Welcome to a special edition of the Great British Podcast Newsletter, celebrating the winners of the British Podcast Awards 2020 (powered by Acast), which took place on Saturday night hosted by the brilliant Clara Amfo and Rhianna Dhillon.
More than 50 judges representing the audio industry (from podcast creators, to journalists, to industry execs) chose our Gold winners, as well as those who deserved Silver or Bronze. They specifically looked for entries that gave fresh ideas, gave voices to those who are unrepresented in traditional media or had provided an innovative format or style.
All of the Gold, Silver and Bronze podcasts from the awards are below, ready and waiting for you to listen and subscribe to. We’ve included a selection of comments from our judges underneath each Gold, so you can get a sense of why it was the deserving winner. And if you want to watch the whole ceremony, you can catch-up here.
Here we go *opens envelopes at home whilst wearing a bow tie*
Audioboom Podcast of the Year
Gold: Brown Girls Do It Too – This BBC Asian Network podcast encouraging British South Asian women to talk more openly about sex, was chosen as our Podcast of the Year. The award goes to an exceptional podcast that reflects the very best of British podcasting.
The judges said: “We found the standard of entries to be high and ultimately debate centred around two shows that both strongly stood out within their fields. Whilst there can only be one winner, the judges also wanted to commend Passenger List for its innovation, writing and high production standards. It has set a new high bar for scripted podcasts.”
Runner-Up: Passenger List – a fictional thriller starring Colin Morgan and Kelly Marie Tran.
Acast Moment of the Year
Gold: Tunnel 29 – The Moment of the Year goes to the most impactful and compelling moment of audio in podcasting over the last year. Our judges said that a part of this BBC Radio 4 podcast investigating the secret construction of a tunnel underneath the Berlin Wall, was the stand-out winner: “The series gathered TV and press coverage across the world, and helped bring the medium – and an incredible story – to a brand new audience.”
Best New Podcast (supported by Factory Studios)
Gold: The Log Books – This podcast looking back at the LGBTQ+ life from the perspective of the historic call logs at Switchboard, was “surprising, moving, beautifully produced and a important podcast,” according to our judges.“The real life stories, which start in the past, are brought up to date by sensitive interviews and discussions.”
Smartest Podcast (supported by Rethink Audio)
Gold: The Sound of Anger – This podcast looks at the science, philosophy and history of anger. It was praised by the judges for its interesting subject matter: “It takes you on a journey through the expression and understanding of a very common and challenging emotion.”
Best Sex & Relationships Podcast
Gold: Brown Girls Do It Too – The Acast Podcast of the Year was also the winner of this category, praised by the judges for how refreshingly honest the conversations were: “Their stories flow beautifully, and are told in an incredibly warm and engaging way. Each host is clearly thinking about how best to serve their communities.”
Best Fiction Podcast
Gold: Passenger List – The judges loved this mystery thriller about a plane that disappears between London and New York, praising its performances, its storyline and sound design. They said that the series “constantly keeps the audiences on the edge of their headphones.”
Best Sport Podcast (supported by Audioboom)
Gold: Football Inside Out – FIFA Women’s World Cup 2019 – This podcast looking at the tournament was praised for how it captured a historic time for women’s football. They also said: “The rapport between the hosts created a sense of warmth, the interviews were thought-provoking and surprising.”
Best Entertainment Podcast (supported by Sony Music’s 4th Floor Creative)
Best Current Affairs Podcast (supported by Omny Studio by Triton Digital®)
Gold: Today in Focus – The Guardian’s daily news podcast was viewed to be the ‘stand out’ winner. The judges said that the daily podcast provided “authoritative, intelligent and incisive analysis combined with warm, accessible presentation and beautiful sound design.”
Best Business Podcast
Gold: Money Talks – The podcast was commended not only for its range of stories, but for how it deviated away from the conventional interview format by mixing in scripted dialogue and interviews: “It delivered on its intent to provide listeners with everything they need to know about the world of business.”
