Who are radio's hottest new talents? Meet Beryl Renwick and Betty Smith (combined age: 176)

Forget talk shows – natter is where it's at. Adam Sherwin tunes in to the BBC Humberside double act that took the industry's top gong

Beryl and Betty do not deliver stereotypical DJ one-liners. Nor are they hip young things waxing lyrical about the latest chart sensation. When these ladies get chatty on the mic, their cackling banter veers from memories of wartime rationing to lustful thoughts about Michael Bublé.

Last night, Beryl Renwick, 86, and Betty Smith, 90, became the oldest winners of a Sony Radio Academy gold award, beating the BBC 6 Music duo Adam & Joe and the comedian Frank Skinner to the prize. They were the surprise winners at the UK "radio Oscars" when their cult show on BBC Humberside claimed the Best Entertainment Programme prize, previously awarded to Chris Evans and the scandalous Russell Brand.

Their break came after David Reeves, a BBC producer, overheard their chirpy chat when they joined a tour of the Hull studios six years ago. Searching for a different voice for the Humberside station, he offered them their own show.

Their weekly 6pm Saturday programme now has an audience of 20,000 but the DJs pay little heed to radio convention. They cheerfully talk over jingles and offer teasing opinions on the contemporary pop they are required to play (Madonna has "two left legs", Betty recently observed).

The conversation frequently turns to the sex appeal of younger men – in particular the Canadian crooner Bublé. Beryl disclosed on air: "If he was in the studio now, I'd put me arms round him and give him a squeeze, I'll tell you."

But Beryl and Betty, who co-present with Reeves, are also encouraged to give an insight into Humberside's history. A recent conversation reminisced about the price of sugar during the Second World War. Asked about their trip to the Grosvenor House hotel in London for last night's glamorous ceremony, hosted by Chris Evans and featuring live performances by Jessie J and Gary Barlow, Betty said: "It's quite a do, isn't it?"

The judges praised "a joyous, entertaining double act" who "give a voice to a sector of society unrepresented on radio". Their mix of music and cheeky humour is a hit with children as well as adults and is set to find a national audience through the BBC iPlayer. Beryl said the show's success was because "there's nothing else like it on the radio, anywhere: two ladies, talking. And we do talk about everything".

The grey power theme at this year's Sonys continued with Nicholas Parsons, 88, who has hosted Radio 4's panel show Just A Minute since 1967, receiving the lifetime achievement award.

BBC 6 Music, the digital station threatened with closure under cost-saving plans, celebrated a spectacular turnaround after winning the top prize, for UK Station of the Year.

The Best Comedy award went to the Radio 4 series, Mark Steel's In Town, in which the Independent columnist visits communities across Britain and creates a show for a local audience.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
Anthony Hopkins in Westworld

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Rock and role: Jamie Bell's character Benjamin Grimm is transformed into 'Thing' in the film adaptation of Marvel Comics' 'Fantastic Four'
film review
Arts and Entertainment
Katie Hopkins veered between sycophancy and insult in her new chat show
TV review
Arts and Entertainment

books
Arts and Entertainment
In his role as Hamlet, Benedict Cumberbatch will have to learn, and repeat night after night, around 1,480 lines

Theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Belgian sexologist Goedele Liekens with pupils at Hollins Technology College in Accrington
TV review
Arts and Entertainment

music
Arts and Entertainment
Judges Paul Hollywood and Mary Berry

TV
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
The rapper Drake

music
Arts and Entertainment
The gaffer: Prince Philip and the future Queen in 1947
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Style icons: The Beatles on set in Austria
film
Arts and Entertainment
By Seuss! ‘What Pet Shall I Get?’ hits the bookshops this week
Books
Arts and Entertainment
The mushroom cloud over Hiroshima after Enola Gray and her crew dropped the bomb
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Elliott outside his stationery store that houses a Post Office
TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Rebecca Ferguson, Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible Rogue Nation

Film review Tom Cruise, 50, is still like a puppy in this relentless action soap opera

Arts and Entertainment
Rachel McAdams in True Detective season 2

TV review
Arts and Entertainment
Off the wall: the cast of ‘Life in Squares’

TV
Arts and Entertainment

Books And it is whizzpopping!

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    War with Isis: Is Turkey's buffer zone in Syria a matter of self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Turkey's buffer zone in Syria: self-defence – or just anti-Kurd?

    Ankara accused of exacerbating racial division by allowing Turkmen minority to cross the border
    Doris Lessing: Acclaimed novelist was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show

    'A subversive brothel keeper and Communist'

    Acclaimed novelist Doris Lessing was kept under MI5 observation for 18 years, newly released papers show
    Big Blue Live: BBC's Springwatch offshoot swaps back gardens for California's Monterey Bay

    BBC heads to the Californian coast

    The Big Blue Live crew is preparing for the first of three episodes on Sunday night, filming from boats, planes and an aquarium studio
    Austin Bidwell: The Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England with the most daring forgery the world had known

    Victorian fraudster who shook the Bank of England

    Conman Austin Bidwell. was a heartless cad who carried out the most daring forgery the world had known
    Car hacking scandal: Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked

    Car hacking scandal

    Security designed to stop thieves hot-wiring almost every modern motor has been cracked
    10 best placemats

    Take your seat: 10 best placemats

    Protect your table and dine in style with a bold new accessory
    Ashes 2015: Alastair Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Cook not the only one to be caught in The Oval mindwarp

    Aussie skipper Michael Clarke was lured into believing that what we witnessed at Edgbaston and Trent Bridge would continue in London, says Kevin Garside
    Can Rafael Benitez get the best out of Gareth Bale at Real Madrid?

    Can Benitez get the best out of Bale?

    Back at the club he watched as a boy, the pressure is on Benitez to find a winning blend from Real's multiple talents. As La Liga begins, Pete Jenson asks if it will be enough to stop Barcelona
    Athletics World Championships 2015: Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jessica Ennis-Hill and Katarina Johnson-Thompson heptathlon rivalry

    Beijing witnesses new stage in the Jess and Kat rivalry

    The last time the two British heptathletes competed, Ennis-Hill was on the way to Olympic gold and Johnson-Thompson was just a promising teenager. But a lot has happened in the following three years
    Jeremy Corbyn: Joining a shrewd operator desperate for power as he visits the North East

    Jeremy Corbyn interview: A shrewd operator desperate for power

    His radical anti-austerity agenda has caught the imagination of the left and politically disaffected and set a staid Labour leadership election alight
    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief: Defender of ancient city's past was killed for protecting its future

    Isis executes Palmyra antiquities chief

    Robert Fisk on the defender of the ancient city's past who was killed for protecting its future
    Berlusconi's world of sleaze: The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM

    Berlusconi's world of sleaze

    The astonishing lifestyle once enjoyed by Italy's former PM
    Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

    Disney plans galactic domination with endless Star Wars spin-offs

    Films and theme parks are just the beginning. Disney believes its control of the now decades-old franchise can bring in merchandise and marketing millions for years to come
    Could the golden age of the gaming arcade ever be revived in the era of the Xbox?

    Could gaming arcades be revived?

    The days when coin-ops were the only way to play the latest video games are gone. But a small band of enthusiasts are keeping the button-pushing dream alive
    Edinburgh Fringe 2015: The 'tampon tax' has inspired a new wave of female comedians to reclaim period jokes

    Heard the one about menstruation?

    Yes, if you have been at the Fringe, where period pieces are taking centre stage