Inagural award in memory of Rachael Bland

JOURNALISTS from across the North West paid a moving tribute to ‘inspirational’ BBC presenter Rachael Bland at last night’s O2 Media Awards North West.

More than 250 colleagues from print and broadcast organisations welcomed Rachael’s husband Steve as he announced the winner of the inaugural Rachael Bland Social Media Award.

Bland, who died from breast cancer in September, won an O2 in 2017 for her blog Big C Little Me and her work on the BBC Radio Five Life Podcast You, Me and the Big C in which she chronicled her journey of living with cancer. Her words and videos helped thousands going through similar treatments cope. The award was presented to Sarah Hodgson of the Daily Post.

“We are honoured to keep Rachael’s spirit alive through the O2 Awards. She was an inspiration to so many people,” said Nicola Green, Director of Corporate Affairs at O2.

The audience also gave a standing ovation to VIP guest and Britain’s Best Volunteer Peggy Maskery from Merseyside. Peggy, aged 97, has spent 81 years helping the homeless at the Charles Thompson Mission in Birkenhead. She presented the O2 Award for Best Community Publication to the Cumberland and Westmorland Herald.

Other print winners included the Blackpool Gazette, which was crowned Daily Newspaper of the Year by TV presenter and Strictly Come Dancing winner Ore Oduba. The paper was praised for its exemplary content and design.

The Liverpool Echo walked away with four O2 Awards including Best Weekly Newspaper for the Echo on Sunday and Best Editorial Print Team.

There was joy too for The Sentinel, Stoke who picked up three awards, including Most Memorable Print Story.

In the broadcast categories ITV Granada Reports celebrated wins including Best News Programme and Best Broadcast Team and there was a special O2 Stand Out award for Lucy Meacock to mark her 30 years as Granada’s main female presenter.

BBC North West Tonight anchor Roger Johnson was named Broadcast Presenter of 2018, and there was success too for North West Tonight in the Sports Programme of the Year with their entry Race and Pace.

Independent production company Blakeway North picked up a brace of awards for their programmes Nikki Lilly meets the PM and Manchester Bomb: Our Story. Manchester actress Sally Lindsay celebrated with her colleagues at Saffron Cherry Productions after they won the Best TV Entertainment Programme for their documentary on suffragette Emiline Pankhurst.

Global Radio’s Newsroom North West’s moving documentary on Still Birth saw the station pick up its first award of the night for Community Journalism. Global’s Chris Chambers added a second when he was named Radio Journalist of the Year by Britain’s Got Talent finalists the D-Day Darlings.

BBC Breakfast’s Louise Minchin hosted the presentation evening at Chester Racecourse.

The O2 Media Awards North West 2018 winners are below and their pictures are uploaded here:

Rachael Bland Social Media Award

  • Sarah Hodgson – Daily Post

Highly Commended

  • Nicola Adam – Lancashire Post
  • Victoria Glover – Hits Radio
  • Barbara Jordan – Runcorn and Widnes World

O2 Stand Out Awards

  • Lucy Meacock – ITV Granada Reports
  • Ray Liddy – Tameside Reporter

Community Campaign

  • Westmorland Gazette

O2 Emerging Talent

  • Tom Burnett – The Sentinel
  • Lise McNally – ITV Granada Reports

Highly Commended

  • Emilia Bona – Liverpool Echo
  • Connor Dunn – Liverpool Echo

News Reporter

  • Neal Keeling – Manchester Evening News

Highly Commended

  • Matt O’Donoghue – ITV Granada Reports
  • Kelly Williams – Daily Post
  • Mari Jones – Daily Post
  • Kate West – BBC Radio Manchester

Best Writer

  • Roger Lytollis – Cumberland News

Highly Commended

  • Paddy Shennan – Liverpool Echo
  • Rachael Oakden – Taste Cumbria
  • Jamie McLoughlin – Liverpool Echo

TV Entertainment Programme

  • The Making of a Militant – Saffron Cherry Productions

Highly Commended

  • The Big Quiz – ITV Studios
  • Tanya’s Extreme Therapies – Monkey Kingdom

Radio Entertainment Programme

  • Jimmy & Eamonn – BBC Radio Manchester

News Programme

  • ITV Granada Reports – Rail Special

Highly Commended

  • BBC North West Tonight – Manchester Bomb Anniversary
  • BBC Radio Five Live – Manchester Survivors’ Choir

