Meet the Contributors

We’re delighted to welcome to the Nations and Regions Media conference a host of established panelists and guest contributors from the industry. They represent a range of radio outlets and will be contributing to a range of sessions across the day.

Below you will find biographies of many of our speakers and contributors.

The Hosts

Katie Thistleton - Presenter, BBC Radio 1 and CBBC

Katie is a TV and radio presenter, NCTJ qualified journalist and published author and is a regular face on CBBC and regular voice on BBC Radio 1. You can catch Katie presenting live on the CBBC channel most days and hear her every week hosting BBC Radio 1's Life Hacks on Sundays 4-7pm, as well as often filling in for other Radio 1 DJ's such as Scott Mills and hosting a weekly podcast for the network.

Katie also regularly presents documentaries on topics from depression to the Kardashians and is a published children's author.

Darryl Morris - Presenter, Commercial Radio

Darryl Morris is now one of the country’s most formidable commercial radio broadcasters, hosting one of the biggest commercial radio shows outside London.

Broadcast 7-10pm, Sunday-Thursday across the Bauer City Network, Darryl’s show has become a must-stop destination for the biggest stars in the world, including the likes of Ed Sheeran, Katy Perry and Sam Smith.

Prior to that, Darryl was one of the UK’s youngest breakfast show hosts on both Rock FM and The Hits Radio.

His radio career started young. At the age of 15, he hosted a special series of programmes on the BBC World Service and quickly climbed the ladder at BBC Radio Manchester before fronting his own weekend shows on Galaxy FM and XFM.

 

Painting Pictures in the Mind: Children and Audio in the 21st Century

John Leagas - Executive Producer, CBeebies Radio

John Leagas is passionate about giving children a voice and his team travel the country to represent the lives of children and their families living in the UK today.

John is a highly experienced radio and audio producer currently specialising in pre-school audio for CBeebies Radio. His radio career began working at BBC Birmingham before moving to BBC Radio 4 in London where he produced many Radio 4 flagship programmes. His interest in children’s audio began when producing BBC Radio 4’s “Go4it! ” and later as a Senior Producer on The Big Toe Radio Show – a live daily magazine show for children on BBC Radio 7 (Now 4Extra) before joining BBC Children’s and helping launch CBeebies Radio.

Gregory Watson - Co-creator of Folder Media/Muxco

A Chartered Accountant, Gregory has worked within corporate functions in commercial radio since 1991, initially at the Radio Authority and then at GWR Group / GCap Media with responsibility over new analogue and digital opportunities. In this capacity, Gregory was involved in the Digital One application for the national digital radio multiplex as well as the development of GWR’s local multiplex network, NOWdigital.

In 2007, recognising that a significant proportion of the radio industry was being left behind by digital advancements, Gregory created Folder Media and MuxCo with Matt Deegan to develop digital media opportunities. This has included establishing the MuxCo network of ten DAB multiplexes that provides local digital radio to over 14m across England and Wales.

Gregory has always been passionate about commercial radio broadening its horizons and developing new commercial opportunities. In 2005, he orchestrated the establishment of Children’s Radio UK Ltd, which today broadcast as Fun Kids, the UK’s only radio station dedicated for children and their parents. In 2016 he helped launch Encore Radio working with UKRD Group, and more recently Folder Media launched Upload Radio.

 

 

The RadioToday Programme: Radio Tomorrow

Trevor Dann - Presenter, The Radio Today Programme

Trevor is creative director of the audio production company TDC, part of the Folder & Co group, primarily working with BBC Radio 2, Radio 3, Radio 4 and the World Service. He also runs the talent agencies London Voiceover and Manchester Voiceover.

Trevor is a visiting lecturer at the University of Salford, a Professor of Journalism at Nottingham Trent University and a consultant for both Anglia Ruskin and Bath Spa universities. Previously he was Chief Exec of the Radio Academy (2006-10), Head of BBC Music Entertainment (1996-2000) and a producer at Radio 1 (1979-1983) and BBCTV (1983-88).

He is a director of community station Cambridge 105 and secretary of the Radio Independents Group. He has presented the weekly Radio Today podcast since 2013.

