Radio entertainment and showbiz

Tony Blackburn to win The Pioneer Award at ARIAS 2023

Tony Blackburn will pick up The Pioneer Award at this year’s ARIAS, which are on Tuesday 2 May at London’s Theatre Royal Drury Lane.

Radio 2’s Rylan returns to host the show, with a live voiceover from Hits Radio’s Fleur East. They will be joined by award presenters Greg James, Adele Roberts, Ken Bruce, Rosie Jones, Edith Bowman, Babatunde Aléshé, Katie Piper and Gethin Jones.

Loved by both listeners and the industry, radio icon Tony Blackburn will be recognised for his near 60 years in broadcasting and contribution to the popularity of soul music in the UK.

Tony famously launched BBC Radio 1 in 1967 following time at pirate stations Radio Caroline and Wonderful Radio London. Countless artists recognise Tony as the DJ that brought soul music to the UK, and it was soul shows that Tony presented throughout his career at BBC London, Capital Gold, Jazz FM, Smooth Radio, Real Radio and more.

Moving to Radio 2 in 2010, Tony hosted Pick of the Pops, and later Sounds of the 60s – the show he still hosts now at 80 years old!

Tony is the second-ever recipient of The Pioneer Award, with the late Janice Long awarded last year.

Tim Blackmore MBE has been named as guest of honour at the event. He has been a leader in the UK radio industry for over 60 years. Working in radio his whole life, Tim’s career has spanned the BBC, commercial radio and independent production.

He helped launch Radio 1 in 1967, producing Tony Blackburn, Noel Edmonds and the documentary series The Story of Pop. Tim then joined London’s Capital Radio in 1977, becoming Head of Music and later Head of Programmes, before co-founding Unique Broadcasting Company, one of the early pioneers in the independent audio sector.

Tim was a key figure across the Sony Radio Awards, annual Music Radio conference and The Radio Academy itself.

Last year, he recorded a podcast special with the Radio Academy following his announcement that he has an inoperable brain tumour.

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