just in the short term but to 2040 and beyond.

“DAB is here to stay – it’s embedded in the lives of radio listeners,” said Khan. Matt Payton, CEO of UK commercial radio trade body Radiocentre, noted the potential threat posed by tech giants positioning themselves as powerful gatekeepers between broadcasters and listeners, a concern echoed by Jean-Eric Valli, President of Les Indés Radios, a group bringing together 129 French local radio broadcasters.

New DAB+ services from around the world were highlighted at the Summit, including the newly launched ANTENNE NRW in Germany’s North Rhine-Westphalia. Its Managing Director, Julia Schutz, said that the station had gone from an idea to a contender within just one year – but also noted that “developing DAB+ is not a sprint but a marathon.”

France’s first “100% positive” radio station dedicated to wellness, AirZen Radio, was represented by its Founder, Anne-Marie de Couvreur, who explained the DAB+ station’s mission to help the French to live better.

Speakers emphasised the need for continued collaboration between the radio and automotive sectors, to ensure radio’s continued dominance of in-car audio, and to optimise the experience for listeners. Diana Franganillo from Strategy Analytics said that “radio remains royalty” in the car. To strengthen this position and remain relevant, Franganillo advised providing content for younger listeners as the next generation of car buyers, synergising with other services to provide a holistic user experience for drivers and remaining alert and creative to the advent of autonomous vehicles.

David Holroyd, Director of Technology for Europe’s largest radio group, Global, in conversation with Lindsay Mack from BBC Sounds, said that Global provides a range of metadata, such as station names and logos, for in-car use through DAB and RadioDNS hybrid radio. Holroyd added that while he was cautious about making in-car screens too busy, programme and schedule data could also add value for listeners, alongside ‘now playing’ information.

Gregor Pötzsch from CARIAD, part of Volkswagen Group, showed how this looked in-car and said he expected that in the future, dashboard devices would feature recommendations for listening and greater incorporation of podcasts and online broadcasts. Joe D’Angelo from Xperi spoke about the challenge of personalising radio services and the growth of tuning and location data available from receivers available to broadcasters. 3.6 billion “measurement events” were captured by DTS Autostage in 2022, and D’Angelo expects this to increase to over 90 billion next year.

Meanwhile, the growth of small-scale DAB+ was covered by Donald McTernan from Ujima Radio in Bristol, England, who emphasised the social gain benefits that low-cost access to the digital airwaves can bring. 148 stations now broadcast in on newly launched small-scale DAB multiplexes across the UK.

The annual Summit was held in-person for the first time in three years, in Kings Place in London. It brought together more than 375 delegates online and in-person, from over 60 countries around the world, and was hosted by technology journalist, Spencer Kelly.

The Summit is organised by WorldDAB, the global industry forum for DAB digital radio.

Iain Dale shows his support for community radio at conference

Tue, 2022-11-22 10:22

LBC presenter Iain Dale has shown his support for the community radio sector at the second UK Community Radio Network Conference over the weekend.

During a session on stage, he said now is the time for significant investment into community radio stations, and more people should get involved as they are a vital cog in local communities.

He said with the BBC cutting back and commercial radio becoming networks, there is a huge gap in the market.

Iain was very complimentary about the sector and encouraged attendees to continue to make great local radio, and would like to see this kind of event get bigger and better for all who do. “I predict in five years’ time there’ll be 500 people here,” he said.

He said if he had millions he would put money into the sector and set up his own community radio station if there wasn’t one where he lived.

Other speakers include BBC Radio WM Executive Editor Patrick Hart, who shared his love for Community radio, Leona Fensome from Inkslingers Media, Rob Watson from the Decentered Media Podcast, Jim Trevelyan from the Voice North Devon, Alex Airnes from K107, Jeff Martin from Erewash Sound and many others.

Radio Academy Trustee Will Jackson, spoke on the work of the Radio Academy, including its plans for a new Community Radio category at the 2023 ARIAS.

Attendees were also given the chance to have demo and career advice with Sophie Sveinson from XS Manchester and Gabriella Incalza from Talk TV.

All sessions have been recorded and will be available as a podcast, via the UKCRN website in the weeks to come, thanks to event supporters Hippynet.

UKCRN co-founder Nathan Spackman said “I’ve been overwhelmed with the response to our second event over the weekend and how beneficial it has already proven to stations from across the United Kingdom.”

“As said by Iain Dale from LBC during the event, there are so many opportunities for Community Radio in light of the recent announcement by the BBC. The UKCRN will continue to champion the sector, bring it together and provide opportunities for collaboration, not just nationally but regionally into 2023.”

