Critics' Awards 1999 - Radio: Ambridge: an anomaly among farming communities
Worst Promotional Gimmick Sent To Critics In The Ludicrous Hope That It Would Generate Positive Criticism In Spite Of The Quality Or Rather Lack Of Same Of The Programme Being So Publicised: A jar of Dolmio Pasta Sauce, to go with Classic FM's evening of The Nice Bits from Puccini operas.
Most Glaring Missed Opportunities: This year, in The Archers, no one has topped themselves or had an extra-marital affair, making Ambridge the most anomalous farming community in the recorded history of the world.
Most Irritating Archers Character: The judge is torn between Sid Perks and Jack Woolley. And Elizabeth. Ruth's pretty awful, too. As for the vicar, and the children ... Who's the worst? I don't know. Kill them all, let God sort them out.
Commissioning Editor One Would Most Like To Sleep With Fishes: The person responsible for the incredibly stupid Radio 4 quiz shows; you know, the one with lawyers, the one about antiques, the one about businesses. Only three quiz shows should be allowed: Brain of Britain, I'm Sorry, I Haven't a Clue, and The News Quiz. The last two have largely and indeed frequently interchangeable panellists but as they are all funny this is not a problem, rather the reverse.
Best Disc Jockeys on Radio 1 Between 2 and 4 in the Afternoon, Weekdays: Has to be Mark and Lard. I mean, where's the competition? Nowhere.
Most Intentionally Comic Series: The Very World of Milton Jones. It just got funnier and funnier. Runner-up: The Sunday Format. Cannot praise specific moments as programme took the wizz out of Sunday newspapers.
Best Station Overall: Has to be Radio 3, not that there are all that many contenders. Radio 4 has stayed about the same, the improvements cancelled out by, for example, yet another series of No Commitments; Radio1 similarly, although it would be nice if they gave Annie Nightingale a fairer crack of the whip, or stopped John Peel from appearing on any other station. Radio 2 more or less excludes itself from any award by the nature of its programming, which is horribly unfair, I know. Radio 5 is fine as far as its brief goes, but always gets patronising little pats from other sources so will not get one here. Talk Radio is, under the cynical and depraved Kelvin MacKenzie, even worse than it once was, as its many ex- listeners have noticed. But Radio 3 wins because of the successful turnaround in its fortunes since the departure of Nicholas Kenyon, who really seemed to be on a mission to end the discussion and transmission of serious culture in this country. This might have been an agenda forced on him from above but I don't really care.
All the little changes made over the last year have been good ones, making it both more intelligent and accessible at the same time, which hardly seems possible but there you go. There are one or two presenters who make me feel as if I should not be listening to them in jeans but you can't have everything.
1991 The Gang That Fell Apart (R3)
1992 Knowing me, Knowing You (R4)
1993 It is With Very Great Regret (R4)
1994 Memory Lost (R4)
1995 Fairest Isle (R3)
1996 Leslie Forbes (R4)
1997 Spoonface Steinberg (R4)
1998 John Evans (R3)
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Ray Davies' Sunny Afternoon scoops the most awardsTheatre
Grace DentChannel 4 show proves there's no app for happiness
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 18th century sex toy found in 'toilet of sword fighting school' in Poland
- 4 'I wish my teacher knew...': Young students share their 'heartbreaking' worries in notes
- 5 Rebecca Francis accuses Ricky Gervais of using 'influence' to target female hunters after receiving barrage of death threats
Better Call Saul creator Peter Gould on the creative concerns of a prequel, season 2 and the mind-numbing realities of the small courts
Britain's Got Talent 2015: RSPCA investigating Marc Metral's miming dog after cruelty complaints
Star Wars 7: The Force Awakens trailer: The most extreme fan reactions on Twitter
The Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer has leaked – watch
Madonna might be a stand-up comedy virgin - but she wasn't terrible
The only black face in the Ukip manifesto is on the page about overseas aid
Ukip is the only main political party to not address LGBT rights in its manifesto
If I’m being racially abused I don’t need a white stranger with a saviour complex to rescue me
BBC election debate: The one photo that summed up the whole 90-minute leaders debate
Religion isn't growing, it is becoming vigorous in its demise, says philosopher AC Grayling
Russian warships in English Channel 'to conduct anti-aircraft and anti-submarine military drills'