Purrfect! The Cat Awards celebrates student radio talent

RADIO HEADS: Lecturers Tom Whitlow and Michelle Ponting bring vast industry experience to The Cat Radio

A packed North West Media Centre enjoyed a fantastic evening as the 2019 Cat Awards celebrated the work of students on The Cat Radio.

The Ofcom-regulated student radio station’s management team (Tom Marland, Max Rushton, Lauren Duffy, Kris Meredith and Tando Sigiyo) presented the awards ceremony in front of a large audience that included Radio programme leader Michelle Ponting and visiting lecturer Tom Whitlow of Global Radio.

RADIO GA-GA: Tom Marland and Max Rushton are part of The Cat Radio management team

Each nomination was judged by industry professionals with video feedback on the entries played out on the night.

TEAMWORK: Nothando Sigiyo and Kris Meredith are part the of The Cat Radio management team

Student Kris Meredith was delighted to hear feedback from industry professionals and said: “It’s like gold really, they’re the people you want to work for one day. Getting their feedback on what you’ve done at university, if it’s good, that’s great, if it’s not so good, it gives you time to make it better.”

Fellow student Nothando Sigiyo added: “Especially at moments like this, when radio is changing, it’s good to hear from industry, to make it feel worthwhile.”

DRESSED TO IMPRESS: Radio and Broadcast Media Master’s students enjoying The Cat Awards

Max Rushton, interviewed just before co-hosting the awards, was feeling a little nervous: “It’s quite fun to see that flip. Over the last two years we’ve watched everyone else do it now it’s our turn. It is quite daunting.”

Co-host Tom Marland said: “It’s not just the people who are going to win tonight who are going to get feedback. I think that’s quite important because it helps you to build upon your skillset and also just a great way to make contacts – to get your voice and what you do really well out there to people in the industry.”

Added Max: “It’s also just a celebration of the whole year of The Cat Radio. It’s a good social event. It’s not just about the third years setting it up, it’s about the first, second and Master’s years too, it’s for everyone.”

CELEBRATING HARD WORK: Lauren Duffy is part of the Cat Radio management team


Postgraduate student Lauren Duffy said: “I’m part of the management team, so part of organising the event. It’s such a lovely event to celebrate the hard work that’s been put into radio, for those going into radio, their successes, we have some real talent here. It’s nice to see it showcased and be proud of it.”

And The Winners…



Best Female – Nicola Pearson
Best Male – Dan Baker
Best Interview – Matt Thomas
Best Outside Broadcast/Live Event – Matt Thomas, Jo O’Brien, Rhys Bithell, Richard Shoniwa (not present)
Best Speech programme – Jorge Mena

And finally, Best Entertainment programme was won by Tom Marland and Max Rushton, a fabulous end to the evening.

Find out more about The Cat Radio here and further information about Radio Production at the University of Chester.

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