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)
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 As an ex prostitute, I urge all the political parties to commit to the Sex Buyer Law
- 2 Nokia no more: Microsoft drops once-ubiquitous mobile name – in favour of its Lumia brand
- 3 Renee Zellweger on plastic surgery: 'I'm living a fulfilling life and I'm thrilled that perhaps it shows'
- 4 Australian café owner sparks debate after saying 'No' to having unruly children on premises
- 5 Couple die within 28 hours of each other after being married for 73 years
Goodfellas star Frank Sivero sues for $250m over Simpsons character
American Horror Story season 4, Fox - TV review: Silly, sensational and sensitive
Breaking Bad season 6 hoax: Vince Gilligan has not confirmed a new series
MOBO awards 2014: Sam Smith sweeps the board with four gongs
The Apprentice, episode 3 - review: Lord Sugar hacks away at the deadwood with another double elimination
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella
Support for EU membership 'at highest level since 1991' with most Brits wanting to stay 'in'
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'