It grips, it surprises, it captivates, it stays in the memory. No other medium affects us in the same way.
The upcoming ARIAs – the Baftas of radio – honour all aspects of both radio and podcasts, and RadioTimes and RadioTimes.com are sponsoring the Moment of the Year category. It’s the award that recognises the power that audio has to thrill, move and astonish, and it’s the only category at the ARIAs to be decided by public vote.
So what was the greatest radio moment of the year up until September 2019? In conjunction with the Radio Academy (the organisers of the ARIAs), we’ve come up with a shortlist of ten moments, based on submissions from academy members, all of them remarkable in their own way.
Now all you have to do is listen to the moments below, and choose the one you think is the greatest.
Will it be an amazing interview? A dramatic news story? A piece of vivid commentary? Dazzling presentation?
Your votes will decide, with the result announced at the ARIAs on Wednesday 4 March at the London Palladium.
Get listening, and get voting! (Vote is below the clips)
Listen to the nominated moments below…
Boris Johnson’s hobby, 25 JUNE 2019 – talkRADIO
Remember when Boris Johnson revealed that in his spare time he likes to relax by making models of buses and painting happy passengers on board? This was where he said it – on talkRADIO, to baffled-sounding presenter Ross Kempsell.
Chris Evans’s new start , 21 JANUARY 2019 – Chris Evans, Virgin Radio
After nine years at the helm of his Radio 2 breakfast show, Chris Evans’s return to Virgin Radio, where he’d first broadcast in 1997, was a huge deal – not least because of the decision to broadcast his breakfast show without ad breaks. Coming a week after Zoe Ball’s Radio 2 debut, Evans introduced Richard Ashcroft to play his first song live – Lucky Man.
England’s triumph, 14 JULY 2019 – Test Match Special, Radio 5 Live; BBC Radio 4 LW
Cricket had never witnessed anything like it – a last-ball, super-over victory in the World Cup final, with hosts England triumphant. Listen as Jonathan Agnew rises to the occasion and finds the words that capture one of the most incredible moments in sporting history.
Overdosing man phones in, 19 December 2018 – Iain Lee, talkRADIO
Iain Lee’s Late-Night Alternative goes out on talkRADIO every weekday night from 10pm to 1am and is one of the most compelling phone-in shows around. Anything and everything is up for grabs – from intimate procedures to the true spelling of ‘Iain” – but the night a listener who was overdosing called in to Lee produced a moment like no other.
Helicopter crash, 28 October 2018 – BBC Radio Leicester
The death of the Leicester City owner Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha and four others in a helicopter crash traumatised the club and its fans. Radio Leicester’s Ian Stringer movingly described the scene at the ground the following morning as flowers were laid.
Matthew Sweet and Naomi Wolf , 23 MAY 2019 – Free Thinking, Radio 3
“I don’t think you’re right about this.” With those words to interviewee Naomi Wolf (right), presenter Matthew Sweet set in train the demolition of one of the key arguments in her book Outrages: Sex, Censorship and the Criminalisation of Love. Dozens of executions of gay men in the 19th century that she had identified hadn’t actually happened. It was a devastating piece of radio, the fallout from which is still continuing.
Mental Health Minute, 13 MAY 2019 – Across UK radio
A moment that brought together BBC, commercial and community stations – some 500 of them – as they simultaneously marked Mental Health Minute. Katy Perry and Stephen Fry, alongside the Duke of Cambridge, were among those who contributed.
After Lyra McKee, 19 april 2019 – BBC Radio Foyle
The fatal shooting of journalist Lyra McKee while covering rioting in Derry was one of the darkest days of Northern Ireland’s post-Troubles era. Priest Joe Gormley’s words cut home: “What cause, in God’s name, has been served by this?”
Rory Stewart interview , 15 November 2018 – Emma Barnett, Radio 5 Live
The moment Emma Barnett drew Rory Stewart into an extraordinary about-face over a claim he made about Theresa May’s Brexit deal.
Zoe Ball’s new start, 14 JANUARY 2019 – Zoe Ball, Radio 2
The departure of Chris Evans for Virgin opened up arguably the biggest gig in radio – breakfast presenter on Radio 2, the most listened to show in Europe. The mic was handed to Zoe Ball and on 14 January, she welcomed her “superstar listeners”, making history as the first ever female host of the show.
Voting for the Radio Times Moment Of The Year at the 2020 Audio and Radio Industry Awards (ARIAs) is open until 11.59pm on Tuesday 04 February 2020. One vote per person. You must enter your email address for your vote to be counted and verified. Bulk voting will not be permitted.