Philip Cooper - Manager, Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

Philip Cooper is a manager in the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) with responsibility for the administration of the Broadcasting Funding Scheme 'Sound & Vision 3'. Philip joined the BAI in 2007 and took over the operational management of the Scheme in 2017.

Will Jackson - MD, Radio Independents Group (RIG)

Will Jackson joined the trade body for audio-led production companies across the UK - the Radio Independents Group (RIG) - as its first Managing Director in March 2014. RIG's work includes policy and lobbying, training, and events including the annual Audio Production Awards.

Will has worked in radio for over 25 years, including production and presentation for BBC and commercial broadcasters. He's previously worked on radio licensing and policy for the industry regulator Ofcom, and managed the Highways Agency's digital radio travel news service; as well as other roles with transmission provider Arqiva, and the award-winning Prison Radio Association. He also reports on the audio sector for Radio Today and Radio World magazine's international edition.

Sarah Challis - Creative Director for User Experience, Voice UI

Sarah's team wrestles with the challenge of designing conversations for assistants like Alexa or Google Home.

From the Live Radio to Podcasts, Interactive Stories to News they design experiences which help to users engage with BBC content in new and compelling ways.

Gregory Watson - Co-creator of Folder Media/Muxco

A Chartered Accountant, Gregory has worked within corporate functions in commercial radio since 1991, initially at the Radio Authority and then at GWR Group / GCap Media with responsibility over new analogue and digital opportunities. In this capacity, Gregory was involved in the Digital One application for the national digital radio multiplex as well as the development of GWR’s local multiplex network, NOWdigital.

In 2007, recognising that a significant proportion of the radio industry was being left behind by digital advancements, Gregory created Folder Media and MuxCo with Matt Deegan to develop digital media opportunities. This has included establishing the MuxCo network of ten DAB multiplexes that provides local digital radio to over 14m across England and Wales.

Gregory has always been passionate about commercial radio broadening its horizons and developing new commercial opportunities. In 2005, he orchestrated the establishment of Children’s Radio UK Ltd, which today broadcast as Fun Kids, the UK’s only radio station dedicated for children and their parents. In 2016 he helped launch Encore Radio working with UKRD Group, and more recently Folder Media launched Upload Radio.

 

 

Sisters Are Doing it For Themselves: Successful Women on the Wireless

John Simons - Consultant

John works as a consultant for some of the biggest radio companies around the world. His huge contribution to the industry was recognised in 2004 when he won the Gold Song Programmer of the Year award.

He has been instrumental in the success of the Guardian Media Group (now owned by Global Radio) brands and as Group Programming Director for 14 years, he led the on-air development of the group's Real Radio, Real XS (Classic Rock) and Smooth Radio stations.

He has concluded two terms as a trustee of the Radio Academy, and has also chaired the Radio Festival Committee and served on the Sony Radio Academy Awards Committee as well as being a judge. He was honoured with a Fellowship of the Radio Academy in 2006.

Trish Adudu - Presenter, BBC Radio Coventry and Warwickshire

After representing England in netball and starting her broadcasting career as an assistant producer on Grandstand and Match Of The Day, Trisha Adudu now presents the BBC Coventry and Warwickshire Breakfast Show as well as working for Midlands Today and reporting on The One Show.

She has previously presented on BBC2’s Reportage, appeared on shows such as Loose Women and is also many of her ideas have been turned into TV documentaries, such as So You Think You Can Teach (Channel 5) Sports Shack (ITV2) and Child Snatchers (ITV Living).

Anna Foster - Presenter, BBC Radio 5 live

Anna Foster is a co-presenter of Drive on Radio 5 live and has reported on major stories across the UK and around the world for the last 15 years.

A multiple New York Radio Award winner, Anna has travelled to Sierra Leone to tell the story of the Ebola outbreak, reported from the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, explored the famine in South Sudan and covered terror attacks throughout Europe.

Anna has also presented BBC Radio 1's Newsbeat programme, is passionate about developing the next generation of journalists, and offers encouragement and mentoring to help increase the visibility of women in the media.

Chelsea Norris - Presenter, BBC Radio Manchester

Chelsea Norris co-presented Key 103’s Breakfast Show after stints as a newsreader on Sheffield’s Hallam FM and Manchester’s Century Radio.

