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Six Sony Golds for Radio 4

Tuesday 11 May 2010, 09:38

Mark Damazer Mark Damazer

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We had a good night at the Sonys - six Golds, four Silvers and five Bronzes (here's the full list).

Winning a Sony Gold can often be a career highlight and (no names) there were some awards last night, not just Radio 4 ones, that left a very big glow.

The margins on these occasions are rather fine. It is not obvious in most categories who is going to win. I sit at the table and try and pick the winner just before the roll call of honour is unveiled - and I don't get it right all the time. Far, far from it. Every now and then I am amazed by proceedings - sometimes pleasurably so - sometimes less so. But that is all part of the fun of the fair and I can say that I have judged the Sonys on several occasions and the judges take their work seriously. And the central Sony committee is impeccably chaired by Tim Blackmore.

It is the overall standard of Radio 4 that helps define the station. Everyone is spurred on by the demands of the audience and the standards the programme makers set for one another.

The Sonys take place at the Grosvenor House in Park Lane. There is no phone or Blackberry reception so I spent the evening in a febrile state (though repressed) trying to see where the politics of the nation was heading. The News teams broadly did not seem to be disappearing up and down stairs - so I assumed either that they too were blind to the outside world or that nobody has gone to the Palace. A correct assumption.

So - back on the election front - there will probably need to be more schedule changes to accommodate the drama. But keep with it - the coverage is good.

Mark Damazer is Controller of BBC Radio 4

  • The Sony Radio Academy Awards first took place in 1983 and are administered by trade body The Radio Academy. The full list of winners is on the web site and you can watch the awards ceremony (hosted by Chris Evans) too.
  • Radio 4's gold awards include 'best interview' for Jenni Murray's interview with dismissed Haringey director of social services Sharon Shoesmith. Listen to the interview here on the blog.

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  • rate this

    Comment number 1.

    Radio 4 and the BBC News web site make the licence fee great value for money. Congratulations! Richly deserved.

  • rate this

    Comment number 2.

    Huge fan of BBC Radio. However, Sony's increasingly becoming travesty - Today programme is antiquated rubbish, prize acquired as if royal family. Jenni Murray wins because of sheer force and illness. And what looks like BBC political bias to minimise 6Music despite popularity. Also over the lsst few years, almost minimal awards for speech radio ie features like the ones R4 excel in. Bah. Humbug. Used to want one. Not now.

  • rate this

    Comment number 3.

    Congratulations to all the winners and I second Neil Weightman's comment above.

    Also excellent Election coverage and very thoughtful of Gordon Brown to wait until the Archers had finished on Tuesday evening ;-)

  • rate this

    Comment number 4.

    Sorry to sound an element of decent on the previous published comments, whilst awards are great they are at heart industry/self trumpet blowing, good content isn't always award fodder but is what the public needs.

    Reithian BBC (PSB) values before values that bring awards, please...

  • rate this

    Comment number 5.

    Boilerplated You make a worthwhile point but I might observe that the Sonys are judged by other radio professionals - the managers and editors whose day job is keeping listeners happy - many in highly competitive commercial environments.

    This probably makes them less inward-facing than technical or creative awards, for instance. I'd argue there's a pretty good match between what wins at the Sonys and what listeners like. Speaking as a listener, the list of winners looks about right to me...

    If you'd been a judge, would you have favoured the programmes chosen? Or were any that you loved missed out?

    Steve Bowbrick, editor, Radio 4 blog

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    Comment number 6.

    I think Boilerplated is correct in as much as there is always a degree of mutual back-slapping and 'whose turn is it this year' in the Sonys, but for the Drama Production award I thought the nominees were all excellent candidates, and I look forward to listening to them again. Although I'm happy with the general notion that the judges should be radio professionals, I'm not convinced they can be 'attuned' to the very wide spectrum of offerings across all the category areas, and it is probably unfair of us to expect them to be so. An impossible task, really.

    'course, if one were to be radical, and in tune with the, err, new political age, perhaps the listeners should be given a proportional vote...


  • rate this

    Comment number 7.

    As Russ mentioned briefly above, I'd like to see either the BBC or commercial sector run an annual programme where the Listeners do indeed vote for the submitted material.

    No idea what we could call it though?... Radio's got talent ;-)

  • Comment number 8.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this

    Comment number 9.


    Congrats on the winning of Six (Sony) Golds for Radio 4....



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