student life

Student Radio Awards 2015: A review.

The Student Radio Awards is the biggest night of the year on the student journalism calender. Radio keenos from across the country gather at the Indigo2 at the O2 Arena in London to mingle with the highest echelons of the Radio industry in the hope to win some awards and make some contacts.

This was the 20th year of the SRAs, and approriately it was themed ‘back to 95’ (before a large part of the audience was born). It was accompanied with snapbands, slinkys, disposable cameras, troll dolls and pick ‘n’ mix as table decorations. 

Let’s talk food

The selection of food served for those with dining tickets had a mixed reaction – while tasty both the vegeterian and meat options were somewhat small considering hungry students paid £70 a ticket. The dessert was the biggest miss of the night, although somewhat an improvement on last years ‘toothpaste’.

Award presenters

The food aside, the night was incredibly organised by the team at the Student Radio Association. The hosts, Capital’s Dave Berry and Radio 1’s Clara Amafo were quick witted and presented a great night.  Awards were presented by dozens of industry professionals, mostly from the BBC and Global, with a rather poignant opening speech by Student Radio Awards Chair, Rich Clarke (Presenter on Heart South Coast Breakfast). One noticable personality who was lacking was Nick Grimshaw – who usually presents the awards – we were told was ‘nuzzling in Simon Cowell’s chest’. 

The awards were judged by a huge range of individuals, from the likes of the BBC, Global, Bauer, PPL and Buzzfeed. 

Nostalga was certainly the theme of the night, the audience were reminded that the first ever SRAs took place in the Univerity of London’s Student Union, hosted by Jo Whiley and Steve Lamacq.


The ceremony was entertaining, with each student’s speech getting more drunk and rambling as the night went on. The biggest shock of the evening was University Radio Nottingham (URN) missing out on the grand prize ‘Best Station’ after winning constistently for the last five years. The big prize went to Smoke Radio – the University of Westminster’s student radio station. After the wine-fuelled awards ceremony there was the ‘after-party’ which became a soundclash between the two main supporters of the Awards, Radio 1, and Global.  The first soundclash was between Phil Taggart and Coco Cole who both played an eccletic range of crowd favoutires and specialist music. In typical student fashion, as the night went on the cheese increased. By the second and final soundclash, (between 1Xtra’s Yasser and Capital’s Christian Williams) the 90s theme was in full flow, ending the night on s-club and WonderWall. 

The Student Radio Awards are an amazing feat pulled of by a small committee of volunteers which gets better year on year and is unlike any other event in the student media calendar – or the wider media industry.


See the full list of winners below:

Best Live Event or Outside Broadcast, supported by British Council

Bronze – Three Peaks Challenge – Shock Radio

Silver – Elections Results Night – URY

Gold – The Welsh Varsity 2015 – Xpress Radio

Best Student Radio Chart Show, supported by BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra

Bronze – Leeds Student Radio 

Silver – Fly FM 

Gold – University Radio Bath

Best Technical Achievement, supported by BBC Digital

Bronze – OB1 – Universal Outside Broadcaster – URN

Silver – Roses mini OB Kits – URY 

Gold – Visualisation Rebuild and URB Digital – University Radio Bath

Best Multiplatform Initiative, supported by Kiss

Bronze – Spark Election 2015 – Spark Sunderland

Silver – URN’s Student Leader Elections – URN

Gold – #SpiceUK! – Leeds Student Radio

Best Interview, supported by BBC Asian Network

Bronze – Mental Health Issues in Sport – Xpression FM 

Silver – Michael does Wagner – Nerve Radio

Gold – Emma Pearce interviews Mike Buchanan – URN 

Best Speech Programming, supported by BBC Radio 4 and 4 Extra

Bronze – Sea Burn – Spark Sunderland

Silver – Nick Slater – Podcast Series – URN

Gold – Both Sides of Dying – Spark Sunderland

Best Journalistic Programming, supported by BBC Newsbeat

Bronze – Hardeep Kaur Dhadda – Scratch Radio 

Silver – Nick Slater – Podcast Series – URN\

Gold – The Pulse – URN

Best Sport Programming, supported by BBC Radio 5 live

Bronze – Boxing Varsity ’14 – Xpression FM

Silver – Varsity Basketball 2015 – URN

Gold – URN Sport – URN 

Best Specialist Music Programming, supported by BBC Radio 6 Music

Bronze – Friday Nights On Fly FM with Ore

Silver – Urban Soul – Xpress Radio

Gold – Pop Up Folk – RaW 1251AM

Best Entertainment Programming , supported by Absolute Radio

Bronze – The Paul Jones Show- Shock Radio

Silver – Ben Bason- Forge Radio

Gold – Harry Whittaker – URY 

Best Marketing and Station Sound, supported by Wise Buddah

Bronze – CSR

Silver – Leeds Student Radio

Gold – URN 

Best Newcomer, supported by PPL

Bronze – Bethany Bartley-Jeacock – Leeds Student Radio

Silver – Louisa Fox – Leeds Student Radio

Gold – Rebecca Saw – URY

Best Female Presenter, supported by Global

Bronze – Laurie Charlesworth – Nerve Radio

Silver – Anna Louise Walter – CSR 

Gold – Claire Duesbury – Fly FM

Best Male Presenter, supported by Global

Bronze – Harry Whittaker – URY

Silver – James Lewer – Fly FM 

Gold – Sammy James – Leeds Student Radio

Kevin Greening Award, supported by North Media Talent

Bronze – Matt Curtis – Fly FM

Silver – Farsity – Xpress Radio

Gold – – BIRSt Radio

Best Student Radio Station, supported by BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra

Bronze – Spark Sunderland 

Siver – URN 

Gold – Smoke Radio

Did you attend this year’s SRA Awards? Let us know what you thought in the comments below!