“I’d like to thank Playoutone, In:Quality, Hippynet, Autopod, Feature Story News, RadioToday, CopMedia and Devaweb, as well as our venue Kings House, for their support in making this event possible.

The UK Community Radio Network is keen to develop its membership offering, collaborate with industry businesses and hear from stations, who are yet to have worked with it. Anyone interested in chatting with the group, can email

Lewis Capaldi signs up for a BBC Radio 2 in Concert gig

Tue, 2022-11-22 10:00

Radio 2 In Concert returns this December with a gig from singer-songwriter Lewis Capaldi.

He will be performing in front of a small audience of Radio 2 listeners at the BBC’s Radio Theatre in Broadcasting House, London.

The show will be recorded on the evening of Thursday 8th December and broadcast on Radio 2 on Thursday 15th December from 7-9pm, when it will also be available on BBC Sounds and to watch on BBC iPlayer for 30 days after broadcast.

Tickets will be allocated via ballot, with audiences able to apply at Registration has just opened during Jo Whiley’s Radio 2 show and closes at 11.59pm on Thursday 24th November.

Jo Whiley, host of Radio 2 In Concert, said: “I absolutely love Lewis Capaldi. I last saw him when he performed a brilliant session on my Radio 2 show back in January 2019, so I can’t wait to catch up with him to find out what he’s been up to since then and, of course, hear some more of his amazing music.”

Jeff Smith, Head of Music for Radio 2, said: “Lewis Capaldi is one of the UK’s most outstanding young music stars so I’m so thrilled he’ll be entertaining our listeners with his performance for Radio 2 In Concert this December.”

All the winners from the 2022 Community Radio Awards

Tue, 2022-11-22 09:19

The best of Community Radio has been celebrated in Bedford at the Community Radio Awards.

Gold Black Country Radio won the Station of the Year whilst Rupa Mooker from Awaz FM picked up Female Presenter of the Year and Stephen Higgs from Switch Radio won Male Presenter of the Year.

Martin Steers, awards chair, said: “It’s been great to bring stations together again, and to see many networking throughout the night, with new connections being made.

“It was also fantastic to hear how many winners had taken the time to look up and be inspired by other entrants in their categories, and how complimentary everyone is of the fantastic work by their peers across the sector”.

The awards followed the UK Community Radio Network Annual Conference, which took place in the same venue earlier in the day.

Podcast of the Year, sponsored by AutoPod
Gold Dogs with Jobs – Petersfield's Shine Radio
Silver Self Injury Support – Gentle Activism
Bronze The Shine Radio Recipe with Noni Needs – Petersfield's Shine Radio

Innovation of the Year, sponsored by Hippynet
Silver Falmouth to Falmouth – SourceFM
Bronze The 4ps Training School for young people – Vectis Radio

Newcomer of the Year, sponsored by The Radio Hub
Gold Anna Gillingham-Sutton – Sheppey FM 92.2
Silver Chloe Monaghan – Bro Radio
Bronze John Reid-Hansen – Red Kite Radio

Sage Person of the Year
Gold Craig Mitchell – K107fm
Silver John Rumble – Marlow FM
Bronze Jim Campbell – Radio Skye

Young Person of the Year, sponsored by Devaweb
Gold Megan Hayward – Spark
Silver Toby Crabb – Radio LaB 97.1FM
Bronze Daisy Barker – Chelmsford Community Radio

Volunteer of the Year
Gold Mark Draper – Sheppey FM 92.2
Silver Tom Walker – Black Country Radio
Bronze Robin Zhang – Radio Cardiff

Sports Show of the Year
Gold Black Country Saturday Sports Show – Black Country Radio
Silver Skye Spòrs – Radio Skye
Bronze Saturday Sports Show – Twitter Spaces – K107fm

Specialist Music Show of the Year
Gold Priya Matharu – Switch Radio
Silver The Letty Rock Show – K107fm
Bronze Saltire Indie Rock Show – Paisley FM 107.5

Arts and Creative Radio of the Year
Gold Hills Are Alive – Spark
Silver The Easts – Cambridge 105 Radio
Bronze Be the Sea – Spark

Speech and Journalism of the Year, sponsored by Feature Story News
Gold Fighting Fear With Hope – Radio LaB 97.1FM
Silver Friday Night Clive (Clive Payne) – Black Country Radio
Bronze One Love One Planet – BCfm Radio