During her time at the station, the show won the Sony Radio best Breakfast Show Award twice, took Gold at the New York Radio Awards and, with co-presenter Mike Toolan, was nominated for Best Presenters and Best Breakfast Show at the Sony’s and the Commercial Radio Awards. She now hosts BBC Radio Manchester’s Drivetime Show.

 

Any Questions?

Gwyneth Williams - Controller, BBC Radio 4 and Radio 4 Extra

Gwyneth Williams has been Controller of Radio 4 and 4 Extra since 2010. Before that she was Director of the World Service in English, Editor of the BBC Reith Lectures for many years and Head of BBC Radio Current Affairs.

She started her career at the BBC writing current affairs talks for the World Service and then worked at the Overseas Development Institute before returning to the BBC. She has published two books, one co-authored on Southern Africa and another on Third World political organisations.

Torin Douglas - Former BBC Media Correspondent

Torin Douglas was the BBC’s media correspondent for 24 years, working for radio and TV and online, and has reported on media issues for over 40 years. He wrote regularly for The Times, the Independent, the Economist and Campaign, and presented LBC Radio's media show, Advertising World, for five years. He was one of the founding editors of Marketing Week and the launch editor of Creative Review, and before that worked for the Independent Broadcasting Authority.

He was awarded the MBE in 2013 for services to the community in Chiswick, where he has organised a range of cultural events in aid of charities.

 

Originals Online: Is it Time for an Audio Netflix?

Sam Walker - Presenter, BBC Radio 5 live

Sam Walker is an award-wining broadcaster who has worked extensively across the BBC and commercial platforms from Key 103 and Xfm to BBC Radio London and BBC Radio Manchester. You can currently hear her on BBC Radio 5Live.

She also hosts and produces the award-winning podcast What Goes On Here, which was acquired then commissioned by Audible, featuring extraordinary real life stories of human resilience. She also hosts and produces the monthly Northern Power Women Podcast and has recently produced a podcast series for the Canadian High Commission.

She’s currently developing three new podcasts via her company What Goes On Media

Ashley Byrne - Creative Director, Made in Manchester

Ashley Byrne is Creative Director of MIM (Made in Manchester Productions) which includes the new online platform Distinct by MIM. Ashley began his career as a newspaper journalist in Doncaster editing several editions of the town’s papers before becoming a news presenter on local radio including TFM on Teesside, Lincs FM in Lincolnshire and Signal Cheshire.

He soon became a news editor and Programme Controller and in 2005 set up his own production company with Five Times World Swimming Champion James Hickman. Ashley has produced hundreds of documentaries, music, drama and comedy programmes for the BBC and other broadcasters around the world. He is also a regular presenter of Witness and Sporting Witness, the BBC World Service History programmes. Ashley presented Britain’s only regular LGBT current affairs show for seven years. He is also a Director of RIG, the trade body which represents the independent production sector throughout the UK.

Chris Warburton - BBC Radio 5 live Weekend Breakfast Presenter and Beyond Reasonable Doubt Producer

Chris Warburton broadcasts to the nation every weekend, hosting the Weekend Breakfast programme on BBC Radio 5 live. He's worked in radio for around 20 years, presenting programmes on BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio 4 and BBC local radio.

Chris has presented and reported from some of the world's biggest events, including the football World Cup in South Africa, the Rio Olympics and the US Presidential elections. He has covered major breaking news stories, such as the Paris terror attacks and the Grenfell Tower disaster. In 2017 Chris hosted the Number One True Crime podcast, Beyond Reasonable Doubt. He's currently working on a new podcast marking the 25th anniversary of Waco.

Alex Jungius - Strategic Director, This is Distorted

Alex Jungius has spent the last 17 years working at the top level of some of the biggest commercial radio stations in the UK. He started his radio career in Brighton working across the station sound for Southern FM before moving north to Galaxy.

At Galaxy, he launched the countries first network evening show producing Dave Kelly across 4 Galaxy stations in the north of England. He then moved into Station Sound and before long was heading up the Imaging for the legendary Galaxy Network, winning a few Radio Academy awards a long the way and integrating Choice London into the fold in 2009. Previous to joining Distorted, his last role in traditional radio was as Deputy Group Programme Director for the Capital Network running the 8 Capital radio stations across the UK hitting audiences of over 7 million per week. Now at Distorted, Alex is in charge of growing the company into new content areas as well as managing their audio technology services.

