In this article, we’re looking at the award for Best Male Presenter. 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 some advice from Radio 2 Producer Tim Johns.
What is this award all about?
This category is for a male student radio presenter who deserves particular recognition for their overall presentation style and skills, including production and rapport with their audience.
Audio: A compilation of your best on-air output. Maximum audio entry length is 4 minutes.
Written: A maximum of 500 Words about you and your show.
A big category to win, which has been spread nicely across the country with winners from Scotland, all the way down to Portsmouth, and all have gone on nicely from this into the world of radio…
2015 – Sammy James – Leeds Student Radio
2014 – Calum MacDonald – Fresh Air
2013 – Glen Scott – Pure FM
2012 – Ethan O’Leary – Spark Sunderland
2011 – Pete Allison – Fly FM
What should I put in my entry?
Before we get into it, lets just be clear here. Your written entry and your audio entry are just as important as each other! Don’t spend ages making your audio amazing, and then throw together your written bit at the last minute, judges will notice.
Your audio needs to be the best 4 minutes of radio you have done, not a second more! And it NEEDS to kick off with the best link you’ve ever done. Don’t try and structure it like a show, don’t bother with an intro at the start, put the link you are most proud of and the link that will hook the judges straight away at the very start. Also remember DO NOT under any circumstances start you’re entry with production, its a turn off – audio wise, not anything weird like that!
Try and put a nice range of links in there, maybe a personality link, interaction with a caller, a music sell, a game or feature, show off all sides to you, show that you are not a one trick pony and you have a wide range of skills!
Another thing to bare in mind, is that regardless of the type of presenter you are, you have a great chance of winning this award. In 2014 Calum MacDonald picked up the award with a journalistic approach to his entry, in 2015 Sammy James won it with an entertainment slant. The judges aren’t looking for a certain TYPE of presenter, they are looking for the best presenter across the board. So if you’re thinking, well I’m a newsreader I stand no chance, or I only do specialist so it doesn’t count, thats rubbish, get yourself in!
Another tip is get get as many people as you can to listen to it before submitting. Not just radio people but family and friends, random people as well, people who aren’t looking at it from a radio point of view, they are looking at it from a listener point of view. If you have a funny link in there, and your mate doesn’t laugh, maybe its not as funny as you thought. Its hard to be subjective to audio you’ve put together yourself, so get as many opinions as possible!
When it comes to the written side of things, as I said before don’t leave it till the last minute. This section is just as important as the audio side. Its a chance to show off the kind of presenter you are, you’re personality. Tell the judges how much work you put into your shows, how much thought and ideas, the features you came up with, how they came about, show your passion. Also try and write it in a less formal style, be a bit tongue in cheek, have a laugh and make your written piece stand out!
Ok thats enough writing for the time being so next…
I’ve put in a mix here of the written side of Sammy James’ entry that won him the award in 2015 and the audio from Calum MacDonald that won him the award in 2014, just to show two different sides of an entry.
Sammy James – Best Male – Leeds Student Radio
I recall the very first moment that I stepped into the Leeds Student Radio studio. I was very nervous and rightfully so, because the slightly sadistic presenter had bought some wax strips and then proceeded to remove my leg hair live on-air. Nearly 4 years later, I’m still perfecting the art of losing my dignity on the radio. This year I’ve embarrassed myself in a multitude of ways, including busking Nicki Minaj on the university steps and trying to befriend total strangers in the Union (00:58), all for the sake of making entertaining student radio.
All of the above was for my entertainment show that I presented called ‘Jacks of All Trades’ that I presented with my good pal Alex Ewing. The idea behind this show was to create memorable content that had not been heard before on student radio. We also wanted all our content to be 100% relevant and relatable to our student demographic,
On the show we often used ‘Vox Pops’ so that we always had plenty of different voices. I absolutely love going out with a clip mic and getting sound bites from students on campus, and I found that this is when I made some of my best content. For instance when I decided to start a fake union election campaign because I was feeling ‘left out’ (01:47), the response of the woman I spoke to about my flavoured condemn pledge was one of my favourite audio clips I’ve ever obtained, mostly because her response set me on the back foot.
As radio is increasingly multi-platform in the 21st century, I always tried to put my content on as many different platforms as possible. The most successful example is when I re-wrote Taylor Swift’s ’22’ to become ‘Feeling a 2:2’ (00:00) during the summer exam period. Whilst initially conceived as a radio feature, the song turned out to be a big hit on YouTube (https://youtu.be/bPRa5ZD0kz8) receiving over 35,000 views within the first 24 hours after being uploaded and it was shared 2000 times on social media.
Throughout my time at LSR I have been lucky enough to have had some amazing presenting opportunities that I am hugely grateful for. I have presented LSR’s Varsity and Union Election coverage, and in December I was the presenter for LSR’s SRA chart show, a new challenge that put me outside my normal comfort zone. The show was local, relevant and slick and I was very happy with the output (03:26).
Student radio has been, without a doubt, the most rewarding aspect of my university experience. This year in my role as Programme Controller of LSR I’ve been delighted to show new Leeds students how awesome being part of a student radio station can be. There is no prouder feeling than making engaging content that is appreciated by your fellow students, and I am delighted that I have been able to achieve that during my time at Leeds Student Radio.
Calum MacDonald – Best Male – Fresh Air
Also worth noting these words about Calum’s entry from Tim Johns, Producer at BBC Radio 2 and former Student Radio’er:
Calum’s entry is completely different. It focuses on his presentation of news content. It shows that you don’t have to sound like Greg James to win this award (who in fact was a judge for this category). It’s entirely refreshing that a news presenter was spotted for his considerable talent and that engagement with politics and current affairs got him a win in a category normally reserved for music/entertainment presenters.
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. Unless you decided to go for a toilet break during your award!