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Last Updated: Tuesday, 1 May 2007, 08:26 GMT 09:26 UK
Classic FM tops Sony Radio Awards
Classic FM's Katie Derham
Classic FM's Katie Derham attended the prestigious ceremony
Classic FM has been named UK station of the year at the Sony Radio Awards, while the late John Peel won a special honour to mark the awards' 25th year.

Peel was named the most influential radio star of the past 25 years.

BBC Radio 2's Chris Evans beat Jonathan Ross to win music radio personality of the year, while Evans' drivetime show also won the entertainment award.

"I didn't expect this," he said. "I wouldn't have minded if I didn't win, but I really love the fact I have won."

The BBC dominated the awards, with Radio 1's Colin Murray named music broadcaster of the year, while Radio 2's Mark Radcliffe won the music programme prize.

John Humphrys
To be perfectly honest, I shouldn't have had this award
John Humphrys
Today programme presenter
And Radio 4's John Humphrys said he felt he did not deserve to win the news journalist of the year prize.

Humphrys, who presents the station's flagship Today programme, read out the names of a dozen foreign correspondents, including BBC journalist Alan Johnston, who was kidnapped in Gaza seven weeks ago.

Humphrys said it was not "false modesty" to say he should not have won because he had done "a perfectly competent job when I did some stuff in Iraq".

"All those other people are doing what I did day after day, week after week, month after month," he said.

"And, frankly, if we weren't so obsessed with personalities and celebrities - they are the people that should have had this award."

The Today programme also won the best breakfast show award, while Classic FM managed to beat off competition from Radios 1 and 2 at the radio industry's most prestigious night.

Chris Evans

Radio 4 also won prizes for comedy, drama and speech programmes, while Radio Five Live's breakfast show won best news and current affairs programme.

Peel, who died of a heart attack in 2004, has left a legacy of championing new music on his late-night Radio 1 show and is also remembered for presenting Radio 4's eclectic programme about family life, Home Truths.

He won the broadcasters' broadcaster award, voted for by fellow DJs and industry bosses, beating the BBC's Sir Terry Wogan and the late Alistair Cooke. Peel's wife Sheila Ravenscroft accepted it on his behalf.

The London ceremony was co-hosted by Paul Gambaccini, who received the gold award, and Sir Terry.

Presenters included music stars Jamelia and Natasha Bedingfield and Classic FM's Katie Derham.

Sir Terry Wogan
Sir Terry Wogan was up for the same prize as John Peel
The prize for best on-air competition went to Christian O'Connell's Virgin Radio phone-in Who's Calling Christian?

The DJ managed to get Prime Minister Tony Blair on air after asking listeners to persuade famous people to call the show for charity.

The lifetime achievement awards went to BBC West Midlands presenter Tony Butler, 76, who sparked controversy recently when he said the Royal Navy's Faye Turney, who had been held hostage by Iran, should not be serving in the armed forces.

He later apologised for telling listeners: "If she gets her head chopped off, it will serve her right." He said his "words came out wrong".

Veteran broadcaster Sir David Frost, who presented the news journalist of the year award, was cheered by the audience when he said: "Next year I hope this will be the Moira Stuart news journalist of the year award".

Newsreader Stuart, who attended the ceremony, was recently sidelined by the BBC, prompting a number of high-profile figures including Sir Trevor McDonald and former BBC newsreader Michael Buerk to speak out in her defence.


SEE ALSO
BBC's Humphrys honours Johnston
01 May 07 |  Middle East
Ross and Evans battle for award
28 Mar 07 |  Entertainment
Obituary: John Peel
26 Oct 04 |  Entertainment
Radio 1 named station of the year
09 May 06 |  Entertainment
Evans takes two radio nominations
29 Mar 06 |  Entertainment
Evans to host Radio 2 Drivetime
02 Mar 06 |  Entertainment

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