Entertainment Show of the Year
Gold Natasha Reneaux – BFBS ALDERSHOT
Silver Paul James – Academy FM Thanet
Bronze We Are Young – Erewash Sound

Live Event or Outside Broadcast, sponsored by InQuality
Gold Iron To Iron – Erewash Sound
Silver The Barry Island Festival of Food – Bro Radio
Bronze Hustings 2022 – Radio Skye

Female Presenter of the Year
Gold Rupa Mooker – Awaz FM
Silver Dr Audrey Tang – NLive Radio
Bronze Leigh Chambers – Cambridge 105 Radio

Male Presenter of the Year
Gold Stephen Higgs – Switch Radio
Silver Neil Kefford – Academy FM Thanet
Bronze Connor Morgans – Radio Cardiff

Digital and RSL Station of the Year
Gold Petersfield's Shine Radio
Silver Poppyland Radio
Bronze Radio Ysbyty Gwynedd

Covid and Community Rebuild
Gold Tommyfield Live – Oldham Community Radio 99.7FM
Silver Think on Our feet – Vectis Radio
Bronze #MercatMarriage – K107fm

Community Show of the Year, sponsored by RadioToday
Gold The Short Breaks Show – Vectis Radio
Silver A Tribute to Allan Brigham – Cambridge 105 Radio
Bronze All About Frome – Frome FM

Community Development Project of the Year, sponsored by UK Community Radio Network
Gold The 4Ps Radio Training School for Young people – Vectis Radio
Silver Ukraine Community Appeal – Sheppey FM 92.2
Bronze Older Voices – ALL FM

Station of the Year, sponsored by PlayoutOne
Gold Black Country Radio
Silver Heartland FM
Bronze Vectis Radio

Felixstowe Radio in breach of Key Commitments over output

Mon, 2022-11-21 14:08

Ofcom has found community radio station Felixstowe Radio in breach of its licence conditions for not delivering enough original output on one day.

The station is required to broadcast a minimum of eight hours of original output per day.

After a complaint was made, Ofcom listened for a week to find the station exceed the requirement on all days except one, where it broadcast a maximum of two hours of original output.

Felixstowe Radio said the missing six hours on that day was due to a number of different factors, including illnesses of presenters, technical difficulties impeding its intended live broadcast from Felixstowe Carnival, and transport breakdown preventing the intended studio cover from broadcasting its intended output.

Because of this, Ofcom’s Decision is that Felixstowe Radio Community Interest Company is in breach of Licence Conditions 2(1) and 2(4) for failing to comply with its Key Commitment to provide a minimum of eight hours per day of original output

Dates and new categories announced for the ARIAS 2023

Mon, 2022-11-21 10:00

There will be four new categories at the next Audio and Radio Industry Awards along with a special award for coverage of the death of HM The Queen.

In other changes, there will also be an increase to nine nominees in many categories, and the return of hosts Rylan and Fleur East.

The new categories are; Best Community Radio Station (announceda the Community Radio Network conference over the weekend), a split of Best New Radio Show and Best New Podcast, and a new Audiobooks category.

Entries will open on Tuesday 3rd January 2023, the shortlist will be announced at a nominations party on Thursday 30th March in the News UK building, and the ceremony itself is confirmed for Tuesday 2nd May in London’s West End.

In a change to the way the awards are judged, The Academy has announced that in 18 of the 28 categories there will be nine nominations instead of six.

ARIAS Judging has historically taken place in two pools – allowing for three nominations from the BBC, and three from non-BBC entries. From 2023 there will be an additional pool of three nominees for independent podcasts, in the 18 applicable categories.

The full list of categories for the ARIAS 2023 are as follows (with * indicating categories with nine nominees):

– Best New Presenter*
– Best New Radio Show
– Best News Coverage*
– Best Speech Breakfast Show
– Best Speech Presenter*
– Best Sports Show*
– Best Coverage of an Event*
– The Comedy Award*
– Best Music Breakfast Show, supported by MusicMaster Scheduling
– Best Music Entertainment Show
– Best Specialist Music Show*
– Best Music Special*
– Best Factual Single Programme*
– Best Factual Series*
– Best New Podcast*, supported by Audible
– Best Drama*
– Best Audiobook or Reading*
– Best Station Sound
– Best Commercial Partnership*
– The Creative Innovation Award*, supported by All In Media
– The Grassroots Award*
– The Impact Award*
– The 2022 Special Award (following the death of HM The Queen)*
– Best Local Show, supported by RCS
– Community Station of the Year
– The John Myers Station of the Year Award
– UK Station or Network of the Year, supported by Arqiva
– Radio Times Moment of the Year (voted by the general public)

Entries run from 3 January to 7 February, and the audio eligibility period is the calendar year 2022.

