A large sprinkling of radio folk turned up at The Radio Festival this week organised by the new look Radio Academy. The one-day event moved along quickly and had a number of engaging sessions around the theme of disruption, greatly helped by the hosting skills of Paddy O’Connell who was funny, direct, engaging and curious.
I like this new one day approach and there were some touching moments. Nick Robinson revealed his personal story of a difficult year while Scott Mills, Dead Ringers, and Jon Holmes were gloriously funny. Top of the bill for me was Katie Hopkins who came prepared, knew exactly what she was there to do and hit the disruption nail on the head. A note to all speakers right there!
There was an excellent Olympian session, however, the new Culture Minister Matt Hancock missed a chance to truly connect with his audience. Reminding radio folk about the importance of radio is a wasted opportunity in this environment. Mind you, he was speaking while having the words ‘cock-gobblers’ written in large letters in front of him, so perhaps he was distracted. I blame Scott Mills!
There were much deserved Fellowships for Jane Garvey, Rachel Steel, and Stephanie Hirst with classy entertainment provided by Deacon Blue amongst others. Even BFBS provided free ice cream via their Mr. Whippy van! However, it was the tribute to Sir Terry Wogan that stuck in my mind as I headed back up North.
If it is all about communication and great content, Terry was the master at it. Never be afraid of the silence, he once said which is great advice for the new team of 30u30. Looking through their CV’s, the future looks very promising indeed. Fran Healy ended the day by reminding us all that radio is still king. As I walked to my train, it was hard to disagree with that.
Well done Radio Academy. I loved it!