Stewart White wins gong for BBC local news

BBC Look East presenter Stewart White is announced as the winner of the Nick Clarke Award 2012 for his interview with Lord Hanningfield following the peer’s release from prison after his conviction on expenses fraud.

Stewart’s interview, which broadcast on Look East in November 2011, impressed the judging panel for its well informed and tough questioning on a complex subject and ability to convey the public sentiment on the matter in a courteous manner. The judges were unanimous in their selection.

Kevin Marsh, former Editor of The Today programme, who sat on the final judging panel, added: “Stewart was well-briefed and expressed public feeling well, but remaining duly polite and respectful at all times.

“His questions were tough because they were precise and to the point and carefully calculated to demonstrate his interviewee’s evasions.

“It was an interview that had much in common with Nick Clarke’s manner of interviewing and without question is a worthy winner of this year’s award.”

The Nick Clarke Award was created in honour of the hugely popular former presenter of BBC Radio 4’s The World At One, who died in November 2006, to celebrate and recognise the best broadcast interview of the year.

Stewart White, said: “This is a great honour for me. Nick Clarke was a broadcaster I admired and having his name on the award makes it very special for me.”

Stewart White first broadcast live for the BBC with a short announcement to introduce a programme in Vietnamese on the BBC World Service after a spell with BBC Radio Brighton and BBC Radio Derby he relocated to Birmingham to work for commercial radio station BRMB which lead to television work with ATV.

With ATV Network he presented a number of programmes including news show ATV Today, sports programme Star Soccer, interest series Something Different as well as several regional and networked documentaries. He was the radio announcer heard in Crossroads which announced the motel had burned to the ground in 1981 and White was also the first human to appear on puppet show Spitting Image. In 1984 he moved from ITV in the Midlands to BBC One to front Look East for the Eastern Counties.

Gwyneth Williams, Controller, Radio 4, said: “I would like to congratulate Stewart White of BBC Look East. His interview with Lord Lord Hanningfield was very much in the Nick Clarke tradition – driven by a desire to get to the truth of the matter but always courteous and well-informed. Nick was the consummate interviewer and a dear and much respected colleague. I am honoured to make this award in his memory.”

Last year presenter Steve Hewlett won the award for his interview with the former chair of the Press Complaints Commission, Lady Peta Buscombe on BBC Radio 4’s The Media Show. Awards in previous years include Carrie Gracie’s interview with Alan Johnston and P.D. James’ interview with former BBC Director-General Mark Thompson.

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