BBC Radio 1 collected the trophy for Radio Station Of The Year at the Music Week Awards 2022.
It follows the appointment of Aled Haydn Jones as head of station in summer 2020. He went on to reshape the schedule with key evening presenting roles for tastemakers Clara Amfo and Jack Saunders.
In the latest RAJAR results, Radio 1 has 7.68 million listeners.
The award reflects success and achievements during 2021.
Read on for reaction to the Music Week Awards victory and insights on new music and breaking acts from Aled Haydn Jones and head of music Chris Price, alongside Clara Amfo and Jack Saunders…
Aled, how does it feel to win this award in your first full year as head of station?
“It feels amazing. It really does. I have an incredible team. Everyone's really passionate about what they do, so it feels like a just reward for the whole team.”
Clara Amfo and Jack Saunders are both key shows in the schedule. How do you feel about what they bring to Radio 1 evenings?
“I absolutely love it. It's the fresh new face of Radio 1, and I think they're doing amazing jobs. The future of the music industry is safe with Radio 1 and with these presenters.”
What’s Radio 1’s role in terms of amplifying and breaking new music in the UK?
Jack Saunders: “I think we're really important in that, me and Clara. I think there's no other way of being able to put new music forward in the way that radio does it. So we hold a really unique card in doing that, in that we can really bring it to life, put loads of colour behind it and connect the audience to the music in a way that no one else can.”
Clara Amfo: “I think the thing about Radio 1 is that I love the fact that we are humble enough to know that we are in a competitive space. Obviously, there are streaming companies, there are different radio stations. But there is something about human connection and enthusiasm - it’s like, ‘I love this, I want you to hear it’... And Big Weekend is something that only we could do. We can bring in so many new artists through that.”
Clara, you presented the awards last year, how did you enjoy it as a guest this time?
“It’s actually really lovely. The food’s been great, I’ve been able to catch up with everybody. It's been lovely.”
The future of the music industry is safe with Radio 1 and these presenters
Aled Haydn Jones
How important was it to bring back Radio 1’s Big Weekend as a full live event in Coventry this year?
Chris Price: “Super important. It was our first festival in a field for three years. I think what we managed to pull off in the meantime was pretty unique. We took Coldplay to Whitby Abbey, we took AJ Tracy to a basketball court in Vauxhall. We've hung on, but there's nothing like being able to see your audience right in front of you. There’s nothing like being able to share in that kind of collective live experience with the people that tune in every day.”
The walk-up music for your award was Seventeen Going Under by Sam Fender, a Brit List artist at Radio 1. How has that programme delivered in terms of taking new artists to the next level?
CP: “Sam Fender is a great example, isn't he? He's one of the artists I'm most proud of. Brit List has been going for five years. As far as I know, it's still unique in the radio industry, making that three singles playlist promise to new and emerging artists. And look who's come through that - Sam Fender, Lewis Capaldi, Arlo Parks, Stormzy. We've got this long and growing list of success stories that we're just super proud of. In a way, I look forward to being able to say that Brit List is not unique in the radio industry. I want other radio stations to do it. But for now, it's up to us.”