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Tuesday, 1 May, 2001, 07:07 GMT 08:07 UK
Tarrant plea at radio Oscars
Chris Tarrant
Tarrant: honoured for 14 years of radio "mastery"
Capital DJ Chris Tarrant has made a plea for radio to be 'live and spontaneous' at the Sony Radio Academy Awards - the biggest event in the UK's radio calendar.

Tarrant - who also presents Who Wants To Be a Millionaire? - was given a standing ovation as he collected his gold award for his lifetime achievement.

He then made his impassioned plea for quality radio.

"Do not lose the spontaneity with playlists and formats," he said.

Terry Wogan
Wogan: praised for taking radio to "a new dimension"
"We must keep the spontaneity.

"When the next Kenny Everett comes along, you must welcome him - not ask him to pre-record all his links into a computer."

BBC Radio 2 was the runaway overall winner at the Sony Radio Academy Awards, scooping a host of prizes.

Award haul

The station, which has secured new-found credibility with a new generation of presenters, was named national radio station of the year.

Acclaimed BBC Radio 2 breakfast DJ Terry Wogan won the honorary 2000 Award after adding an extra half million listeners to his audience of his show.

Accepting his award Wogan joked: "It's very gratifying to receive this award."

"We always say these awards are Buggins' turn - but when you're Buggins it's OK."

He also thanked BBC Radio 2 for keeping him "out from under my wife's feet".

BBC stations and broadcasters landed 23 of the evening's prizes, against seven for their commercial rivals at the ceremony at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

Mark Radcliffe and Marc Lard Riley
Radcliffe and Lard celebrate their music programme award
Radio 2 Controller Jim Moir, who took over five years ago, has injected new life into the station, delivering its highest ever audience.

Many record companies are now targeting the station's playlists in preference to Radio 1 - which caters for a younger market - to maximise sales.

Radio 2's haul also included music broadcaster of the year for journalist Stuart Maconie's programme, and comedian Mark Lamarr's Beginner's Guide To Reggae won the specialist music award.

The coveted award for best breakfast show to Daryl Denham of 100.7 Heart FM, who also beat last year's winner Bam Bam from Kiss FM.


DJ Mark Radcliffe - one half of Radio 1 duo Mark and Lard - collected a third Sony Award for his Radio 1 show which was named the top daily music programme.

He and Marc Riley won the equivalent prize in 1998 and 1999 for their blend of comedy and new music.

Broadcaster Jon Gaunt of BBC Three Counties Radio set a new record for the Sonys by landing three prizes in one year.

His breakfast programme landed the news coverage, breakfast news and the talk and news broadcaster titles.

Judges called him "an unusual and exceptional broadcaster".

Other winners at the ceremony on Monday included Talking Point On Air, produced by BBC News Online for the BBC World Service, which won the silver award in the Interactive Awards category.

Smash Hits Radio, which is networked to independent radio stations, was named top weekly show.

Radio 5Live won the event award for the second year running, this time for its coverage of the Olympic Games in Sydney.

Chris Tarrant
An emotional Chris Tarrant as his award is announced
The station also took the sports award for its Wembley Live Obituary Show.

The acclaimed Dead Ringers impressionist show on Radio 4, which mimics some of the station's most familiar voices, was named top comedy show.

"It should be available on prescription - worth bringing back the radio licence for," said the judges.

The nominees were chosen by a judging panel of more than 100 from both inside and outside the radio industry.

The judges included anti-drugs co-ordinator Keith Hellawell and Olympic gold-winning rower Matthew Pinsent.

See also:

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Sony awards winners
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Not arf! Awards glory for Fluff
29 Apr 99 | Entertainment
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02 Nov 00 | Entertainment
Breakfast rejects boost Radio 1
30 Mar 01 | TV and Radio
BBC wins six broadcast awards
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