Factual Programme

  • Manchester Bomb: Our Story – Blakeway North

Highly Commended

  • The Making of a Militant – Saffron Cherry Productions
  • Women at War – 100 Years of Service – BBC Studios
  • Second Chance Sex Offenders – Blakeway North
  • Sex Map of Britain – BBC Studios

Sports Programme

  • BBC North West Tonight – Race & Pace

Highly Commended

  • ITV Granada Reports – Munich
  • BBC Radio Lancashire – My Dad and Munich

On-Line Journalism

  • Warrington Guardian

Highly Commended

  • Lancashire Post
  • ITV Granada Reports

Team (Broadcast)

  • ITV Granada Reports

Highly Commended

  • CFM News
  • Global’s Newsroom North West
  • Radio City

Team (Print)

  • Liverpool Echo

Highly Commended

  • Local Communications
  • The Sentinel
  • Warrington Guardian

Radio Programme

  • Radio City – Remembering Rhys

Highly Commended

  • Radio City – Mental Health Marathon
  • BBC Radio Lancashire – Goodbye Gentleman Jim
  • BBC Radio Five Live – Pupils’ Referral Unit
  • BBC Radio Manchester – Manchester’s Radical Gay History

Specialist Publication

  • Taste Cumbria – Newsquest Cumbria

Highly Commended

  • Altrincham Today
  • Cumbria Magazine – Country Publications
  • Jimmy Armfield Tribute – The Gazette, Blackpool

TV Journalist

  • Matt O’Donoghue – ITV Granada Reports

Highly Commended

  • Dave Guest – BBC North West Tonight
  • Paul Faulkner – That’s Lancashire
  • Amy Welch – ITV Granada Reports

Sports Journalist (Broadcast)

  • Chris Hall – ITV Granada Reports

Highly Commended

  • Chris Chambers – Global’s Newsroom North West
  • Stuart Pollitt – BBC North West Tonight

Sports Journalist (Print)

  • Jon Colman – News & Star

Highly Commended

  • Tyrone Marshall – Lancashire Telegraph
  • Matt Scrafton – The Gazette, Blackpool
  • Andrew Simpson – Northwich Guardian

 Radio Journalist

  • Chris Chambers – Global’s Newsroom North West

Highly Commended

  • Amy Scarisbrick – Hits Radio
  • Kate West – BBC Radio Manchester

Daily Newspaper

  • The Gazette, Blackpool

Highly Commended

  • Daily Post
  • The Mail, Barrow

Most Memorable (Broadcast)

  • Nikki Meets PM – Blakeway North

Most Memorable (Print)

  • Ryan Evans tragedy – The Sentinel

 Highly Commended

  • Riverdance – The Gazette, Blackpool
  • Trains Poem – BBC Radio Lancashire
  • Up ‘ere – BBC North West Tonight

 Community Publication

  • Cumberland and Westmorland Herald

Highly Commended

  • Stalybridge Correspondent
  • Asian Image
  • Tameside Reporter

 Young Journalist (Print)

  • Emilia  Bona – Liverpool Echo

Highly Commended

  • Tom Earnshaw – Lancashire Post
  • Kate McMullin – Liverpool Echo
  • Lydia Morris – Daily Post

Young Journalist (Broadcast)

  • Mike Stevens – BBC Radio Lancashire

Highly Commended

  • Amani Khan – ITV Granada Reports


  • Colin Lane – Liverpool Echo

Highly Commended

  • Steve Bould – The Sentinel

 Video Journalist

  • Dave Guest – BBC North West Tonight

 Moving Images

  • Martin Brough – The Sentinel

Highly Commended

  • Simon Higginbottom – ITV Granada Reports

Community Journalism (Broadcast)

  • Global’s Newsroom North West – Still Birth

Highly Commended

  • BBC Radio Lancashire – Defibrillators
  • BBC North West Tonight – Tatton Garden
  • Radio City – Mental Health Marathon

Weekly Newspaper

  • Sunday Echo

Highly Commended

  • Cumberland News
  • Tameside Reporter
  • Westmorland Gazette

Broadcast Presenter

  • Roger Johnson – BBC North West Tonight

Highly Commended

  • Mike Hall – ITV Granada Reports
  • Tony Morris – ITV Granada Reports
  • Annabel Tiffin – BBC North West Tonight



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:

About O2

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 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 19 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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