Leeds hosts pop acts and radio industry stalwarts

Edith Bowman.
Edith Bowman.

Celebrities and media industry stalwarts gathered for a glamorous ceremony in Leeds tonight.

The Audio and Radio Awards (ARIAs) took place at the First Direct Arena in the city centre.

Presenters such as football pundit Robbie Savage, former England International cricketer Andrew “Freddie” Flintoff and broadcaster Edith Bowman were in the running for awards.

BBC Radio 1 DJ Scott Mills hosted the evening, while pop three-piece Busted headlined the ceremony by playing some of their biggest hits. Rock groups The Fratellis, The Big Moon and Norwegian singer and songwriter Sigrid also attended.

Welsh midfield player Mr Savage was up for Best Podcast and Best New Show as part of the Flintoff, Savage and the Ping Pong Guy programme on BBC Radio 5 Live.

He said: “I’m excited. Fortunately we attended the awards last year and won best sports. To be up with two awards with my best pal Freddie is great. We just have fun on a podcast.”

Busted.

Busted.

The ARIAs offers the UK radio and audio sector the opportunity to showcase “exceptional” individual and collective talent from across its platforms, the organisers said.

BBC Radio 1Xtra presenter Yasser said: “Leeds is where I started off in radio myself, so it feels like home to me.”

Barnsley-born industry stalwart Stephanie Hirst, one of the event’s many judges who is best known for hosting Hit40UK, said: “It’s great to have the best of British radio here in Leeds for a celebration of all of what’s great about radio.

“It will be great entertainment, great banter – radio people when they get on stage don’t shut up – and just an all round great event.”

Vanessa Feltz.

Vanessa Feltz.

Other notables who turned out for the event included Absolute Radio’s Christian O’Connell, broadcaster Grace Dent and Vanessa Feltz.

She said: “Unfortunately the weather is a bit of a disappointment as it’s absolutely chucking it down but the arena looks very shiny and exciting.

“It’s my first time at this arena.”

Ben Hanlin, a magician and Capital presenter, said that he was going to perform a trick which was to involve the arena’s whole audience.

Yasser.

Yasser.

Nominees were vying to win in 23 categories, including Best News Coverage, Best Factual Storytelling, Best Online Radio Station and Best Music Presenter.

Among the event’s sponsors was LeedsBID, a business support group for the city.

Ahead of the band’s headline spot, Matt Willis, bassist for reformed group Busted, said: “I feel very good about performing tonight.

“We’re very excited. It’s going to be great.”

Robbie Savage.

Robbie Savage.

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