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Radio is honoured at RTS West of England Awards

Published on Monday, 25th February 2013
BBC Network Radio Bristol wins RTS Special Award at a ceremony at Bristol's Old Vic.

In a surprising twist, television brought radio properly “into the fold” last night, as BBC Network Radio Bristol was honoured and celebrated at the Royal Television Society West of England Awards. Jonathan Dimbleby, the voice of Radio 4‘s Any Questions, took to the stage to acknowledge Network Radio’s continued excellence and their contribution to the region through great programmes, ideas and on-air talent.

Presenting BBC Network Radio Bristol with a Special Award, the final award of the evening, he talked about its birth in the city in 1934, the brilliant drama and factual output, its collaborations with TV departments and the ways in which it has embraced new and pervasive media projects (More Than Words Festival, March 2012).

Jonathan Dimbleby said “The seeds of modern radio were sown in Bristol. Whiteladies Road was where the architect of modern radio, Frank Gillard, shaped the future. For radio listeners the words “Made In Bristol” really do count for something.  They’re heard every week across the UK.   500 hours a year - from poetry, political debate and performance to farming and food -  reaching an audience of over 10 million listeners across the UK and beyond.”

Other winners on the night included local independent production company Icon Films who triumphed with three awards -Natural History Programme, Daytime and Early Peak and International Documentary. Aardman won best Film for The Pirates! An Adventure with Scientists - the same night the film was up for Best Animated Film at The Oscars. The Best of Men, the drama from Whitby Davison Productions,  relating the story of the birth of the Paralympics did well with three awards, for Drama, Actor and Writer.

BBC Features took home five awards from their 17 nominations, covering On-Screen Talent, Directing and Documentary for Protecting our Children, the story of child protection social workers at Bristol County Council which took years to negotiate access and gather material. Creative England’s iFeatures films scooped four awards - Jessica Barden from In the Dark Half for Actress, Music and Best Sound, as well as a Special Award for Christopher Moll and the iFeatures Team. BBC West won out in the news categories and BBC Natural History Unit went home with three awards.

The RTS West of England Awards took place on Sunday February 24th at the Bristol Old Vic. The glittering gala ceremony was hosted by CBBC’s Naomi Wilkinson and featured celebrity guest presenters including John Craven, Mary Berry and John Whaite (winner, The Great British Bake Off), Nicki Chapman and Adam Henson.