At The Sonys

The Great Room at London's Grosvenor House hotel

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.

One of the Somethin Else tables at the 2012 Sony Academy Radio Awards - David Rodigan is on the right...

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.

The team of meeters and greeters

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.

Rowan Collinson and Tom Robinson at 2012 Sony Radio Academy Awards with the Gold award for Best Use of Multiplatform/Social Media

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.

Members of the 6 Music team with Tom Jones at the 2012 Sony Academy Radio Awards


Tom Robinson

London-based broadcaster & songwriter, born 1950. His best known songs are 2-4-6-8 Motorway, Glad To Be Gay and War Baby; he has also co-written songs with Peter Gabriel, Elton John, Dan Hartman and Manu Katché. Read More...


  1. Ruth Barnes

    Fantastic Tom – warmest congratulations! Such great news for you and a well deserved coup for 6 Music.

  2. Adam Easterbrook

    Richly deserved by you all. Well done folks!

  3. Tom

    Thanks so much Adam and Ruth – and huge congratulations likewise to Ruth’s husband Jason Phipps for his own well-deserved Sony on Monday…

    As producer of The Guardian’s Science Weekly podcast Jason won Gold for “Best Internet Programme” with Sounds of the Space Shuttle – An Acoustic Tribute. For full list of winners click here.

  4. Biggest congratulations to you and the team Tom(and indeed the whole station).
    Its a monumental achievement by all of you after the challenges of recent times;that we as consumers can still tune into wonderful shows such as yours Tom on the first rate station that is BBC 6 Music is joy of the finest kind.

    Great report and to think I know a man who attends such an event feels me with pride.Now did you save me any posh vol la vonts?

  5. Woop! I can now say “appeared on award winning radio show”.. Well done indeed to all involved

  6. wow, well deserved, such an important station for getting new music out there. Great that you are finally getting the recognition. Winning this will bring your station to the attention of millions of people who are not in bands and who will have a revelation when they realise there’s a plethora of stunning tracks out there, just waiting to give them pleasure 🙂 x

  7. Jak

    Massive congratulations Tom, it couldn’t be more fully deserved!

Comments are now closed for this article.