Radio stars went ga-ga for Leeds tonight as the city hosted one of their industry’s biggest award evenings of the year.
The 2018 ARIAS (Audio & Radio Industry Awards) were held at the First Direct Arena, with famous names including Trevor Nelson, Penny Smith, Jamie Cullum and Mollie King in attendance.
Podcasts picked up some of the red carpet event’s most coveted prizes, with You, Me and the Big C being named best new show and Mo-Joe: An 18 Week Marathon Training Diary taking the best sports show title.
Other winners included BBC Radio Ulster’s Stephen Nolan (Best Speech Presenter at Breakfast), BBC Merseyside (Best Coverage of an Event) and Radio 1 (National Station/Network of the Year).
Also celebrating was pop favourite Ronan Keating, who was named best new presenter for his work with Magic Radio.
BBC Radio Leeds took the award for best local station while BBC Radio Sheffield won the best marketing campaign category.
BBC Radio Humberside’s David Burns landed the best local radio show award.
Bradford-based station Pulse 1 went home with the best music presenter at breakfast prize for its Breakfast Show with Mylo & Rosie.
Speaking to the Yorkshire Evening Post before the ceremony, actress and Hits Radio presenter Gemma Atkinson said: “I love being in Leeds.
“I’ve spent lots of time here filming Emmerdale. I’m from Manchester so it’s only a 45-minute drive. It’s nice to be up north!
“Great venue, I’ve been here before. The people are all lovely, I’m really chuffed that the awards are being held here.
“It’s always good for the North there’s so many amazing things happening up here. I think it’s about time we got some good stuff.”
Music stars performing this evening included Tony Hadley, Sophie Ellis-Bextor and 808 State.
Melvin Odoom and Pandora, from Kiss FM, handled presentation duties at the ceremony, which was taking place in Leeds for the third year in a row.
Roger Cutsforth, chief executive at The Radio Academy, the charity which organised the event, said: “In another fantastic ARIAS ceremony, it was great to see the awards are no longer dominated by the big networks, with the rise of the podcast, the resurgence of the quality in local radio and the indies coming up hard on the rails.
“The ARIAS have this year proved that the best in innovation is happening outside London.”
The event was supported by LeedsBID, with the organisation’s chief executive, Andrew Cooper, saying: “It was great for the city to have the ARIAS returning to Leeds for the third year running, and what an evening it was, made even better seeing local talent among the winners.
“Events of this status and scale are essential in continuing to showcase this city while building its reputation on a national and international stage.”