Boom Radio hires Paul O’Grady for Christmas Day show

Mon, 2022-11-21 07:40

After 13 years at BBC Radio 2, Paul O’Grady is joining Boom Radio to host a special show on Christmas Day.

He’ll be on-air at midday from his home joined by his former producer Malcolm Price.

Paul commented: “Looking forward to being back on the wireless for Christmas Day lunch with the usual unpredictable mayhem! Malcolm and I have been missing you all so I hope you will find us in our latest radio home at Boom.”

Boom Co-founder David Lloyd said: “This is an absolute coup for Boom and we’re delighted Paul is joining us. So many of our listeners told us how much they missed hearing Paul on the radio, and how much he’d feel at home with the atmosphere on our station because we play music for their generation.”

Paul left BBC Radio 2 in August after being told he would only be on-air for half the year, sharing his slot with Rob Beckett.

At the time, he said: ““The reason I’m leaving, because everybody’s asking me this, is because I wasn’t really happy with the 13 weeks on, 13 weeks off business. So, I did the honourable thing, honoured my contract, gave me notice in, and now I’m off.”

Student Radio Awards 2022 – full winners list

Sun, 2022-11-20 18:34

The University of Sunderland’s community radio station Spark has won Gold in the Best Station category at this year’s Student Radio Awards.

Held annually since 1995, the awards serve both to celebrate the diversity of the content and talent in student radio and audio community, and to help launch the next generation of radio talent into the radio industry.

Judged by nearly 200 industry-appointed judges, hundreds of student entries, spanning over a dozen categories, are whittled down to Bronze, Silver and Gold winners.

The awards are supported by BBC Sounds and Global, and were given out at an event on Wednesday evening in London.

Here’s the full list of winners:

Best Chart Show Programming

Gold University Radio York (URY) University Radio York
Silver Radio LaB’s SRA Chart Show Radio LaB 97.1FM
Bronze The LSR Christmas Special Chart Leeds Student Radio
Nom Surf Radio Surf Radio
Nom LSR’s Twisted Bingo Leeds Student Radio
Nom Queen’s Radio – Paddy’s Day Special Queen’s Radio

Best Entertainment Programming

Gold Fly Live @ 25: 25 Hours for 25 Years with Harry Briggs Fly Live
Silver Take A Seat – Hebe Lawson Queen’s Radio
Bronze The Pre Ocean Show URN
Nom Taf or Naff? – Valentine’s Day Special Xpress Radio
Nom Monday Breakfast with Tyler Selby Spark
Nom The Friday Fest with Jake Marney – Fly Live Fly Live

Best Event Programming

Gold Nottingham Varsity 2022 URN
Silver Sunderland City Runs Spark Best Event Programming Entry Spark
Bronze Sport X – Welsh Varsity 2022 Xpress Radio
Nom Transmission – Leeds Student Radio Leeds Student Radio
Nom Candidate Interview Night 2022 URY
Nom Carols at the Minster 2022 URY

Best Interview

Gold Ella Wydrzynska interviews Danielle Steers URN
Silver Anne Widdecombe Leeds Student Radio
Bronze Ella Wydrzynska interviews David Hunter URN
Nom Toby Crabb chats with Rickie, Melvin & Charlie Radio LaB 97.1FM
Nom Will Hobbs – ‘Heads and Tales with Nasser Hussain’ Purple Radio
Nom Tom Atkins talks with Anton Schembri Xpress Radio

Best Journalistic Programming

Gold The Scoop On Sunday Queen’s Radio
Silver Xpress Radio: ‘Ukraine Special – Through Cardiff’s Eyes’ Xpress Radio
Nom LSR and Girls Night In Leeds Student Radio
Nom The UK at Eurovision – 25 years since victory Spark
Nom Phoenix Radio Special Broadcast – Boris Johnson Leaves No. 10 Phoenix Radio CUSU

Best Multiplatform Initiative

Gold Girls Night In Leeds – Leeds Student Radio Leeds Student Radio
Silver The Nila Extract University Radio Nottingham
Bronze URN Away Days URN
Nom Izzython: 24 Hour Show for Comic Relief University Radio Nottingham
Nom Chatting Like Champions URN
Nom Purple Radio – Purple Radiothon Purple Radio

