Wednesday, April 7, 1999 Published at 10:03 GMT 11:03 UK
BBC faces Classic clash
Mark Lamarr: One of Radio 2's new names
BBC Radios 1 and 2 are to fight it out with Classic FM to be named national station of the year in the industry's most prestigious awards.
The fight takes places in the 1999 Sony Radio Awards, which has announced the nine nominees for its three station of the year awards.
Nominations for individual shows - which included one for BBC News Online's Newstalk show for the World Service - were announced last month.
Classic FM took the national station of the year award in 1997, while Radio 5 Live took the accolade last year.
All three stations have recently posted rises in their listening figures, with Classic FM jumping to a record 5.14m in the last industry survey.
Meanwhile, Radio 1 breakfast show host Zoe Ball is already up for an award for best breakfast show, while Radio 2 has given itself a new image with younger names such as Mark Lamarr joining old hands like Jimmy Young.
Northern Ireland nominations
The BBC's two Northern Ireland stations are also recognised, although commercial stations take up the rest of the nominations.
BBC Radio Foyle is up against Inverness-based Moray Firth Radio and Neptune Radio, which serves Dover and Folkestone, in the category for smaller local stations.
BBC Radio Ulster is nominated in the category for stations with over 500,000 listeners. It faces Leeds-based dance station Galaxy 105 and Clyde 2 in Glasgow.
Awards committee chairman Tim Blackmore said: "It is exciting to see some of the familiar stations up in the running for gold, as well as stations which have joined the top ranks over the last 12 months.
"What is clear from the award of five out of the nine nominations is the confirmation of commercial radio's important role within the industry."
The awards will be presented at a ceremony at London's Grosvenor House Hotel on 28 April.
The awards shortlist is:
Station with a potential adult listenership of up to 500,000: BBC Radio Foyle, Neptune Radio, Moray Firth Radio
Station with a potential adult listenership of between 500,000 and 12m: BBC Radio Ulster, Galaxy 105, Clyde 2
Station broadcasting primarily to the UK: BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 2, Classic FM
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