Rawlings the hero at Radio Awards

Pete Rawlings collects his trophy Pete Rawlings shows 'Clint Eastwood-like ability to find the zen in any situation'

If they hadn't shown their appreciation before, Pete Rawlings' colleagues gave him the star treatment on Tuesday.

The studio manager got the biggest cheer of the night when he won the unsung hero award at the BBC Radio Awards, having been nominated by 41 staff.

Start Quote

I've enjoyed every minute of those 35 years. I just wish I'd worn a smarter shirt”

End Quote Pete Rawlings Studio Manager

Some of them shared their thoughts in a video tribute, describing him as anything from 'the best work dad I've ever had' to 'an absolute gentleman'.

One colleague spoke of his 'Clint Eastwood-like ability to find the Zen in any situation', while another marvelled at the way he always managed to turn her 'pig's ear' into 'a fur-lined silk purse'.

Jenni Murray praised studio managers in general. 'We would be idiots without you,' admitted the Woman's Hour presenter, before picking out her own favourite. 'Pete Rawlings - you're the best.'

Rawlings told the audience in the Radio Theatre that he'd first walked into Broadcasting House 35 years ago and that he'd be walking out for the last time in a couple of months' time. His years of sound engineering and playing in bands has damaged his hearing, he told Ariel afterwards, making it impossible to continue in the role.

'I've enjoyed every minute of those 35 years,' said the man in the spotlight, who will be starting a design business. 'I just wish I'd worn a smarter shirt.'

Beardyman at Radio Festival Beardyman sent up each radio network in turn
Dancing director

It was very much a night of celebration for the whole division, with the pre-ceremony party atmosphere - which saw Gemma Cairney DJing and Helen Boaden dancing - carried into the theatre.

People scoured the auditorium for spare seats while Hot Chocolate's Everyone's a Winner blared from the speakers. A throwback, perhaps, but it got the message across - everyone's efforts over the last year were appreciated, whether or not they went home with one of the distinctive roof-slate trophies (a vestige of old BH).

Festival favourite Beardyman - a beatboxer who uses live looping technology - sent up each of the radio networks in an affectionate and ingenious musical tribute, before newly appointed head of values Ian Fletcher (aka Hugh Bonneville from new comedy W1A) appeared in video form.

He was 'trapped in a strategic thinkpod' so couldn't be there. Besides, there was still work to do in securing 'proper working conditions for the toilets on the second floor'.

Greg James and Helen Boaden Helen Boaden joins Greg James on stage

His fellow exec Helen Boaden took the stage in person. 'BBC radio is big, bold, creative and ambitious and every single one of you is crucial to our success,' said the director of radio, adding that the evening was an opportunity to 'draw breath and look beyond the busy day job'.

Festivals clean up

Radio 1's Greg James hosted the awards, with other radio presenters - everyone from Jameela Jamil to Anneka Rice - stepping up to present them.

The BBC at Glastonbury pitched up for the team of the year prize. 'You have taken something we thought we knew and loved and through teamwork have turned it into something very special,' said Boaden of the first digital Glastonbury.

The team behind the multiplatform music festival coverage were joint winners of the best collaboration, sharing the title with the BBC at the Edinburgh Festivals team.

Edinburgh Festival team member Ruth Milway: Collaboration can 'hard, painful, challenging...'

Collaboration at the BBC can be 'hard, painful, challenging and disconcerting', admitted Ruth Milway, speaking on behalf of the Edinburgh Festivals team, but it can also be 'so rewarding'.

Radio 4's Gettysburg - dreamt up and presented by Jim Naughtie - was best factual production. The examination of Abraham Lincoln's famous address was described by the judges as a 'compelling, thought provoking and insightful programme'.

Pleased with Please Me

While Radio 2's Darkside, which 'surprised and intrigued' with its interweaving of a Tom Stoppard script and Pink Floyd classic album, won the best drama production gong.

Best music production was 6 Music's The Sound of Cinema with David Arnold, who brought an 'energetic freshness' to the subject, and best technical production was Radio 2's 12 Hours to Please Me. The judges said it was a 'fantastic concept, brilliantly executed', with artists recreating The Beatles first LP at Abbey Road.

George The Poet George The Poet provides 'beautiful' moment

A mesmerising performance by George The Poet got everyone thinking, much as it had done when it went out live on Radio 1's Live Lounge.

It nabbed the most distinctive moment of the year prize, the judges calling it 'beautiful' with 'the power to change lives'.

The BBC Proms 2013 won the inaugural award for outstanding contribution to diversity.

'Diversity is us being relevant to our audiences,' said Radio 1 controller Ben Cooper, who highlighted a classical music season which reached further with its first Urban Classic and 6 Music proms, the first female conductor of the last night and three commissions for Indian composers.

Elsewhere, the Asian Network countered stereotypes with its Bangladesh Music Week, credited as the best initiative for reaching new audiences.

Boyd bags gold

And BBC Playlister - the online tool that allows users to tag tracks they hear on the BBC, make playlists and export them to YouTube, Spotify and Deezer - was named best broadcast innovation.

Alan Boyd with Ken Bruce Alan Boyd gets gold from friend Ken Bruce

Alan Boyd is more old school. The radio producer, who recently left the BBC, was given the gold award for outstanding contribution to radio.

Boyd joined Radio 2 in 1987, producing Friday Night is Music Night for 13 years, before working on Wake Up to Wogan until the show - the most listened to in the country - ended in 2010. He went on to produce the David Jacobs Collection until the presenter could no longer continue.

'Alan Boyd is not just a great producer, but a wonderful, decent, kindly human being,' said Radio 2's Ken Bruce, who presented his fellow Glaswegian with the award.

'I've had an absolute ball,' reflected Boyd, 'with so many wonderful peopleā€¦ I'm very emotional and very touched.'


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