In this article, we’re looking at the award for Best Entertainment Programme. We’re going to have a look at a couple of examples of some past winning entries, what you should be putting in your entry and advice from past winners!
What is this award all about?
This category recognises programming that forms part of the station’s entertainment output with a particular emphasis on the items and links within, acknowledging the person or persons responsible for devising, writing and producing them. An example of the genre would be a breakfast programme.
Audio: A compilation of the programme(s). Maximum audio entry length is 7 minutes.
Written: A maximum of 600 words about how the programme is presented and produced with particular emphasis on how ideas are created, developed and incorporated into the overall programme.
A nice mix of shows here with Breakfast Shows, Drive Shows and shows about Chalk… You’re name could be added to this list next year!
2015 – Harry Whittaker – URY
2014 – Sean Montague and Emily Sandford – Nerve Radio
2013 – The Morning Show with Giles Gear – URN
2012 – Drivetime with Richie Lee – Spark Sunderland
2011 – The Chalk and Charles Show – URY
What should I put in my entry?
So one of the biggest questions we get each year is – Does my show qualify for Best Entertainment or Best Specialist?
To answer that, Entertainment Shows are shows focused around the content, the bits in between the music. Usually shows that take place in the daytime, such as Breakfast and Drive Shows qualify for entertainment. So if we took Radio 1 as an example: Grimmy, Clara, Scott Mills, Greg James, Matt Edmundson are all entertainment shows. Annie Mac, Danny Howard, Annie Nightingale, Huw Stephens WOULDN’T qualify for this category! If you’re in doubt ask someone, we’d hate for you to miss out on an award because you submitted it into the wrong category!
Now we’ve got that out the way lets focus on the entry. Firstly the audio side of things. 7 minutes seems like a long time, but its not if you structure it right. If you’re struggling to find enough audio to fit 7 minutes then you’ve done something wrong. What you need to do, is go back and find them moments of your show that stand out, it could be a feature that you do regularly, a funny guest, a game, an outside broadcast or just a link that hit the money. Think back and remember if there is a time someone has tweeted you or told you ‘omg when you did that on your show, it was so funny’.
Its also worth remembering that what you find funny, might not be funny to someone else. Maybe an in joke, or something that took too long to explain, judges will be listening for the first time and they HAVE to understand it, otherwise the entertainment may be lost!
As with the individual awards, put your best link first, the link that sets you apart and sets the tone for your show. Don’t bother with intro’s and the usual radio spiel such as ‘good morning, its student radio fm, my name is presenter and its 752am on Thursday the 6th of July’. That would waste valuable time that could be filled with something much much better. Kick straight in with the good bit, the bit that sets you on your way, for instance ‘Right lets play our usual feature YesNo’!
When it comes to the written side of things, this is your chance to show how much goes into your show, prove that you don’t just rock up 5 minutes before the show and see what happens. Showcase the fact you spend time and effort thinking of ideas. Even if the idea didn’t work as well as you hoped, show that you are willing to try everything and anything to find that gem of a piece of content. This part of the entry is a little bit like showing your working out on a maths GCSE exam paper! You’re audio is the right answer, but how did you get there! Also show originality in both entries, maybe you’ve come up with a feature that is genius and you haven’t heard done before, don’t just play your own version of innuendo bingo or carpark catchphrase!
Another thing worth mentioning is interaction. A show is not a show with listeners, so how do you get them involved with the show? Maybe you have regular phone features which encourages interaction, maybe you use social media as a big part of the show, maybe you take the show to them and do shows from out and about in your university?
Finally as with the individual awards, GET FEEDBACK! Get as many people as you can to listen to your award, not necessarily all radio people, get your gran to listen, get your flatmate who has no idea about radio to listen. And ask them one vital question
‘Are you entertained?’
If they say anything but ‘definitely yes’ then maybe find another link, find another clip and go again!
First off to 2013’s winner, Giles Gear from URN, this is the audio side of his winning entry!
And then we can go back to 2014 for written entry from Sean Montague and Emily Sanford from Nerve Radio:
“It’s Monday, Its 3 o’clock so it’s time to introduce… the man who’s so ginger he can only reach orgasm………alone, and the woman that’s so posh she makes Made In Chelsea look like a charity appeal video”
Our stations tag is ‘We Know Students’, so we know that students think Mondays are rubbish. By the afternoon they’ll be sick of lectures, avoiding work at all costs and scrambling together those few remaining pennies to spend at some ‘Monday Madness’ club night – and we like to think we fit in somewhere between all of that…
Our aim is to create a show that’s upbeat, fun and captures the imagination of Bournemouth Students. We pride ourselves immensely on breaking down boring radio barriers by creating entertaining content that is bold, daring and amusing to our audience. Whilst remaining listener facing we don’t want to do a student radio show where all the callers are our mates so we aim to focus strongly on our personal characteristics which gives regulars listeners that felling of being ‘in’ on long running jokes.
Since starting University Emily had always been labeled ‘Posh’ because her home town is in Surrey (but really it’s because she eats olive breadsticks after a night out instead of kebabs). Sean lives by the reassurance that his hair colour is ‘auburn’ but we all know that’s just a fancy label for ‘really ginger’. There’s also our part-time producer Jonny – but he’s a bit like John Lennon, you never know if he’s really here or not!
Our content is sourced in a variety of ways, we always aim to start with the ‘trending topic’ of the day and then tailor it to our show. With the Derulo call, for example, we’d noticed a huge buzz about his performance in Bournemouth that day and wanted to reflect this in our show. Rather than just sending our roving report, Jonny, down to speak to some fans we flipped the idea on its head and down played the excitement throughout the programme.
We strive to create memorable moments as a programme that create a ‘wow’ moment for listeners. Our best example being ‘Hopkins or Hitler’, by the title of this satirical game you can tell we like to push the boundaries. After the uproar over how shocking the statements Katie Hopkins was making on ITV’s ‘This Morning’ were we wanted to cover it in some way. We wanted to compare TVs ‘Miss Nasty’ to someone equally as bad… Hitler. The name Hitler created the wow moment with the memorable part being the fact that it’s difficult to differentiate the two based on quotes!
Parts of our show are pre-recorded, such as the opening news clip. This is to retain high production values on sketches such as that, but as you can hear with the call to a member of B*Witched, even when pre-recorded it doesn’t always go to plan… During our programmes we post scheduled tweets on our stations Twitter that aids on-air output, during Sean’s campaign to create a ‘Vice President for Beach Fun’ we posted accompanying Vines which saw him on campus struggling to attract voters.
Our show is about tapping into University life, and then taking a gentle poke at the institution. For every idea that we do we have to believe it will grasp students attention, create that memorable moment and get people talking. The three of us involved all did a Radio degree along with our work in student radio, and we hope this entry shows the genuine passion and great laughs that engulfed our University lives!
Notice how in Sean and Emily’s entry, it screams personality! It isn’t written really formally, it’s written with passion and humour, and more importantly ENTERTAINMENT! Make your written piece as entertaining as your audio entry!
Last years winner Harry Whittaker on how to follow in his footsteps this year:
Good luck in putting your entry together. I hope you’ve found this useful. Remember the deadline is Friday 15th July at 5pm. No later than that as we are very strict and we turn off the entry system on the dot.
And remember, on the 10th November at the indigO2, this could be you picking up your award for Best Entertainment Programme in Student Radio