I’ll try to keep this short. Last night at the Arqiva Awards I won Radio Presenter of the Year. That has to rate as one of the proudest moments of my life. I was up against Real Radio’s Dixie & Gayle and Absolute’s Frank Skinner. To be acknowledged like that by your peers is something very special, especially as I am a relative newbie to radio presenting. I am so very grateful to everyone at LBC and Global Radio for giving me the chance to do what I do every day. It was a massive night for LBC. We won 4 awards, more than any other radio station in the country (full details HERE). Dan Freedman got News Journalist of the Year, James Rea was Programmer of the Year and we also won the main award of the night Station of the Year – yup, we beat Capital, Heart, Kiss, Magic, Absolute and everyone else, so you can imagine how the whole of the LBC team celebrated.
To be shortlisted for a Sony and win an Arqiva in the same year is something very special indeed and I doubt it will ever be repeated! At the Arqivas you don’t get to make a little speech, you just go up and collect the award, in my case from Chris Tarrant – which in itself meant a lot, and he was charm personified – so please let me thank my wonderful producers Laura Marshall, Matt Harris (pictured with me on stage in the first picture above) and Carl McQueen. And also, because they worked on the programme during the nomination period, Rebekah Walker, Joe Pike and Caroline Allen. Chris Lowrie, who this year celebrates his 25th anniversary working for LBC has made me a far better presenter than I was at the beginning, back in 2010, and James Rea and Richard Park have encouraged me all the way and boosted my confidence. You may think that’s an odd thing to say as I know I appear to have all the confidence in the world, but the reality is very different. And finally I want to mention two people who are no longer at LBC. Louise Birt taught me so much and made me push myself to really grip emotional issues like mental health and stray outside my comfort zone. And I will never forget Jonathan Richards who took a risk on me when no one else had dared to. I hope he feels the risk has been worth it. Having finally discovered a career I think I can excel at, my only regret is that it didn’t discover me ten years earlier!
I’ve had a lot of messages over the past 12 hours, but this one from a listener probably means more than any of them…
I used to hate politics… until Iain. whenever you are on the air it is like an interesting conversation on the next table that i want to get involved in.
That’s what it’s all about. The listener. Talk radio is a very intimate medium and it really is a one on one relationship. So to every listener that has called in, shared their stories and views with me, thank you. I’ll stop there before I blub!
This is the presentation and the citation, but first Christian O’Connell introduces Chris Tarrant who presented me with the award.
This is a short interview I did with Radio Today immediately after winning the award. Excuse me if I sound a bit breathless!