Best Newcomer

Gold Grace Daily Spark
Silver Bobbi Bunker Spark
Bronze Kinga Stusik Insanity Radio
Nom Amelia Salmons Fly Live
Nom Izzy Bailey RAW
Nom George Cooper Uni Radio Bath

Best Podcast Programming

Gold Women Behind the Wheel – Kattiea Devereux-Ward Scratch Radio
Silver Freshers Xpress Radio
Bronze No Girls, No Fun University Radio Bath
Nom EcoFrenzy URN
Nom GRL: In Conversation with… Spark
Nom Love and Lust in Leeds LSR

Best Presenter

Gold Chrissy Cameron Spark
Silver Maddi Fearn Leeds Student Radio
Bronze Lewis Smith Spark Sunderland
Nom Tom Foreman University Radio York (URY)
Nom Tyler Selby Spark
Nom Ella Wydrzynska URN

Best Producer

Gold Ella Wydrzynska URN
Silver Olivia Copeland Cam FM (Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin Universities)
Bronze Alex Charles Shock Radio
Nom Giles Cosgrove Xpress Radio
Nom Megan Lane Purple Radio
Nom Grace McDonough Spark

Best Specialist Music Programming

Gold These B*tches Want Nikes Leeds Student Radio
Silver Showtime URN
Bronze New to Spark with Tyler Selby Spark
Nom A Classical Bedtime URY
Nom Undies Leeds Student Radio
Nom Fear of the Dark RAW

Best Speech Programming

Gold Plane Ticket – Radio Play Queen’s Radio
Silver GRL Spark
Bronze Purple Radio – The Right Kind of Hatred Purple Radio
Nom Freshers Xpress Radio
Nom Confusion University Radio York
Nom Cinderella: The Student Radio Panto Spark Sunderland

Best Sport Programming

Gold Grecian Glory – Exeter City’s Promotion XpressionFM
Silver Women in Sport Show URN
Bronze Roses 2022 URY
Nom The Warwick Sports Show RAW
Nom Cam FM Bumps Coverage 2022 Cam FM
Nom Thursday Rotational Show URN

Best Station Branding

Gold Leeds Student Radio Leeds Student Radio
Silver URN Best Station Branding 2021-22 URN
Bronze Purple Radio Purple Radio
Nom Shock Radio Shock Radio
Nom University Radio York Best Station Branding University Radio York
Nom Fly Live Fly Live

Best Station Sound

Gold FlyLive Best Station Sound Fly Live
Silver Queen’s Radio Re-Brand Queen’s Radio
Bronze Shock Radio Shock Radio
Nom RAW’s Station Sound RAW1251AM
Nom Phoenix Radio Imaging 2021/2022 Phoenix Radio CUSU

Best Technical Achievement

Gold Purple Radio Purple Radio
Silver Plane Ticket – Radio Play Queen’s Radio
Bronze URY FM University Radio York
Nom Insanity Radio Xtra Insanity Radio
Nom Shock Xtra – Shock Radio Shock Radio
Nom The Cardiff Half Marathon Live on Xpress Radio Xpress Radio

The Diversity, Equality & Inclusion Award

Gold Purple Radio Purple Radio
Silver The Music Show’ on XpressionFM Xpression FM
Bronze It’s Okay to Be Ace Spark
Nom Her Voice – Cam FM Cam FM (Cambridge and Anglia Ruskin Universities)
Nom GRL Spark
Nom Girls In Pole Position URN

Best Student Radio Station

Gold Spark Spark
Silver Leeds Student Radio Leeds Student Radio
Bronze Purple Radio Purple Radio
Nom Insanity Radio Insanity Radio
Nom RAW Best Student Radio Station RAW1251AM
Nom University Radio York (URY) University Radio York

Honorary Life Memberships presented to; Naomi Oiku, Jacob Rickard and Ben Burrell

Somer Valley FM celebrates another year of broadcasting

Fri, 2022-11-18 11:18

Somer Valley FM held its Annual Celebration earlier this month at Bath College’s Somer Valley Campus.

During the evening speakers included sponsors Jayne Davis Principal and Chief Executive Bath College, Jack Bailey Head of Operations Curo Choice, and James Lowther Chief Executive Officer Truespeed.

The station also held its annual awards hosted by Dom Chambers. Rob Bayly, Gemma Esclarin Gros and Jamie Skinner were all recognised for their outstanding contributions.

“We’ve had a great response to our event’ remarked Richard Burgess, Somer Valley FM Station Manager.

