The 2012 Sony Radio Academy Awards
On Monday i was lucky enough to attend the Sony Radio Awards with the Now Playing@6Music team and a handful of other 6 Music presenters. As the programme is made by independent producers Somethin' Else, we found ourselves sitting with representatives from their other nominated shows including Gardeners' Question Time and legendary reggae DJ David Rodigan (below right), whose Radio 2 show went on to win a Gold for Best Specialist Music Programme.
To say that the Sonys are opulent is like saying Bill Gates is quite wealthy. As a committee member, I get to attend the Ivor Novello Awards each year but even that annual gathering of talent hadn't prepared me for the Sonys. On Monday the room was positively heaving with the successful, the famous and the important. Not having the smallest idea who most of them were only made me feel like a very small part of an extremely large media machine.
However I was heartened to spot the meeters and greeters. As tickets were checked on the way in, any guests with VIP invitations would be directed aside to have their picture taken - by an army of waiting photographers - in front of a specially erected backdrop of Sony Academy wallpaper.
Having run this gauntlet, a team of attractive young women and men would then meet them, greet them, press drinks into their hands and conduct them to the company of their fellow celebrities. The heartening thing?
These young people had no more idea who any of the celebs were than I did. Each of them carried a discreet clipboard full of photos so that they could identify and greet their VIPs by name and ensure that their importance was not improperly appreciated.
Now Playing @6Music was originally conceived by 6 Music, Audio & Music Interactive (who manage digital media for the BBC's radio stations) and Somethin' Else as a weekly audio iteration of a daily online conversation about alternative music.
I love fronting the show and helping to draw together its various strands on air and online each week. I've been lucky to have a really enthusiastic production team; Rowan (above left) has an encyclopaedic knowledge of music that enables him to filter the incoming deluge of suggestions and improvise killer playlists on the fly, and that deluge is itself the result of the daily blogging, tweeting, posting and Spotifying of our online producer Will.
It's them, and all the other peple who've contributed to the show, who richly deserve the 2012 Sony Gold award for "Best Use of Multiplatform/Social Media" that Rowan and I are clutching in the above picture.
But gratifying as it was to get recognition for our own particular programme, the award that meant most to all 6 Music team players was the one our entire station received at the end of the evening: "Sony Radio Academy Station of The Year".