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Steve Wright and Annie Nightingale remembered by The Radio Academy ‘ARIAS’

The Radio Academy ARIAS 2024 announces tributes to Steve Wright and Annie Nightingale


Steve Wright and Annie Nightingale remembered by The Radio Academy ‘ARIAS’

The Radio Academy ARIAS 2024, the UK’s leading audio and radio awards celebrates the broadcasting legacy of two BBC broadcasting giants…

The ARIAS acknowledge outstanding productions and the creative teams behind them. This years gong show takes place on Tuesday 7th May at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

The hosts taking the stage this year are award-winning comedian and the brand new presenter of BBC Radio 2’s Saturday morning show, Romesh Ranganathan, plus award-winning broadcaster and co-host of the chart-topping podcasts My Dad Wrote A Porno and British Scandal, Alice Levine.

They will be joined by a mix of award presenters including the likes of Jamie Laing, Marvin Humes, Nish Kumar and Coco Khan, Alex Scott MBE, Greg James, Nicole Appleton, Vick Hope, Trevor Nelson, Jane Garvey and Fi Glover and more. Celebrating the best in audio and radio, there are 27 awards to be won in categories including Best New Presenter, Best Music Breakfast Show, Best New Podcast and the popular Moment of the Year Award voted by the public in partnership with the Radio Times.

Nominees include Kathy Burke, Jamz Supernova, Nish Kumar and Coco Khan, Rob Burrow, Hannah Fry, Mary Mandefield, Zoe Ball and many more. Created by The Radio Academy, a charity dedicated to supporting people in audio and radio, The ARIAS is an inspiring evening that is committed to shining a light on audio’s thriving community.

Radio trailblazer Annie Nightingale MBE, CBE to be honoured with The Pioneer Award posthumously. Nightingale, who passed away on 11th January 2024, paved the way for so many, from new underrepresented dance music artists to some of the greatest broadcasters of today.

In 1970, Annie became the first female DJ on BBC Radio 1, where she stayed for over 54 years winning a Guinness World Record for having the longest career as a female radio presenter in the world. Annie was best known for her Radio 1 Sunday Request Show which ran for 12 years, which led to her presenting The Chill Out Zone slot from the mid 1990’s.

Over the years, she built strong relationships with some of the greatest pop icons including The Beatles and David Bowie. In 2021, ‘The Annie Nightingale Scholarship’ was created, in which she would celebrate and elevate talented women in the electronic music scene.  During the ARIAS 2024 ceremony, BBC Radio 6 Music’s presenter Lauren Laverne and BBC Radio 1’s electronic music show host, Martha, will take to the stage to posthumously present this award to Annie, who was such a passionate advocate of all music, but particularly the underground.

Annie is the third-ever recipient of The Pioneer Award, with Tony Blackburn awarded last year.

BBC Publicity picture handout from 1970: Annie Nightingale

The audio industry also will pay tribute to the late broadcasting icon Steve Wright, MBE at The ARIAS 2024. Steve Wright passed away in February 2024 after being a staple in the lives of millions of listeners for decades on local Beeb radio and then BBC Radio 1 and Radio 2 nationally.

Steve was a leader in the UK radio industry for decades beginning his career on commercial radio before switching to the corporation in the late 1970s. He joined BBC Radio 1 in 1980 where he also became a regular TV face on BBC One’s chart countdown Top of the Pops. Steve had a stint as the Radio 1 Breakfast Show host from 1994-1995 as the station moved to a more youthful outlook.

In 1996, Steve joined BBC Radio 2 to host the popular Steve Wright’s Saturday Show and the still airing Sunday Love Songs. From 1999 he recreated his Steve Wright in The Afternoon show for listeners during the week which he continued to present up until 2023 after becoming the presenter of the long-running Pick of the Pops programme.

This year at The ARIAS, the industry will be joining together to pay tribute to the broadcasting great, featuring colleagues and well-known names who have been inspired by his tremendous career over the years.

BBC Publicity picture handout from 1997: Steve Wright

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