“With over 60 people in attendance, it was a wonderful opportunity to celebrate a number of our remarkable volunteers, whilst promoting this year’s theme of collaboration with our sponsors, who are so supportive.”

AudioUK calls for more government action for audio sector

Fri, 2022-11-18 06:55

AudioUK has set out a raft of measures needed to put audio production on the same footing as other creative media content production, such as TV, film, games and animation.

Speaking at this week’s Westminster Media Forum event on the future of the radio and audio industries, Chloe Straw, Managing Director of AudioUK, said: “As the market continues to grow at a pace that could only have been imagined ten years ago, the opportunities are there for the taking, but we need to be quick.

“The global podcasting market is expected to grow at a rate of 31.1%, to reach $94.88 billion by 2028. The UK sector is currently one of the most developed in terms of numbers of companies and professionals involved in audio production. But this may only be for a period of time as other countries seek to build their own sectors.”

In the area of strategic policymaking, Chloe Straw stated that while AudioUK has a good relationship with Government & has had many successes, there are still areas where audio production is not on the same footing as other creative content production sectors: “At the most basic level, the current statistical groupings which DCMS uses to collect and report data do not include audio, just ‘radio broadcasting’.

“And audio production is not represented on the Creative Industries Council, meaning a lack of input at that crucial strategic level.”

The speech also highlighted the need for investment, in terms of attracting overseas spend to the UK via an Audio Production Tax Relief: “The US audio market has grown exponentially in terms of revenue and audience. So one economy is producing a lot of podcasts and driving its revenue generation and therefore it is limiting the international market and wider economic benefits.

“A tax relief would allow a rebalancing of at least some of the production market power towards the UK, through incentivising investors to look at this country’s production sector. There is already a whole suite of creative industry tax reliefs – film, TV, video games and animation – but again, not audio.”

Chloe Straw also called for renewed government investment in skills and training, via AudioUK’s Audiotrain programme and called for renewed finance for the Audio Content Fund, for which the evaluation is expected to conclude soon.

Lastly, Chloe discussed partnerships, including with the digital platforms, as well as reiterating AudioUK’s recent call for the BBC’s non-new radio and audio content to be open for full external competition if it moves its speech production arm to BBC Studios.

Billy Butler picks up award for Liverpool Live Radio

Thu, 2022-11-17 21:19

Liverpool Live is celebrating winning its first award win for ‘Best Media Outlet’ at the Sound Media Awards.

The ceremony, which was attended by hundreds of hopeful entrants, celebrates the local music industry over the past 12 months.

Presenter Billy Butler was in attendance to receive the award – he’s been on the air in the city for over 50 years and continues to this day on Liverpool Live each weekend.

Over the decades, Billy has appeared on numerous local stations including BBC Radio Merseyside & Radio City. He has also appeared on television starring in ‘Fax’ alongside Bill Oddie.

The award was voted for by the general public and the radio station was up against competition from a number of other organisations.

Liverpool Live owner Rod Keay said “We are delighted to win our first award which truly reflects the hard work put in by everyone at the station. In a radio market that is constantly changing we work tirelessly to deliver a local service that is missing from so many other stations today.

“It’s great to know that this is truly appreciated by our ever-growing audience which in turn brings positive results for our advertisers.”

Broadcast Radio celebrates 25 years with upcoming release of Myriad 6

Thu, 2022-11-17 14:20

Broadcast Radio, which launched as P Squared 25 years ago today, is celebrating its anniversary with news about Myriad 6 and Myriad Cloud.

Playout software Myriad 6 will be free for all customers using Myriad 5 when it comes out in early 2023.

It includes many new features including cloud backup and sync, external streams in playout, dark mode, native OPUS audio format support for media content and more.

And Myriad Cloud puts the full Myriad ecosystem running natively in a browser using the Microsoft Azure cloud infrastructure. Broadcast Radio says this provides enterprise-grade resilience and elastic scalability to deliver a truly cloud-based solution for professional, full-time radio stations.

To achieve this, they have developed several key technologies including a completely new audio engine that does not require physical (or virtual) audio devices, a ‘headless’ core playout engine, and a complete web interface to allow users to plan and schedule their station, manage content and users, voice track and even present live shows from anywhere in the world.

Myriad Cloud also integrates with all existing Broadcast Radio services such as streaming, website, skills and mobile apps.

As with Myriad 6, Myriad Cloud is in the final stages of development and testing and is expected to be offered as a public beta very early next year ahead of a Q1 release window.