He has created and produced major shows, managed big personalities and won Radio Academy, Arqiva, ARIA and New York Festival awards, even being nominated for a BAFTA for his work in television and film. In a former life he also worked with Ant and Dec on ‘Friends Like These’ helping to produce the first ever series.

 

Commercial Radio in the 21st Century

Andy Crane - Radio Host

A familiar face and voice to millions, Andy Crane has been broadcasting on radio and television for more than 30 years!

He currently hosts “Andy Crane in the Morning” for Bauer Media on their Bauer City 2 network where his breakfast show can be enjoyed simultaneously on 7 stations across the north!

It all began in 1983 at Piccadilly Radio in Manchester after which he was poached by Capital Radio and made the move south.

1986 saw Andy join Children’s BBC and begin the television role in The Broom Cupboard that would quickly make him a household name.

From 2004 Andy spent six years as the senior news anchor at Channel m News in Manchester – winning the Royal Television Society award for Best Regional Presenter.

More recently he has presented weekend news bulletins for Granada Reports.

Kate Cocker - Former Content Controller, Key 103

Kate was Content Controller at Key 103 and before that was Senior Producer at Xfm Manchester where she was charged with developing on air talent, local content and breaking new music. She now runs her own business coaching presenters across the country.

David Lloyd - Consultant and Author

From LBC to Virgin, Century to Galaxy; from news talk to CHR; from AC to built speech, David is a radio executive with extensive programming, marketing, research and regulatory experience across the formats . Having waved farewell to Orion Media in the Midlands, David is now a consultant in a range of radio markets. He is also Chairman of Notts TV, a radio historian and author of 'How to Make Great Radio & 'Radio Moments'.

Gaynor Marshall - Managing Editor, Capital Yorkshire

After university, Gaynor knocked on countless doors to get her foot into the radio industry. She worked at GMG for five years as a producer for Real and Smooth. She worked as a freelancer with the BBC before making the move to Bauer to work at Metro Radio as a producer, earning a few Sony, Arquiva and New York Awards on the way.

Gaynor started her career at Global three and a half years ago as a deputy for Heart and Capital in the North East, before landing her current role after a year.

 

Meet the Commissioners

Jeremy Grange - Assistant Editor, BBC Radio Wales

Jeremy is Assistant Editor at BBC Radio Wales. He leads the station's features and comedy commissioning and is executive producer of its science and arts programmes. He's also an experienced network radio feature-maker and his programmes have won Sony Gold and Silver, a Celtic Media Award and a Prix Marulic.

Louise Kattenhorn - Commissioning Executive, BBC Radio 1 and 1Xtra

Louise is responsible for commissioning R1X Stories (documentaries), Radio 1 podcasts, and specialist music strands.

Robert Gallacher - Commissioning Editor (BBC Radio 2, 6Music and Pop Radio Networks)

A graduate of The National Broadcasting School, Robert began his BBC career in the Gramophone Library in 1985. Since then he has worked as a programme producer at BBC Radio Leeds and BBC Radio 2. He ran the BBC’s Corporate Radio Promotions unit in the early 90s, and has also spent time as a Promotions Director in BBC Television. Winner of three Radio Academy Awards and five PROMAX Awards, he now oversees Station Sound, and is Commissioning Editor, across the BBC’s Pop Radio Networks.

Steve Titherington - Senior Commissioning Editor, BBC World Service

Steve is Senior Commissioning Editor at the BBC World Service, leading on new editorial projects and creating fresh programme formats. He recently commissioned The Assassination - the first podcast-first series for the World Service. The Inquiry won best current affairs show at the British Podcast Awards and other new shows include The Big Idea, Trumped and The Food Chain – plus BBC MINUTE, a new 24/7 global news service for young listeners to pop music stations or music streaming sites around the world.

Before that Steve was Executive Editor of Global News, and Editor of the World Service and U.K. Radio Newsrooms. He was a presenter for File on 4 and has also reported from across the USA, Russia and China and many other parts of the world from Haiti to Hong Kong.

Heidi Dawson - Managing Editor, BBC Radio 5 live

Heidi has 20 years experience of live programme making at the BBC. As Managing Editor at 5 live she works closely with news, sport and indie production teams on everything from live events to podcasts, from scheduling to strategy. She is also the Chair of the BBC North Diversity Action Group.

