Meet the Winners of the First UKAN Audio Awards

Jun 06th

The winners of the inaugural UKAN Audio Awards were announced two weeks ago. Unlike other audio awards, these were completely free and designed by the UKAN to uplift both independent audio professionals and those that are newer to the industry (and new, independent professionals!).

The awards were split into two parts, with the podcast part of the awards announced at The Podcast Show London and supported by Podspike, and the rest of the awards announced at the UKAN meet-up in the evening.

The winners were chosen by their peers in the industry, and some of the criteria for who to highlight was “who is doing good work”. We wanted to share some more about these people worth knowing and point you towards some of their work you should check out.

Podcast of the Year – Media Storm
Sponsored by Podspike

It is one of our favourite women-led political podcasts and this is a well-deserved additional award to the multi-award-winning podcast. Mathilda Mallinson and Helena Wadia are two journalists who are clearly passionate about using podcasting to avoid the approaching stories in a click-bait manner. Instead, they have previously said they want the show to “execute and embody targeted editorial reform in the news sector”.

Podcast Host/Team of the Year – Coco Khan (Pod Save the UK)
Sponsored by Podspike

Coco Khan may be new to podcasting specifically, but her experience of print journalism, live broadcast and live events has enriched the world of podcasting. In Pod Save The UK, she brings both research and personal context to the conversations, and it’s one of the reasons the show is another of our favourites. Unfortunately she wasn’t able to attend the awards because – she was recording an emergency episode of Pod Save The UK after Rishi Sunak called a general election, but her voicenote thank-you speech showed the love she has for podcasting.

Podcast Producer/Team of the Year – Lou Mensah & Axel Kacoutie
Sponsored by Podspike

Lou Mensah‘s Shade podcast has been described by the Guardian as “the best show to teach you about art”. It shares stories directly from the artists with a focus on the diaspora but often moving beyond that. Axel Kacoutie by themselves has had work featured in many places you might have heard, and in particular their personal essays and curation of the Short Cuts podcast. The collaboration between Axel and Lou on the ‘Interludes’ and ‘Wandering’ series of Shade combined audio art with discussions of art, and are very memorable pieces of podcasting well worth listening to.

Production Company of the Year – editaudio

Steph Colbourn created editaudio in 2014 and has since built a team of talented producers and staff. Their shows include an eclectic mix, truly representing the wide range of the industry – true crime offers such as The Springfield Three, but also fan-shows about specific subjects like DUNE Pod (about all things related to the world of DUNE) and brand collaborations with companies including Google and Substack. However, editoaudio stands out as the regional lead for the Equality in Audio Pact in North America and this award acknowledges the support of peers here in the UKAN .

Radio Producer/Team of the Year – Kit Callin

Kit Callin is a Senior Producer at Reduced Listening, and they have worked on a number of BBC Radio shows – Late Junction for BBC Radio 3, Dream Fuel for BBC 6 music and Ultimate Calm for BBC Sounds. Those night-time offerings have obviously resonated with many people, but as the founder of MOOAR Residency, it’s Kit’s workshops and audio open mic nights to support others getting into audio that really makes them a standout radio producer of the year.

Radio Presenter/Team of the Year – Zakia Sewell (NTS Radio)

Broadcaster, writer and DJ Zakia Sewell won a silver award for ‘Best New Voice’ at the Audio Production Awards in 2021 and adds Radio Present of the Year to her accolades. A lot of her work has personal narratives involved, such as her exploration of British folk culture in My Albion and her look into her mother’s experience of schizophrenia. She presents on NTS Radio with a mix of global music and interviews.

Radio Show of the Year – Char Stape on Reprezent

Reprezent is a creative platform aimed at young people and working with organisations to create systemic change for young people. Char Stape brings the garage, future beats and good vibes on her show, and in an Instagram post said of this UKAN award “It’s come at a time where I really needed a sign like this to remind me to keep going with what I do.” With difficult times in media in general, it’s good to see that these awards are hitting the mark and bolstering people doing great work.

Audio Artist of the Year – Talia Augustidis

Talia Augustidis is a recognisable name for many in podcasting these days – as one of the 2022 Content is Queen micro-grant winners, we follow her rising career with interest. Talia’s short documentary ‘Dead Ends’ came out of the micro-grant funding, and was featured on the Lights Out series on BBC Radio 4 (with critical acclaim). Talia also runs the London chapter of In The Dark, an in-person series of audio performances showcasing new and interesting work.

Composer of the Year – Amber Devereux

Many people who are tuned into UK audio drama will recognise Amber’s name. Their compositions and sound design features on many fiction podcasts, including one of our favourite podcasts of Spring, Camlann. They posted on social media about winning the Audio Award: “Truly honoured to be the recipient of the UKAN Composer Of The Year award! I’ve been lucky to be involved in some extraordinary projects over the past few years and I’m very proud of the work I’ve made. Thank you @UKAudioNetwork, I’m going to be buzzing all weekend!”

Immersive Audio Producer of the Year – Weyland McKenzie-Witter

His website will need updating, because whilst Weyland McKenzie-Witter has been award-nominated previously, this adds a win to his repertoire. He was one of the recipients for our micro-grant 2023 and you might have heard his audio production on shows such as Small Axe: The Podcast, Spotify’s award winning Decode series. We’d recommend checking out The Black and The Green, a BBC Radio 4 documentary from 2021 that analyses the climate crisis and activism through the lens of Black people, and involves layers of field recordings, interviews, music and more that unpacks the layers of the subject.

Audio Guide Producer of the Year – Micha Nestor

Audio guides are a part of the industry that are potentially overlooked, yet as something that features in many museums and heritage sites, many people will come across audio guides even when they are not audio fans. As the Heritage Assistant at Kingston Museum, Micha Nestor led the charge on a project that engaged individuals and community groups across the Borough of Kingston, helping to turn their stories and traditions into four interactive and translated Community Trails. In a post on LinkedIn, she wrote “A special shout out to all the Translators who contributed towards the project, my colleagues at Kingston Museum and Amber Miller at the Content is Queen recording studio who edited the guide.” Speaking of…

Editor of the Year – Amber Miller

An extra special shoutout to Amber Miller, Content is Queen’s super talented Production Manager for scooping Editor of the Year! If you follow our Instagram channel, or have been to audio events where Content is Queen is represented, you’ll no doubt recognise Amber. But whilst we love her reels and videos, Amber is also behind the editing and production management aspects of Content is Queen. She’s been working for us for three and a half years, quietly chopping audio to length and making our clients and community sound amazing. We’re happy to see her hard work recognised!

Equality in Audio Champion – Aradhna Tayal Leach

Unlike the other awards, the Equality in Audio Champion is a special category that was agreed by the Lead Judges and UKAN owner Laura Blake. Created as a way to recognise the people who are working hard to open up the industry, it is unique amongst audio awards. The first winner couldn’t be more deserving – we’ve previously spoken to Aradhna Tayal Leach and her path to the role of Managing Director of the Radio Academy. That conversation perfectly exemplifies the work she has put in since the early days of her career to create a space where everyone can have a meaningful career in audio.

UKAN Commended

Another unique idea for these awards is the UKAN Commended – every single person who was nominated for an award (and eligible) gets the title of UKAN Commended – congratulations to the fifty-five award-winning audio professionals who are the inaugural UKAN Commended – you can find their names and more on the UKAN website.

Congratulations to all the winners of the UKAN (UK Audio Network) Audio Awards 2024! Content is Queen are proud to support these awards. It’s a lovely way for the audio community to celebrate and uplift, inline with UKAN’s aims of: Transparency, Equity and Diversity.