Best Daily Podcast (supported by Podfollow)
Gold: The Rob Auton Daily Podcast – The writer and performer Rob Auton has a podcast lasting a few minutes each day, and the judges said it was a must-listen: “In a subset of daily podcasts that, when faced with an ever-distorting world force themselves into a position of either editorialising and at worst polemicising, this creator opts-out and is here to create and to entertain – and there can be no virtue more universal than that. We certainly appreciated it.”
Best Wellbeing Podcast
Best Comedy Podcast (supported by Acast)
Gold: Kurupt FM – The people behind the BBC Three mockumentary ‘People Just Do Nothing’ have reunited for a podcast series on Audible, which was praised for being “funny, entertaining, creative and lighthearted.” They also said that it leaves you wanting more.
Best True Crime Podcast
Gold: Paradise – This BBC Radio 5 Live podcast re-examines the disappearance of two British backpackers, Peta Frampton and Chris Farmer, and why it took 38 years for the suspect in the case to be arrested. The series was praised by the judges for how it never feels exploitative and for its high production standards.
Best Arts & Culture Podcast (supported by Pod Bible)
Gold: Rule of Three – In the podcast comedy writers Joel Morris and Jason Hazeley invite someone who makes funny things to talk about funny things they like. The judges said that they found the podcast “genuinely funny,” whilst praising how it encourages conversations about the art and process of comedy.
Best Podcast Interview
Gold: Declassified – This winning podcast looking at stories from within the military community was “compelling, shocking and enlightening,” according to the judges. They praised the empathy and sensitivity of the interviews by its podcast presenter, Michael Coates.
Best Family Podcast
Gold: David Walliams’ Marvellous Musical Podcast – The series looks into the life of famous composers, hoping to inspire young listeners to get into classical music. The judges commended the podcast’s ambition, adding that it was an enjoyable listen for adults too.
Best Radio Podcast (supported by Radioplayer)
Gold: Tunnel 29 – The immersive BBC Radio 4 podcast was chosen as it had “brilliant storytelling that would capture and engage any audience.” Even though it was broadcast on radio, they also praised how it had been developed in such a way that it can be enjoyed best through headphones.
Best Live Podcast (supported by Latitude Festival)
Gold: Tailenders – The BBC Radio 5 Live cricket podcast was picked because it was “cleverly and creatively crafted that it keeps you engaged, whether you are a fan of the sport or not.”
Best Branded Content
Gold: Penguin Podcast – The podcast features in-depth interviews from Penguin’s leading authors and thinkers. The judges were impressed by the depth and quality of these interviews, as well as its consistency, providing an essential listen for anyone interested in books.
Best Podcast Network or Publisher (supported by 4DC)
Gold: Somethin’ Else
Best Podcast in the Welsh Language
The Spotlight Award (supported by DAX)
Gold: The Guilty Feminist – The Spotlight Award is for the podcast that helps bring in the big audiences into podcasting world, helping to propel this medium into the mainstream. The judges said that Deborah Frances-White who hosted the podcast was “intimate, honest and candid” and praised how the show gave a prominent platform to under-represented voices.
The Bullseye Award (supported by Blue Microphones)
Gold: Things Unseen: Entombed – The Bullseye Award goes to podcasts providing exceptional listening experiences for niche audiences, or for audiences currently underrepresented in other parts of British media. This faith podcast was praised for being “Gaiman-esque” in style, with praises for the script, performances and sound design.
Best Creativity (supported by Audible)
The Listeners Choice Award (supported by BBC Sounds)
Gold: Sha**ed Married Annoyed – And finally, our Listeners Award did what it said on the tin. It was chosen by podcast listeners (and readers of the Great British Podcast newsletter.) The winners were the relatable and chatty podcast hosted by Chris and Rosie Ramsey.
With all of these winners, if you don’t know where to start listening, do not fret! We will be profiling some of the big winners in future editions of this newsletter. It starts in the next one, which is out next Sunday. You can also catch-up with some of the best episodes in this Spotify playlist.
Plus! If you want to hear the Ceremony on the radio, we’ll be re-playing the fun on BBC Radio 4 Extra from 8.30pm this Tuesday.
Have a great Sunday, congratulations to all of our winners and happy listening,
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