A rollercoaster of a night is how some people were describing the O2 Media Awards in Blackpool (Thursday, Nov 3).
Emotions were high as finalists joined stars from TV and sport to find out who was going home with the trophies.
Yet again, it was The Cumberland News who was crowned as the North West’s best newspaper.
The impressive team also saw reporter Sarah Newstead win the title of Feature Writer of the Year for the second year running and Jon Colman was named the region’s top sports reporter.
Other big winners were the Liverpool Post and Echo, Granada Reports and the Lancashire Evening Post which was named best daily newspaper.
There was success for Manchester Evening News business writer Adam Jupp while the Key 103 newsroom and Rock FM’s Janine Bolton were also celebrating after landing the Team of the Year and Radio Broadcaster of the Year crowns.
Bolton News reporter Miranda Newey topped the poll for young daily journalists while the Southport Champion pipped its bigger rivals for the Scoop of the Year award for its story on a grandmother slipping into icy Norwegian seas while being lifted off a cruise ship.
An Outstanding Contribution Award went to former North West Tonight anchor man Gordon Burns. The award was presented by Gee Walker, mother of Anthony Walker, the teenager murdered by race hate thugs in Liverpool six years ago. In his final North West Tonight show Burns commented how Mrs Walker had been one of the most inspirational people he’d interviewed in his career.
Around 200 guests were at the bash including celebrities from Coronation Street, Heartbeat and Shameless. Olympic hopeful Beth Tweddle and Wigan Warriors’ skipper Sean O’Loughlin also joined the VIP line up.
Deborah Parkinson, wife of former professional football star Gary Parkinson, who remains paralysed with Locked In Syndrome after suffering a massive stroke last year, also presented an award with Gary’s son Luke. They thanked the region’s journalists for increasing awareness of stroke victims.
And Michael Brown, father of Clare Wood, the young Salford mum murdered in Greater Manchester by her partner, added his praise for the journalists who had helped his campaign to change laws relating to domestic violence.
-/- Photos from the evening are now available here -/-