Jackie Neill - Station Manager, BBC Radio Ulster/Foyle

 

Jackie has worked for BBC Radio Ulster in Belfast for over 30 years. Starting as a production assistant on a satirical comedy programme in 1985 she has gone on to work as a continuity announcer, researcher, presenter, reporter and radio producer locally and for BBC Radio 2 & 5Live. She is currently the Station Manager for BBC Radio Ulster working on commissioning and scheduling for the station from in-house and independent producers. Jackie is also the Exec Producer for BBC Radio Ulster's comedy output and most of the music commissions from independent radio production companies.

Philip Cooper - Manager, Broadcasting Authority of Ireland

Philip Cooper is a manager in the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI) with responsibility for the administration of the Broadcasting Funding Scheme 'Sound & Vision 3'. Philip joined the BAI in 2007 and took over the operational management of the Scheme in 2017.

John Leagas - Executive Producer, CBeebies Radio

John Leagas is passionate about giving children a voice and his team travel the country to represent the lives of children and their families living in the UK today.

John is a highly experienced radio and audio producer currently specialising in pre-school audio for CBeebies Radio. His radio career began working at BBC Birmingham before moving to BBC Radio 4 in London where he produced many Radio 4 flagship programmes. His interest in children’s audio began when producing BBC Radio 4’s “Go4it! ” and later as a Senior Producer on The Big Toe Radio Show – a live daily magazine show for children on BBC Radio 7 (Now 4Extra) before joining BBC Children’s and helping launch CBeebies Radio.

 

What’s So Funny About Peace, Love and Derry Girls?

Jackie Neill - Station Manager, BBC Radio Ulster/Foyle

 

Jackie has worked for BBC Radio Ulster in Belfast for over 30 years. Starting as a production assistant on a satirical comedy programme in 1985 she has gone on to work as a continuity announcer, researcher, presenter, reporter and radio producer locally and for BBC Radio 2 & 5Live. She is currently the Station Manager for BBC Radio Ulster working on commissioning and scheduling for the station from in-house and independent producers. Jackie is also the Exec Producer for BBC Radio Ulster's comedy output and most of the music commissions from independent radio production companies.

Jackie Hamilton - Owner, Moondog Productions

Jackie is a former BBC TV and radio producer who now owns Moondog Productions. Amongst other new development comedy programmes for BBC NI and RTE, he is producer of The Blame Game, a long running satirical panel show on TV and Radio in Northern Ireland. He also has run the Empire Comedy Club, Northern Ireland’s longest running stand-up comedy club which launched Patrick Kielty’s career 25 year ago.

Diona Doherty - Radio and TV Comedy Actor

Diona Doherty is an experienced radio comedy actor and recently played Katya, the girl from Chernobyl, in the Channel 4 hit series Derry Girls. She is in the new BBC NI TV comedy Soft Border patrol and has appeared in shows like A Perforated Ulster and Give My Head Peace.

 

Sound Science

Mike Hally - Co-founder, Square Dog production company

Mike Hally has been an independent radio producer for over a quarter of a century, making a variety of features and documentaries across current affairs, history, arts and in particular science and technology, where he draws on his earlier 17-year career in the aerospace industry. He is co founder of the Scottish based production company Square Dog and is currently studying for a PhD in history.

He aims in his programmes to engage and entertain, without over-simplifying the science of patronising the non-specialist listener. He lived and worked in Lancashire for three decades, and returned to his native Scotland a dozen years ago.

Dr Hermione Cockburn - Scientific Director, Dynamic Earth

Dr Hermione Cockburn has over 20 years’ experience in science engagement and is currently the Scientific Director at Dynamic Earth in Edinburgh, the UK’s only science centre dedicated to the story of our planet. For BBC Radio 4 she has presented award winning documentaries on subjects ranging from lead pollution and lasers to a series on bacteria. Her television presenting credits include the BBC series Coast, Rough Science,and Fossil Detectives for which she wrote an accompanying book.

She taught environmental science for the Open University for ten years and has worked extensively in Africa, Australia and Antarctica researching landscape evolution. She is passionate about engaging diverse audiences with science and, in particular, inspiring people with stories about the Earth.