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#SJA2021: talkSPORT’s Woods retains sports presenter title

Laura Woods, Vicki Sparks and Dan Roan were among the broadcast winners at the British Sports Journalism Awards.

talkSPORT’s Woods was praised for her challenging style and ‘warmth and humour’ as she retained the sports presenter title she won in 2020.


BBC Radio 5 Live’s Sparks edged a closely fought category to win sports commentator of the year, judges hailing her as a trailblazer for women in the field, who ‘vividly describes the action and emotion without going over the top’.

And Roan, the BBC’s sports editor, won his first SJA award as he claimed broadcast sports journalist of the year, judges highlighting his ‘deeply thoughtful, accurate and knowledgeable journalism’.


Channel 4’s coverage of the Tokyo Paralympics and their commitment to make pivotal sporting moments of 2021 accessible to a bigger audience, 9.2 million watched Emma Raducanu’s US Open victory, was recognised with the sports network of the year prize.

“The winner had a special 2021 both producing and showcasing an array of top-quality sport to everyone for free,” said judges.

BBC Radio 5 Live’s coverage of the Euro 2020 final won the audio/radio live event prize, with presenter Mark Chapman’s commended for pre-kick words that were ‘relatable to everyone who was missing someone doing that final’.

talkSPORT’s White & Jordan was named audio and radio show, the judges praising a ‘show aimed at and perfectly serving a passionate football audience with incisive and intelligent perspectives on the national game’.


Sky Sports News won the inaugural sports podcast prize for Football Cult Heroes, while Chelsea women’s manager Emma Hayes was named pundit of the year for her work with ITV Sport.

“It’s a huge honour to be awarded sports pundit of the year, especially by you guys, knowing I usually sit on the other side of the fence,” she said.

“I just want to say it’s been an absolute joy to step into the world of broadcasting. I want to thank all the amazing people at ITV for making the experience an easy one, yet thoroughly enjoyable one. And as always I appreciate everything you guys do in your business especially coming from the coaching world.”

Al Jazeera’s undercover expose – The Men Who Sell Football – was recognised as sports documentary of the year, impressed judges claiming they hoped it would ‘lead to much-needed change’.

In year that saw both the Olympics and Euro 2020 staged, Sky Sports were recognised for their coverage of The Hundred, with the prize for best television/digital live event coverage.

Judges highlighted their ‘innovative and creative production to portray a brand new format of the game to a far wider audience and demographic’.

Folding Pocket Productions scooped the audio and radio documentary prize for ‘Defiance – A History of Protest in Sport’.
In a tight category, judges praised it as a ‘documentary series that will stand the test of time. Its high editorial and production values along with excellent interviewees make it a stand out winner’.


Buzz 16’s The Overlap took the first ever You Tube show award, judges said was everything they’d want from a You Tube show and praised its ‘high production values, insight and humour. The host looks like he’s genuinely enjoying every minute spent with the guests’.

And BBC Sport’s MOTDx won television and digital show of the year, the winner applauded for being ‘fresh and dynamic and knowing its audience’.

SPORTS NETWORK
Winner: Channel 4

AUDIO / RADIO DOCUMENTARY
Al Jazeera Investigates – The Men Who Sell Football – Al Jazeera Media Network, BBC Radio 4 Today Programme: Raheem Sterling guest editor – BBC Sports News / BBC News, Defiance – A History of Protest in Sport – Folding Pocket Productions, Dementia & Football: talkSPORT’s Support for Change – talkSPORT, It Was All A Dream… The Football Academy Journey – talkSPORT & Unedited
The Sound of Football – The Athletic UK, The Story of The Open – IMG Audio for the R&A’s Open Podcasts
Bronze: Al Jazeera Investigates – The Men Who Sell Football & Sound of Football – The Athletic UK; Silver: Dementia & Football: talkSPORT’s Support for Change – talkSPORT; Winner: Defiance – A History of Protest in Sport – Folding Pocket Productions

AUDIO / RADIO LIVE EVENT COVERAGE
England’s Tour of India – talkSPORT, Euro 2020 – talkSPORT, Euro 2020 Final – BBC Radio 5 Live, Fury v Wilder 3 – talkSPORT, The Open Radio – IMG Audio, The Wimbledon Radio Channel – IMG Audio
Bronze: Euro 2020 – talkSPORT; Silver: The Wimbledon Radio Channel – IMG Audio; Winner: Euro 2020 Final – BBC Radio 5 Live

AUDIO / RADIO SHOW
BBC Radio 5 Live Olympic Breakfast – BBC Radio 5 Live, GameDay Exclusive – talkSPORT, Monday Night Club – BBC Radio 5 Live, talkSPORT Breakfast – talkSPORT, The Netball Show – Andy Lamb, White & Jordan – talkSPORT
Bronze: talkSPORT Breakfast – talkSPORT; Silver: BBC Radio 5 Live Olympic Breakfast – BBC Radio 5 Live; Winner: White & Jordan – talkSPORT

