Charles Parker Prize – Previous Winners

Winners in 2013

FOUR METAL PLATES – Hana Walker-Brown (Goldsmiths College, London)
What happens when a night out goes very wrong.  The judges said of this programme: “A great subject, a classily told story of a fight and its consequences; it featured a very strong speaker and well deployed techniques that rivet the attention.  Simply, graphically structured.  Outstanding.”

5-7-5 – Flora Neve (Goldsmiths College, London)
“Immediately engaging, bold, allowing listener to come into the story, a very clever matching of style and subject. A really well executed piece with a stunningly achieved aural climax. A piece about silence and tranquillity and flight from noise, cleverly wrapped in a love of haiku.”

SPEAKING OUT ABOUT DISABILITY HATE CRIME – Joanne Feather (University College, Falmouth)
A feature which introduces views and voices we rarely hear on mainstream radio.  “A strong, stark, shocking story, very well constructed and including very strong interviews in a really ambitious short feature. It shows terrific spirit.”

Winners in 2012

WARD 13 – James Ewing (Bournemouth University)
This was a remarkable and highly polished programme about the mortuary at Leeds General Infirmary which one judge described as “amazing voices, nicely woven, great characters with some very original observations which only radio could give with a nicely timed twist of sentiments at the end to evoke the spirit of Parker.”

HELLO, I’M HALF-CASTE – Rhianne Boland (University of Westminster)
Rhianne’s highly creative feature was based around John Agard’s famous poem Hello, I’m Half-Caste combining an interview with the poet and people’s experiences of the being called Half-Caste.

KEEPING AN OPEN MIND – Michael Umney (Goldsmith’s College)
This was a controversial feature which explored ‘self-trepanning’ – the idea that drilling a hole into your skull could bring on a permanent ‘high’.

Winners in 2011

WINTER SWIMMING – Mair Bosworth (Bournemouth University)
The judges praised this short programme as “a beautifully crafted feature, seamlessly edited and mixed which operated at many levels…” “…a work of art with wonderful use of atmospheric sound, with excellent, revealing interviews…” “…well recorded witness with vibrant, well-caught actuality.” The piece illustrated “not only the poetry and depth of individual memories but the economic and social experience of a time and a real sense of place…”. “This is a really professional piece of work, mature and well-judged…”.

LIGHTNESS – Daniel Eycott (Canterbury Christ Church University)
The judges thought this a powerful piece about a car crash and they praised its “excellent sense of dramatic tension fuelled by judicious use of unexpected detail which carried the feature through to a nail-biting cinematic conclusion.” “I felt I knew and really cared what happened to the young people in the crash,” and “it stayed with you for a long time afterwards”.

COMPULSION TO ALCOHOL: ANDREW’S STORY – Cheryl Johnson (University of Sunderland)
This was, according to the judges, a “pacy and revealing feature about one man’s battle against alcoholism supported by strong additional interviews, very well-edited with a positive twist to the story which engages the listener’s sympathy.”

Winners in 2010

MEMORIES OF A MARRIAGE – Edwina Pitman (Goldsmith’s College)
A beautifully nuanced portrait of a relationship breaking down as the result of alcohol abuse.

A DECENT MAN – Adem Waterman (University of Sunderland)
A portrait of long-term unemployment combining personal testimony and angry poetry.
INSOMNIA – Danielle Wilmot (Sussex University)
An experimental feature which explored sleepless nights.

The Competition did not run in 2009 but in 2010 three prizes – Gold, Silver and Bronze were introduced and the competition was also open to entries from both years.

2008: A LONG COMMUTE – Matthew Rogers (University College Falmouth)
Judges were united in their praise of this sensitive and sophisticated programme, which told the story of immigrant land-workers from Eastern Europe and their lives in the UK, saying ‘touching stories, beautifully translated’, ‘a snapshot of lives we over-report but don’t really know’.  Listen to the prizegiving

2007: LIEUTENANT PIGEON – Katie Burningham (Goldsmith’s College, London)
A five minute documentary on the ‘Save the Trafalgar Square Pigeons’, a campaign group formed in 2000 to challenge the ban on feeding pigeons in the Square.  It centres primarily upon the figure of a ex-soldier and homeless man called Tony, aka Lieutenant Pigeon.  Katie said ‘I was thrilled that a piece about more esoteric members of society was recognised by the judges.  Winning this award was the best way of giving my thanks to the people who spared their time to take part in the feature.’  Katie won a Sony Gold Award in 2011 for her feature ‘Heel, Toe, Step Together’.

2006: FAMILY TIES – Ruth-Anne Lynch (University of Sunderland)
Ruth-Anne’s feature chronicled her return to her family home in Guyana, and the illness of her father.  The Chair of the Judging Panel, Simon Elmes, said, “The voices and personalities were strong and arresting – it was quite literally a slice of life, moving and amusing.  The complete freshness of the programme and its sheer zest were what took my imagination.”

2005: INSIDE OUT – Mark Williams (Goldsmith’s College, London)
The first award winner Mark Williams was a first year student on the Communications and Media degree course at Goldsmiths College, University of London.  Mark discovered radio while serving a sentence at Wandsworth Prison. is an audio diary of his last hours before release, and his first minutes as a free man.  It chronicles his emotions as he awaits his moment of freedom, the euphoria which follows it and the mixed feelings on encountering the outside world again.

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