Commercial Director Liam Burke told RadioToday: “In a week where the BBC is celebrating a century of radio broadcasting, it is amazing to think that our technology has been powering radio stations for a quarter of that time! As part of our 25th birthday celebrations, we are delighted to reveal the exciting innovations we have been working on for the past couple of years and can’t wait to see what customers achieve with the new products and services we are unveiling today!”.

Peter Jarrett, Technical Director added: “Ultimately, Myriad 6 and Myriad Cloud can be combined to offer a new hybrid radio solution which blends traditional, studio-based playout with cloud-based radio with automated content synchronization and smooth transitions between local and cloud playout.

“We believe that this agile approach to radio will be key for broadcasters of all types and sizes over the next decade.

“We already have several customers running this type of hybrid model, but the new technology announced today will open the option to more broadcasters and create a more seamless experience for both presenters and listeners.”

Broadcast Radio will be demonstrating both Myriad 6 and Myriad Cloud at the Radio TechCon event at IET London on the 28th of November 2022. This will be your first chance to get ‘hands on’ with both products as well as ask them any questions about the technology.

The Scott TreadMills Challenge raises over £1m for Children in Need

Thu, 2022-11-17 10:19

Scott Mills completed The Great Scott TreadMills Challenge just after 8 this morning with the fundraising amount now standing at over a million pounds.

The Radio 2 presenter has spent the last 24 hours on a treadmill live online.

To help encourage and motivate him to keep going, Scott was joined in the BBC Radio Theatre by Sam Ryder, Tim Vine, Olly Murs, Joe Wicks, Lemar, Greg James, Simon Brodkin, Jamie Laing, Olympic race walker Tom Bosworth, Gaby & Billy from DIY SOS, Joel Corry, Tom Grennan, Gemma Collins, Louis Theroux, Suzi Ruffell, Georgia Toffolo, some of the cast of The Lion King, Nick Grimshaw, Stephen K Amos, some of the cast of the Bob Marley musical, Marisha Wallace, Mark Watson, Aurie Styla, Drag Queens Bonk & Pasty, Shazia Mirza, Strictly’s Joanne Clifton and Nadiya Bychkova and Kai Widdrington.

With music guests B*witched, Marisha Wallace, Tom Walker, Jack Savoretti, Hot Chip, Mel C, with the London Contemporary Orchestra performing Chariots of Fire at the end.

And many of the Radio 2 presenting family were either broadcasting their shows with him across the challenge or popped in to see him specially.

On finishing, Scott said to Zoe Ball live on air…..

Zoe Ball: You did it!

Scott Mills: I’ve done it!

Zoe: Was there ever a point when you thought you might not?

Scott: Yes, 3.56 this morning.

Zoe: Oh gosh! Bless you but you have fought on through.

Scott: I can’t believe that’s over. I’ve done it! It’s so incredible, this is the most, I’ve done a few of these things in the past for Radio 1. This is next level. The amount of money, honestly, I didn’t expect it to be this much money just because of how things are at the moment. So I’m just shocked and I’m in shellshock right now that I’m not walking. You’re holding me up. I suggested a stretcher if I made it this far!

Zoe: Can I just thank all the BBC team who have worked through the night with Scott. They’ve been incredible. To all the guests who have come to help you along the way and make you laugh and make you giggle. To all our Radio 2 hosts, the whole team. Everyone at BBC Children in need, Billy Draper has pulled all this together, he’s been amazing. We love you Billy, we’re really proud of you. The whole Radio 2 family and all our incredible listeners who have been so generous and Pudsey of course but really, it’s all to you and the listeners […] Scott Mills everybody! He’s done it!

Guest Melanie C, who had just performed, said: Oh my gosh, it’s incredible. I mean, even the thought process of mentally preparing for something like this and then physically doing it, it’s incredible. But the people of the UK, they’re just incredible aren’t they? They keep you going, they’re so generous and we’re in tough times and they continue to give, it’s wonderful.

Scott said: I can’t get my head round it, it’s such a lot… What an experience to be part of and what a lot of money. Getting so many messages from people who have donated, you know, kids that have donated their pocket money, saying to their mum and dad ‘please give Scott all of my pocket money this week’.

Scott thanked all the team and his Radio 2 presenting colleagues, and said: I thank you the most to the extremely generous Radio 2 listeners. Obviously this is a massive team effort… It’s incredible, thank you thank you!

BBC Children in Need will be taking place on television this Friday, 18th November 2022.

