This Monday 6 Music went mob-handed to the Sonys. There was Lammo and Lauren with their respective programme teams, station editor Paul Rodgers with Fergus Dudley and Mike Hanson, Adam & Joe with their producer James, Huey with producer Tom Whalley, and at the table next to us Shaun, Jools Holland and Moira Stewart were the guests of our boss Bob Shennan – the head of Radio 2 and 6 Music.
As you may know, NowPlaying is made for 6 Music made by the independent production company Somethin Else – and so many of their programmes were up for Sonys this year that – like Radio 2 and 6 Music – they’d had to book multiple tables to accommodate all their nominees.
For instance NowPlaying producer Rowan Collinson and I found ourselves sitting with representatives from Gardeners’ Question Time and with the legendary reggae DJ David Rodigan (above right), whose Radio 2 show went on to win a Gold for Best Specialist Music Programme. The only person missing was our own online producer Will Gilgrass, who was on a long-planned holiday in Egypt and couldn’t get back in time.
To say that the Sonys are opulent is like saying Bill Gates is quite wealthy. As a committee member, I get to attend the Ivor Novello Awards each year but even that annual gathering of talent hadn’t prepared me for the Sonys. On Monday the room was positively heaving with the successful, the famous and the important. Not having the smallest idea who most of them were only made me feel like a very small part of an extremely large media machine.
However I was heartened to spot the meeters and greeters. As tickets were checked on the way in, any guests with VIP invitations would be directed aside to have their picture taken – by an army of waiting photographers – in front of a specially erected backdrop of Sony Academy wallpaper.
Having run this gauntlet, a team of attractive young women and men would then meet them, greet them, press drinks into their hands and conduct them to the company of their fellow celebrities. The heartening thing ?
These young people had no more idea who any of the celebs were than I did. Each of them carried a discreet clipboard full of photos so that they could identify and greet their VIPs by name and ensure that their importance was not improperly appreciated.
NowPlaying@6Music was originally conceived by Chris Kimber – former Managing Editor at BBC Audio & Music Interactive. The programme idea went out to tender, and the successful bid came from Somethin Else – who suggested the programme format and name – in consultation with the BBC. But the person who’s put the most inspired work into the show is Rowan (above left).
His natural instinct for great radio and encyclopaedic knowledge of music enable him to filter the incoming deluge of suggestions and improvise killer playlists on the fly each week. And that deluge is itself the result of the daily blogging, tweeting, posting and Spotifying of our online producer Will.
I love fronting the show and helping to draw together its various strands on air and online each week… But from Day One it’s always been a collaborative venture. It’s the above people – with contributions from Phil Harris, Nicky Birch, Mick Meadows, Paul Rodgers and the support of BBC Audio & Music Interactive – who richly deserve the 2012 Sony Gold award for “Best Use of Multiplatform/Social Media” that Rowan and I are clutching in the above picture.
But gratifying as it was to get recognition for our own particular programme, the award that meant most to all 6 Music team players was the one our entire station received at the end of the evening: Sony Radio Academy Station of The Year.