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Building the British Podcast Awards 2017

For three months, Matt Deegan and I have been building an awards night from scratch. It sounded a ridiculous feat back in January, and I’m still not quite sure how we did it, but here we are.

Matt Deegan and myself, opening the awards c Paul Cochrane

The aim was to build a competition for podcasters, with low entry fees and judged by their peers, from which the public could discover new British podcasts. Judging by some of the feedback we’ve been getting – not to mention the press coverage – that’s starting to happen.

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But really, I was delighted just to get so many representatives of the industry into one room: from fantastic independent publishers to media groups like the BBC and the Guardian, as well as the businesses that have grown from the medium, like acast and audioBoom.

Scroobius Pip takes a selfie with other podcasters c Paul Cochrane

It was really important to me that the judges were independent and respected by podcasters, so it was an early success to get Queen of Podcasting™ Helen Zaltzman to help choose the panel.

I also worked on delivering a series of podcasts for the Guardian, featuring all the nominees, so that listeners could sample the full range of shows before the big night.

Huge thanks go to Suzy Jamison and her colleagues at Create Productions for producing the night, plus Kobi Omenaka for his digital marketing prowess, and our prestigious judging panel – who have really set the bar high when it comes to critiquing the best podcasts this country can produce.

You can hear some of the highlights on the latest edition of The Media Podcast (thanks to Peter Price and Rhianna Dhillon for hanging around backstage!)… and congratulations to all the winners!

Radio Wolfgang, winners of the audioBoom Podcast of the Year, ‘Fathers & Sons’ c Paul Cochrane

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