Wednesday, 12 May 2010

The Sonys 2010

Further to my last post, I think the above photo goes some way towards showing why I love doing the webcast reporter job at the Sonys. Yes that is Sir David Attenborough and me in the "winners interview area", which is basically a small area of branding next to the Grosvenor kitchens.

I have no recollection of the moment, I've listened back to the interview and can't identify it from the audio, but there it is, a photo which looks to all the world as if me and Sir David are sharing some sort of hilarious joke. He is, as you won't be surprised to hear, a very nice man.

The night itself was damnably hard work. It's usually tolerably hard work, but the new set up meant concentrating even more than usual. If you want to hear the interviews Marsha Shandur and I recorded on the night, have a gander at the Sony Radio Academy website.

Highlights include a long interview with Jarvis Cocker about 6Music. I haven't interviewed him since approaching him in a cafe at the Queen Elizabeth Hall a few hours before the John Peel tribute gig in 2005. He was lovely then. He was equally patient and gracious on Monday night.

It was also great to collar Moz Dee, the man who gave me a break when he was commissioning editor at 5live and who is currently steering TalkSPORT to new heights.

I interviewed a few other gold winners, a few celebs and a few people who we thought would have something interesting to say about their nomination or about the industry as a whole. I was chagrinned (is that even a word?) to miss Nihal, because he is a lovely bloke, a very talented broadcaster and now a Sony Gold award winner (getting admiring props from Victoria Derbyshire on 5live the following day for his wonderful acceptance speech).

Nihal and I were also once colleagues at the legendary Media Village offices in the late nineties before either of us had got anywhere near the BBC, and I haven't really had a proper chat to him since, other than to occasionally swap texts as his career has continued its meteoric rise. Nihal is one of the good guys and I am chuffed for him.

The most annoying aspect of the night was seeing loads and loads of friends and ex-colleagues and being unable to do anything other than give them a quick hug/kiss, garble something about doing an interview with Frank Skinner or whoever and then run off, promising to trying and find them afterwards.

Usually there is the prospect of relaxing with a few drinks afterwards and catching up with people then, but as I had to be up at 4am to gear up to the show I got a cab back to Walton as soon as I had finished. I arrived home at 12.46am.

Just as I was walking out with my coat, I saw my best man, my former agent, and one of my radio gurus standing near the bar engaged in what looked like the mother of all gossip sessions. I solemnly shook their hands and made my way outside. Next time..!

One final word about another interviewee - Trevor Nelson was given Sony Broadcaster of the Year.  It is the main award of the evening. Before being asked to the stage the winner has to endure the screening of a film which takes the audience through every significant moment of their career, complete with dodgy publicity shots and fawning quotes from their peers.

Trevor apparently had no idea he was going to get the award, and after watching his entire working life pass before him, he gave a very moving speech, right off the cuff. He described his early radio days, which involved allowing the then pirate station Kiss FM to move into and broadcast from his flat. This, unsurprisingly, led to his then girlfriend moving out. He paid tribute to the significant people in his life before revealing that whilst he was getting ready for the Sonys his mum told him she had just been given the all-clear from cancer.

In between fielding multiple congratulations Trevor gave me an interview in which he revealed his love for The Goon Show and (like Jarivs Cocker earlier) paid tribute to his inspiration (and I suspect, still the inspiration for many music broadcasters in the room) John Peel.

Thanks to Alfi Media for their great production job on the webcast (and taking both the above photos), Marsha and Sam for being there, and profound thanks to Zafer, the event producers.

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