BROADCAST JOURNALIST
Amanda Davies – CNN, Antoine Allen – ITV News, Craig Slater – Sky UK – Sky Sports News, Dan Roan – BBC Sports News, Des Kelly – BT Sport, Gabriel Clarke – ITV Sport
Bronze: Gabriel Clarke – ITV Sport, Silver: Amanda Davies – CNN, Winner: Dan Roan – BBC Sports News

SPORTS COMMENTATOR
Alistair Bruce-Ball – BBC Radio 5 Live, Andrew Cotter – BBC Sport, Clive Tyldesley – Freelance, Richard Hoiles – ITV Sport, Ronald McIntosh – Freelancer, Sam Matterface – ITV Sport, Steve Cram – BBC Sport, Vicki Sparks – BBC Radio 5 Live
Bronze: Sam Matterface – ITV Sport; Silver: Alistair Bruce-Ball – BBC Radio 5 Live; Winner: Vicki Sparks – BBC Radio 5 Live

SPORTS PODCAST
After The Lights Go Out Podcast – talkSPORT, Football’s Cult Heroes – Sky Sports News, ITV Racing Podcast – ITV Sport, Sport Unlocked Podcast – Rob Harris, The Sports Desk – BBC Sports News, The Totally Football Show – The Athletic UK
Bronze: Sport Unlocked Podcast – Rob Harris; Silver: After The Lights Go Out Podcast – talkSPORT; Winner: Football’s Cult Heroes – Sky Sports News

SPORTS PRESENTER
Ade Adepitan – Whisper for Channel 4, Caroline Barker – Sky Sports and BBC, Dave Jones – Sky Sports, Gary Lineker – BBC Sport, Hazel Irvine – BBC Sport, Laura Woods – talkSPORT, Mark Chapman – BBC Radio 5 Live, Orla Chennaoui – Freelance
Bronze: Gary Lineker – BBC Sport; Silver: Mark Chapman – BBC Radio 5 Live; Winner: Laura Woods – talkSPORT

SPORTS PUNDIT
Ally McCoist – talkSPORT & Sunset+Vine / BT Studios for Prime Video, Emma Hayes – ITV Sport, Gary Neville – Sky Sports, Ian Wright – ITV Sport, Karen Carney – BBC Radio 5 Live, Micah Richards – BBC Sport, Nasser Hussain – Sky Sports, Ruby Walsh – ITV Sport, Simon Jordan – talkSPORT, Steve Bunce – BBC Radio 5 Live
Bronze: Ally McCoist – talkSPORT & Sunset+Vine / BT Studios for Prime Video; Silver: Gary Neville – Sky Sports; Winner: Emma Hayes – ITV Sport

TELEVISION / DIGITAL DOCUMENTARY
14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible – Noah Media Group, Al Jazeera Investigations – The Men Who Sell Football – Al Jazeera Media Network, Arsène Wenger: Invincible – Noah Media Group, How the West Midlands Police are tackling hate crime in football – Sky Sports, I’m Game – Sky Sports News, Living with Concussion – Sky Sports News, Standing Firm – Football’s Windrush Story – BT Sport
Bronze: Standing Firm – Football’s Windrush Story – BT Sport; Silver: 14 Peaks: Nothing Is Impossible – Noah Media Group; Winner: Al Jazeera Investigations: The Men Who Sell Football – Al Jazeera Media Network

TELEVISION / DIGITAL LIVE EVENT COVERAGE
Deadline Day – Sky Sports News, Euro 2020 – ITV Sport, The Hundred – Sky Sports, The Tokyo Paralympics – Whisper for Channel 4, Tokyo 2020 – BBC Sport, WSL – Women’s Football Weekend – Sky Sports
Bronze: Euro 2020 – ITV Sport; Silver: The Tokyo Paralympics – Whisper for Channel 4; Winner: The Hundred – Sky Sports

TELEVISION / DIGITAL SHOW
Formula One on Channel 4 – Whisper for Channel 4, MOTDx – BBC Sport, Ski Sunday – BBC Sport, South Of The River – Noah Media Group, Super Sunday – Sky Sports, Super Sunday Matchday – Sky Sports News
Bronze: South Of The River – Noah Media Group; Silver: Formula One on Channel 4 – Whisper for Channel 4; Winner: MOTDx – BBC Sport

YOUTUBE SPORTS SHOW
The Overlap – Buzz 16, What I Wore – BT Sport, Saturday Social – Sky Sports, Five – New Era Ingenious, White and Jordan – talkSPORT, Watch Along – AFTV
Bronze: Saturday Social – Sky Sports; Silver: What I Wore – BT Sport; Winner: The Overlap – Buzz 16