The Today programme's Design-A-Radio Competition

Tuesday 31 July 2012, 12:00

Paul Condon Paul Condon Digital Content Producer

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The Today programme wanted to do something special to commemorate its move to New Broadcasting House later this year and to help BBC Children in Need, so came up with the idea of running a competition to get listeners to design a limited edition radio to raise money for the charity. The radio is now available to order from the Tivoli Audio website.

The Winner Revealed!

On Tuesday 3 July 2012, the Today programme announced the winner of the Design-A-Radio Competition. Huge congratulations to Mr David Hampson, whose winning design will shortly go into production and will then go on sale this Autumn to raise funds for the 2012 BBC Children in Need appeal. 

To be one of the first to see what our very special BBC Children in Need digital radio will look like, watch this Audio Slideshow on the BBC News site.

The competition: how it came about

The competition was to design a 'skin' or outer cover for a DAB Radio made by Tivoli Audio and it was open to design students across the UK, as well as amateur designers and Today listeners.

The competition brief asked people to come up with a design that reflected the great traditions of radio but also represented broadcasting in a contemporary way, just as the restored and expanded New Broadcasting House in London does.

The competition launched on 5th April, closed on 11th May and the judging took place on 15th May. The judging panel consisted of:

  • Stevie Spring, Chair of Trustees for BBC Children in Need
  • Deyan Sudjic, Director of The Design Museum
  • Sarah Montague, Presenter of Today
  • Ceri Thomas, Editor of Today
  • Joining the panel as a Design Advisor was Tom DeVesto, Founder and CEO of Tivoli Audio.

 
Tom travelled from Boston, Massachusetts to London to be present for the judging process. The panel wanted his guidance on whether the shortlisted design ideas could be realised and manufactured within the given timescale.

Stevie Spring and Ceri Thomas look over the designs. Stevie Spring and Ceri Thomas look over the designs.


Sarah Montague gives her opinion on one of the entries to Tom DeVesto. Sarah Montague gives her opinion on one of the entries to Tom DeVesto.

 

The finished product

The winner's radio will go into production this summer and be on sale in autumn 2012 for a limited period. £50 from each radio sold will go towards BBC Children in Need.

You can look at some of the entries that were submitted to the competition in our online gallery.       

Although there's only one winner, there are plans to exhibit a selection of the best and most interesting entries alongside some classic radios of the past at the BBC and/or the Design Museum.
       

The Today Programme

The Today programme launched in October 1957 and has been BBC Radio 4's flagship news and current affairs production ever since. Seven million listeners tune in each week, and December 2012 sees Today return from its current base at Television Centre in Shepherds Bush to its original home at the renovated Broadcasting House.

For a fascinating Today report on the history of radios, visit the BBC News Website.
  

Who You Help: WAC Wonderweb

Some of the projects that BBC Children in Need funds have strong links with radio - such as WAC Wonderweb based in North West London. It's a multi-media project for young people with autism and other learning disabilities.

The group has their own radio station kitted out from donated equipment and they present programmes from a recording studio in the college where they're based. Every week they broadcast a live show featuring music, chat, features and interviews. They also produce podcasts on subjects as varied as computer games, the meaning of life and the Olympics!

Hayden has been going to the project for 4 years. "WAC Wonder Web has quite frankly changed my life. Through the project we want to challenge the attitudes of others and show we're not stupid and to increase our confidence and the confidence of other young disabled people and... be completely random!"

 

Tivoli Audio

Tivoli Audio, which won the tender to manufacture the radio was founded by Tom DeVesto in 2000. Tom remains the Chief Designer and his passion for "the magnificent medium of radio" led him to be involved in this project. He says that Tivoli Audio is honoured to work with BBC Children in Need on this special project.

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  • rate this
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    Comment number 1.

    Sadly, I won't be buying this radio to support CiN because I think digital audio broadcasting is a waste of resources. The technology is already obsolete, and is not suitable for portable battery radios. Internet 'radio' is the way of the future, yet the BBC persists with DAB because the politicians hope to gain revenue. Scrap DAB!

  • rate this
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    Comment number 2.

    I will not be buying one either - so CiN will miss out on this too. DAB does not work elsewhere in Europe [one of the ways I use portable radio]. It is a poor technology - but I do not think it is the politicians who are pressing the case - having spoken to some! It appears to be the BBC Tech people who are blind to the problems of DAB. When we finally get 4G [and good coverage in this rural part of Notts] it will be the way in which radio will be delivered. However, there is still the issue of in-car provision - but neither DAB or 4G will be the best solution for this. I agree - scrap DAB.

  • rate this
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    Comment number 3.

    Just read the previous two emails - I will consider buying one for a good cause - I like the design competion run by the Today programme and the design winner is well deverved - DAB radio in the UK as a fixed radio is a good solution to providing additional specialist channels and information. The alternatives are likely to cost you more to access (internet and 4G. Having said that don't ever get rid of FM/AM radio it is still the portable radio of choice and probably will be for a long time to come....

  • rate this
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    Comment number 4.

    I agree with all the previous comments. I intend buying one as I love art deco and it's in a good cause. I would have liked a choice of colours; various shades of brown are my preference - I can feel a spot of DIY coming on..

    It took me ages to find to find up to date info. on the radio and I still don't know how to pre-order it.

 

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