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Last Updated: Thursday, 13 May, 2004, 08:08 GMT 09:08 UK
Xfm's O'Connell wins Sony honour
Christian O'Connell
Judges called Christian O'Connell's show "unmissable" radio
Xfm's breakfast host Christian O'Connell beat Jonathan Ross and Chris Moyles to the title of DJ of the year at the Sony Radio Awards on Wednesday.

O'Connell's show on the London-based music station was called "high octane, unmissable radio" by awards judges.

But his rival Ross was consoled with the Weekly Music Show of the Year award for his show on BBC Radio 2.

Radio 4 won station of the year, in a traumatic year which saw the station at the centre of the Hutton Inquiry.

The station's award was accepted by Radio 4 controller Helen Boaden.

'Treacherous waters'

Reflecting on the win, Boaden said her station "had been involved in a degree of controversy over the last year with the station's flagship daily programme Today caught in a terrible political storm".

"It was very, very difficult to be the news story rather than report the news story," she said.

But the station came through despite being in such "treacherous waters", she added.

Of O'Connell's win, judges said the DJ was pushing back the frontiers of radio.

"He takes the breakfast show format, shakes it by the throat and creates a show that entertains, sometimes annoys but also excites," they said.

'Diverse playlist'

He's come through such hardship in the last couple of years. He is a fighter in every sense of that word.
Sir Elton John on Johnnie Walker

Ross's weekly show was "witty, quick, intelligent and hugely entertaining" with a "uniquely diverse playlist for mainstream radio," according to judges.

Meanwhile Radio Five Live's Ian Robertson took the 2003 Award for his commentary on Jonny Wilkinson's Rugby World Cup winning drop goal.

The network picked up seven Sonys, a week after Rajar results revealed the station had achieved a record 5.1% share.

The battle for the Breakfast Show of the Year was won by presenters JK and Joel from Manchester's Key 103.

Walker win

Veteran Radio 2 DJ Johnnie Walker, who returned to the airwaves in March after treatment for cancer, was presented with a Gold Award by Sir Elton John.

Chris Moyles
Moyles took over the Radio 1 breakfast show earlier this year

Accepting his award Walker said he was touched by the amount of support he had received.

"The NHS gets a lot of criticism, but you wouldn't believe the amount of drugs I had last year and they were all free," he joked.

"He's come through such hardship in the last couple of years. He is a fighter in every sense of that word. I can't think of anyone better to get it," said Sir Elton.

Summing up, the chairman of the awards Tim Blackmore said UK listeners were consuming more radio then ever before and that they were being offered "an outstanding range of programming".


SEE ALSO:
Moyles hopes for breakfast buzz
05 Jan 04  |  Entertainment
Presenter Ross triumphs at awards
09 Mar 04  |  Entertainment
Sony Radio Awards 2003: Winners
08 May 03  |  Entertainment


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