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Nick Clarke interview prize

Wednesday 17 June 2009, 11:02

Mark Damazer Mark Damazer

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Update: details of how to enter an interview for the award and the competition rules are now here. The closing date for this year's award is 4 August.

Nick Clarke was a great Radio 4 broadcaster. He died far far too young in late 2006 and is remembered by many of us - and I am sure many of you - as a master of his art - on The World at One and Round Britain Quiz in particular. The man with the marvellous voice and intellect and unique interviewing style.

Radio 4 and BBC News launched an interview prize in his honour - for the best broadcast interview over a 12 month period. Last year - the inaugural year - the prize was won by the BBC's Carrie Gracie - though I am delighted to say that we had a pretty healthy number of entries from all over the industry. The prize was announced at the Cheltenham Literary Festival in early October and we are expecting to repeat the pattern for this year.

Entries have to be in by the end of July and we have a very able group of judges who listen in pairs before a final list is drawn up and listened to by a panel of three. Last year that final panel consisted of Gillian Reynolds (of The Daily Telegraph), Peter Hennessey (the renowned political historian from Queen Mary, University of London) and Nick's long time editor - Kevin Marsh (Editor of the BBC's College of Journalism).

  • Mark Damazer wrote an obituary for Nick Clarke for The Guardian in November 2006. Of Clarke's return to radio after his first illness, he says: "His first Any Questions outing was at a school in Tring, Hertfordshire. The audience in the hall knew it was his first programme since the cancer. When Nick came on to the platform there was a Radio 4 version of pandemonium. The walls vibrated to the sound of the clapping and stamping. Many people stood."
  • The Press Gazette on Carrie Gracie's 2008 win
  • The picture shows Nick Clarke presenting The World at One in 2001. It's from the BBC's picture library.

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    Comment number 1.

    Mark, can you please remind us is this a public nomination prize or from the industry only?

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    Comment number 2.

    Could you write a few words, Mark, about what you think of broadcast interviews, what is different about radio, and whether you think that Radio 4 is up to the mark, or the 'Nick', so to speak?

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Hmm.. Invidious to pick out only one or two, but I think Jenni Murray's interview with Sharon Shoesmith over the 'Baby P' case is certainly worth considering.

    I think Eddie Mair's 'souffle' interview with a member of the UAF after their 'egg-throwing' protest of Nick Griffin's BNP Westminster Press Conference while slightly less serious is worth another listen.

    And whilst not a 'one-to-one' interview, Libby Purves interviewing Jerry Springer and Mary Portas [amongst others..] on the same show was very memorable, if not necessarily in the Nick Clarke style.

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    Comment number 4.

    Is this award-winning Carrie Gracie the same Carrie Gracie whose technique failed her so dramatically while discussing salaries and expenses with George Foulkes?

    I don't think Nick Clarke would have been caught out like that.

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Shame there isn't a link here to Carrie Gracie's interview...


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