Reach and ITV also celebrate big wins at North West event

A journalist who suffered “catastrophic” brain injuries in an unprovoked street attack, but fought back to return to the job he calls “his passion” was given a standing ovation by guests at this year’s O2 Media Awards North West.

Sports writer Gary Carter, was in a coma for six weeks after being punched to the ground in London where he was covering an England rugby league international in 2015. He spent four years in rehabilitation, learning how to walk and talk again, before joining the editorial team at Local Communications Limited, publishers of the Saddleworth Independent, to rediscover his writing and interview skills.

Carter, who began his career on the Tameside Reporter before stints at the Lancashire Telegraph, Manchester Evening News and The Sun, was awarded an O2 Stand Out Award for his courage and determination.

An O2 Stand Out also went to Liverpool-born broadcaster Eddie Hemmings to mark his 30 plus years in the industry with the BBC and Sky Sports. Hemmings, who stepped down as the voice of Rugby League earlier this year received tributes from former colleagues Harry Gration of Look North and Sky Sports’ Jeff Stelling and Martin Tyler as well as a host of former star players.

More than 300 journalists and media professionals from the North West attended the event at the AJ Bell Stadium in Manchester.

Big winners on the night were the Liverpool Echo who won five award categories including Daily Newspaper and On-Line. Echo political editor Liam Thorp beat more than 50 news reporters from across the region to be crowned News Reporter of the year. ITV Granada Reports also took home five awards including an O2 for presenter Tony Morris and another for News Programme of the Year.

ITV’s long running programme UP – which in 1964 began to document the lives of children aged seven, all the way through to them turning 63, won two O2s – Best Factual Programme and Team.

Manchester Evening News chief reporter Neal Keeling was honoured with the Best Writer award, while newsroom colleague Sam Yarwood was named as this year’s recipient of the Rachael Bland Blogger/Vlogger Award.

Radio City and Global’s Newsroom North West both picked up two O2s. Radio City’s Paul Doward was named Radio Journalist of the Year while Global won Best Radio Programme with their investigation into knife crime and its effect on families.

During the evening, hosted by BBC Breakfast’s Louise Minchin and Dave Massey, O2’s Senior Corporate Communications Manager, tributes were also paid to print and broadcast journalists and well know figures from the regional media who had passed away in the last 12 months.

“The O2s showcase excellence in news, sport, entertainment, social and community media and applaud the growth of creative industries in the North West. This year’s entries once again highlighted the impact the media has on our communities,” said Nicola Green, Director of Corporate Affairs at O2.

Guests included Paralympic swimming gold medallist and world recorder holder Stephanie Slater, six-times Special Olympics cycling gold medallist Kiera Byland and armchair TV critics The Malone family from Channel 4’s Gogglebox, together with members of the community who had featured in the region’s media coverage through the year.


The O2 Media Awards North West 2019 winners

Flickr album

O2 Emerging Talent

  • Stacey Copeland – ITV Granada Reports

Highly Commended

  • Kerry Parvin – BBC North West Tonight
  • Josh Stokes – ITV Granada Reports
Video Journalism

  • Global’s Newsroom North West

Highly Commended

  • Vincent Cole – Manchester Evening News
  • Dave Guest – BBC North West Tonight
Community Newspaper

  • Tameside Reporter

Highly Commended

  • Saddleworth Independent
  • Whitehaven News
Entertainment Programme

  • BBC Factual, Salford – Watchdog Live

Highly Commended

  • BBC Factual, Salford – Home Front Heroes
  • Blakeway North – Greatest Chocolate Adverts
  • Radio City Talk – Dad’s Hour
  • True North – Teen Mom UK
Writer (Two awards)

  • Neal Keeling – Manchester Evening News
  • Jimmy McGovern & Gillian Juckes – LA Productions

Highly Commended

  • Paddy Shennan – Liverpool Echo
  • Rob Smith – ITV Granada Reports
  • Helen Johnson – Manchester Evening News
  • Roger Lytollis – The Cumberland News
News Reporter

  • Liam Thorp – Liverpool Echo

Highly Commended

  • Amy Fenton – The Mail
  • Mari Jones – Daily Post
  • Matt O’Donoghue – ITV Granada Reports
  • Liam Thorp – Liverpool Echo
Most Memorable

  • Liverpool Echo – Six Stone Man

Highly Commended

  • BBC Radio Lancashire – Seagull Rescue
  • ITV Granada Reports – Ricky Hatton
News Programme

  • ITV Granada Reports – Suicide Special

Highly Commended

  • BBC North West Tonight – Police Special
  • Global’s Newsroom North West – Life After Murder
  • ITV Granada Reports – Homelessness
  • ITV Granada Reports – Stalking

  • Blakeway North – ‘My Life, I Will Survive’

Highly Commended

  • BBC Factual, Salford – Sex Map of Britain
  • Blakeway North – The Foreign Doctors Are Coming
  • Title Role Productions – Paedophile Hunters
Sports Programme

  • BBC North West Tonight – The Kennedy Who Changed The World

Highly Commended

  • BBC Radio Manchester – Bolton/Bury Special
  • Global’s Newsroom North West – Champions League Final
  • ITV Granada Reports – Aintree
Radio Programme

  • Global’s Newsroom North West – Life After Murder

Highly Commended

  • Cheshire Live – ‘No Really, I’m Fine’
  • Global’s Newsroom North West – Right To Die
  • Radio City – Lost Childhoods

