Brixton prisoners win big at Sony Radio Academy Awards

Prison radio station Electric Radio Brixton was the unlikely winner of two gold awards at the Sony Radio Academy Awards 2009 on Monday night.

BBC Radio 1 breakfast DJ Chris Moyles
BBC Radio 1 breakfast DJ Chris Moyles

The real starts of the night could not be there to accept their surprise awards as they remain at Her Majesty’s pleasure at Brixton Prison. But their Electric Radio Brixton trumped even BBC Radio 1 for number of gold gongs.

The 24-hour station walked away with The Community Award and The Listener Participation Award for its Daily Show.

The station only broadcasts within prison walls and is run by the Prison Radio Association (PRA). After Monday night’s success at the Grosvenor House Hotel, the PRA has plans to develop a national prison radio service.

The judges described the prison radio station as: ‘An example of what can be achieved when radio is used for what it does best.’

BBC Radio 3 picked up the national station of the year for the first time, beating BBC Radio 1 and Classic FM, and Neil Fox walked away with the prestigious Gold Award presented by Ronan Keating.

One of the surprise losers of the evening was BBC Radio 4’s Today programme. It was pipped to the News and Current Affairs Award by BBC World Service’s The World Today.

Chris Moyles also walked away empty handed after losing out on The Best Breakfast Show Award to BBC 5 Live Breakfast.

However, life is not all doom and gloom for the controversial Radio 1 DJ. Last week’s Rajar results showed he now pulls in 7.7 million listeners – closing the gap on BBC Radio 2’s Terry Wogan to just 80,000.

BBC Radio 5 Live went on to win a further four awards, making it the most successful station of the year, closely followed by BBC Radio 4.

Absolute Radio continued its recent success in the Rajar’s to take home The Live Event Coverage Award for its Coldplay gig. Accepting the award was presenter Christian O’Connell.

Two gold gongs went to the surprised presenter of the night Chris Evans – The Music Personality Award and The Entertainment Award.

However, not even investigative journalist and celebrity ice-skater Donal McIntyre’s leather suit, could distract from the delighted Electric Radio Brixton team.


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