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Thursday, 2 May, 2002, 22:29 GMT 23:29 UK
Radio award for 'unrivalled' Peel
John Peel and Feargal Sharkey
John Peel (right) is congratulated by singer Feargal Sharkey
Veteran BBC broadcaster John Peel has won a top prize at the prestigious Sony Awards for British radio.

The 62-year-old presenter for Radio 1 and Radio 4 took the honorary gold at the annual ceremony, for his years of championing bands.

BBC Radio 2 hung on to its title of national station of the year for the second year running, mirroring its status as the most listened to station in the UK.

Along the way his unmistakable voice has cropped up, at one time or another, on all of the BBC's networks including the World Service

Judges on John Peel

BBC Radio 3's Andy Kershaw was honoured with two prizes - one for best weekly music programme, and one for co-presenting best speech programme A Caribbean Night with Linton Kwesi Johnson.

And BBC Radio 4 was the night's biggest winner, with the station taking six of the prizes.

Judges awarding the prize to Peel said: "Across four decades of broadcasting, his championship of music that is both new and different has set the style for which he's become best known.

"He can claim an unrivalled record of 35 years of broadcasting for Radio 1 - along the way his unmistakable voice has cropped up, at one time or another, on all of the BBC's networks including the World Service."


Radio 2 pulled off a feat by being named national station of the year for the second consecutive time.

Overall, it has won the title for three out of the past four years under the direction of its controller Jim Moir who has helped to win a young audience.

Terry Wogan
Terry Wogan won the breakfast music award

And its long-standing broadcaster Terry Wogan took another major prize with the breakfast music award for his long-running Radio 2 slot.

The BBC's World Service also took an honorary price for its "unparalleled" coverage of 11 September.

The judges called the World Service "respected and loved throughout the world".

"Its reputation for truth and honest reporting reached new heights on 11 September 2001.

"The World Service broadcast an unparalleled 46 hours of continuous news coverage heard in almost every city of the world, and through their Pashto and Persian language services, even in Afghanistan itself."


BBC Radio Current Affairs for BBC Radio Ulster won a Sony gold award for its coverage of the Holy Cross dispute.

And Northern Ireland soccer commentor Alan Green has picked up the speech broadcaster award for his work on Radio Five Live.

Little-known DJ Terry Garoghan of Brighton-based Southern FM pulled off the surprise of the night when he beat a string of big national names to the best entertainment prize.

The former stand-up took the title for his show Last Bus to Whitehawk, beating Jonathan Ross, Chris Moyles and Ricky Gervais. Last year he was a runner-up in the category.

"Big George" Webley of BBC Three Counties Radio was another local presenter who beat off big national names - this time for music broadcaster of the year.


Judges said: "George has an absolute peerless passion for music of all varieties and he communicates that passion brilliantly."

Virgin Radio's Pete and Geoff won best daily music programme for what the judges called their "completely compelling radio".

Oneword Radio landed the prize for digital-only station.

The judges said they "greatly admired the station's ambition and its commitment to new writers".

"Oneword is innovative, well produced with superb back-up and sponsor tie-ins.

"It is currently the best reason to buy a digital tuner."

The 28 awards were given out at the Grosvenor House Hotel, London, and judged by a panel of leading figures from the industry.

The judging panel included former Radio 1 boss Matthew Bannister, newsreader Michael Buerk, Top of the Pops producer Chris Cowey and DJs Jo Whiley and Mark Goodier.

See also:

23 Apr 02 | Music
Ross to DJ for rock legend
31 Jan 02 | TV and Radio
BBC radio hits ratings high
30 Apr 01 | TV and Radio
Sony Awards 2001: The winners
18 Dec 00 | Education
Honorary degree for 'radio legend'
03 May 02 | TV and Radio
Sony Awards 2002: The winners
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