Hits Radio Breakfast show returns to Blackpool for a live broadcast

Wed, 2022-11-16 23:01

The Hits Radio Breakfast team in Manchester is heading to Lancashire for an outside broadcast from Blackpool.

It’s all because of Fleur East’s appearance this weekend on Strictly Come Dancing from the town, although co-hosts James Barr and Matt Haslam will also be beside the seaside.

The show will feature some surprise special guests, a chat with Fleur’s pro partner Vito Coppola and a Strictly gossip with Hits Radio colleague Gemma Atkinson – whose partner Gorka will also be taking to the ballroom this Saturday.

James and Matt also have a very special surprise on Friday morning for Fleur as part of their ongoing VOTE FLEUR campaign.

Paul Gerrard, Programme Director for Hits Radio Network said: “As soon as we found out that Fleur had made it through to Blackpool we just knew that we had to do Friday’s show from there.

“It’s not our first rollercoaster ride in that fabulous location as Fleur, James and Matt actually broadcast from their last year as part of their Summer Staycation tour. We had the warmest welcome from everyone in Blackpool then and we’re thrilled to be back this week for this very special show.”

Small-scale DAB Round 3 now complete with five new awards

Wed, 2022-11-16 14:02

Ofcom has announced the winners of small-scale DAB multiplex licences in Milton Keynes, Rutland and Stamford, Swindon and Marlborough, Wetherby and Harrogate, and the Yorkshire Coast.

Altogether, 20 areas will get a multiplex under Round 3, and means 59 multiplex licences have been awarded so far in three rounds.

The Milton Keynes licence went to MKDigital Media Limited, owned by Horizon Radio Ltd, Life Radio UK, Roq Group Ltd, Paul Boon, Digris Ltd, Infocus Digital Media Ltd and Oldham FM Ltd.

The Yorkshire Coast licence went to East Coast Digital Radio Limited, the only applicant, put together by This is The Coast Limited.

In Rutland & Stamford, the winner was the only applicant Creativity Media Services Limited, owned by James Byrne and Paul Swann.

Swindon & Marlborough went to Community Radio Swindon Limited – on behalf of Swindon 105.5.

And the licence for Wetherby & Harrogate was awarded to the only applicant Wetherby and Harrogate Local DAB Limited, led by Your Harrogate Ltd.

MK Digital Media told RadioToday: “We are so pleased to win this licence and with a mid-2023 launch in our sights the work has begun” said Usha Parmar, Chief Executive of Infocus.

Two transmitter sites will deliver over 25 radio services across the area. “To achieve this, we are pleased that Digris is our transmission partner and investor as they have become the UK experts in multi-site Single Frequency Network transmission,” said Usha.

Noting Ofcom’s comments regarding disagreements among elements within the Milton Keynes radio sector, MK Digital Media says it stands by its application proposal and ‘offers an olive branch’ to the local analogue community radio services.

The new licensees will have 18 months in which to launch their services.

Ofcom is now reviewing applications for the Round Four licence areas. And in Spring 2023, applications will open for Round Five which will include London and the south-east of England.

See all the licence awards so far at

Government urged to bring forward measures to secure radio’s future

Wed, 2022-11-16 12:12

The Westminster Media Forum future of radio and audio event is taking place today with a range of speakers from the radio and audio industry.

Radiocentre’s CEO Matt Payton, during his session, reiterated calls for Government to bring forward measures to secure radio’s position online in the forthcoming Media Bill.

The event was a timely opportunity to discuss priorities for media policy under new government leadership, building on the recommendations from the Digital Radio & Audio Review, and measures affecting radio and audio outlined in the Broadcasting White Paper.

Speaking about the current strength of radio in the UK, Matt emphasised the enormous value that industry investment, innovation and an evolving audio market has generated for audiences, advertisers and society more broadly.

However, he went on to highlight the urgent need for legislation to support access, findability and prominence of radio online and on smart speakers, which will be crucial to radio’s continued success.

Matt said: “The gatekeeper role played by platforms puts them in an incredibly powerful, and potentially dominant position, right between radio and its audiences. This dominance creates risks for the future, especially if there are no ground rules on how radio content is offered, accessed and commercialised.

“As a result, we think it’s vital that Government brings forward measures to secure radio’s position online. Something that we think can be done simply, effectively and in a way that is ultimately a win-win for radio, audiences and the platforms.”

The event also included keynote sessions with Ian O’Neill, Head of Radio, Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport; Chloe Straw, Managing Director, AudioUK; and Jonathan Wall, Director, BBC Sounds.