  • Cumbria Life – Newsquest Cumbria

Highly Commended

  • Carlisle Living – Newsquest Cumbria
  • Cheshire Living – Newsquest Cheshire
  • Cumbria Magazine – Dalesman Publishing Ltd.
Specialist Publication

  • Inspiring Lancashire – Lancashire Post

Highly Commended

  • Business Post – Liverpool Echo
  • Farmer – Newsquest Cumbria
  • Lancashire Business View
TV Journalist

  • Abbie Jones – BBC North West Tonight

Highly Commended

  • Dave Guest – BBC North West Tonight
  • Hannah Miller – ITV Granada Reports
  • Matt O’Donoghue – ITV Granada Reports
  • Amy Welch – ITV Granada Reports
Young Journalist (Broadcast)

  • Layla Wright – Radio City & BBC Radio 4

Highly Commended

  • Charanpreet Khaira – ITV Granada Reports
  • Kerry Parvin – BBC North West Tonight
  • Mike Stevens – BBC Radio Lancashire
Young Journalist (Print)

  • Stephen Topping – Northwich Guardian

Highly Commended

  • Emilia Bona – Liverpool Echo
  • Isobel Cotogni – Warrington Guardian
  • Catherine Murphy – Liverpool Echo
Sports Journalist (Two Awards)

  • Chris Hall – ITV Granada Reports
  • Matt Scrafton – The Blackpool Gazette

Highly Commended

  • Jon Colman – News & Star/Cumberland News
  • Tom Evans – Liverpool Echo
  • Matt Jones – Radio City
Drama/Factual Drama

  • LA Productions – Care

Highly Commended

  • LA Productions – Clink
  • LA Productions – Moving On
Daily Newspaper

  • Liverpool Echo

Highly Commended

  • The Blackpool Gazette
  • Lancashire Post
  • The Sentinel

  • James Maloney – Liverpool Echo

Highly Commended

  • Steve Bould – The Sentinel
  • Vincent Cole – Manchester Evening News
  • Colin Lane – Liverpool Echo
  • Stuart Walker – News & Star/Cumberland News
On-Line Media

  • Liverpool Echo Live Newsroom

Highly Commended

  • BBC North West Digital Team
  • North Wales Live
Community Award

  • The Sentinel – The Way We Were

Highly Commended

  • Cheshire Live – Cervical Cancer Campaign
  • Chorley Guardian – Project Feed Chorley
  • Hits Radio – Fill Food Banks
Broadcast Presenter

  • Tony Morris – ITV Granada Reports

Highly Commended

  • Mick Coyle – Radio City
  • Roger Johnson – BBC North West Tonight
  • Graham Liver – BBC Radio Lancashire
Rachael Bland Vlogger/Blogger Award

  • Samantha Yarwood – Manchester Evening News

Highly Commended

  • Nicola Adam – JPI Media
  • Sarah Hodgson & Owen Evans – Daily Post
  • Bethan Shufflebotham – The Sentinel

  • Jenny Amphlett – The Sentinel

Highly Commended

  • Nicola Adam – Lancashire Post
  • Mike Hill – Lancashire Post
  • Sue Lee – Liverpool Echo
Weekly Newspaper

  • Westmorland Gazette

Highly Commended

  • The Cumberland News
  • Manchester Evening News On Sunday
  • Northwich Guardian
Factual Programme

  • ITV Studios – 63 UP

Highly Commended

  • BBC North West Tonight – The Church That Changed
  • Blakeway North – Who Needs A Man When You’ve Got A Spray Tan?
  • Title Role Productions – All Inclusive – Is It Worth It?
Team of the Year

  • ITV Studios – 63 UP

Highly Commended

  • Liverpool Echo – Champions League
  • The Sentinel – Commercial Editorial
Radio Journalist

  • Paul Doward – Radio City

Highly Commended

  • Andy Bell – BBC Radio Manchester
  • Mike Gaffney – Global’s Newsroom North West
  • Eloise Linford – Hits Radio
  • Mike Stevens – BBC Radio Lancashire

For more information, contact

Mark Rossiter

Rossiter Media Limited

+44 (0)1829 741371

O2 Press Office contacts

t +44 (0)1753565656


All O2 news releases can be accessed at our website:

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O2 is a mobile network operator and the principal commercial brand of Telefónica UK Limited, which is part of the global telecommunications group Telefónica S.A, headquartered in Spain and operating in Europe, and North, Central and South America.

O2 was awarded Best Network Coverage in 2018 and 2019 by uSwitch and with over 32 million connections to the network, it runs 2G, 3G and 4G services across the UK, as well as operating its nationwide O2 Wifi service.

The company is the network of choice for mobile virtual network operators such as giffgaff, Sky Mobile and Lyca Mobile as well as managing a 50:50 joint venture with Tesco for Tesco Mobile.

O2 has around 6,700 employees and over 450 retail stores and sponsors England Rugby, The O2 and 20 O2 Academy music venues across the UK. Through a comprehensive sustainability strategy O2 is also creating work experience opportunities for 16-24 year olds via its GoThinkBig platform, enabling customers to reduce their impact on the environment by recycling their old devices through O2 Recycle and, in partnership with the NSPCC, helping parents to keep their children safe online.

O2 is the only mobile operator in the 2018 Social Mobility Employer Index and was named as one of the best places to work in the 2018 Glassdoor Employee’s Choice Award.

Telefónica UK Limited is registered in England and Wales. Registration number: 1743099.  Its registered office is at: 260 Bath Road, Slough, Berkshire, SL1 4DX, United Kingdom.

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