O'Connell heads radio award shortlist

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The Independent Online

Rivals have complained that Christian O'Connell has more awards than listeners for his breakfast radio show on indie music station Xfm. The presenter has been short- listed for three more awards in the radio industry "Oscars", the Sonys.

Rivals have complained that Christian O'Connell has more awards than listeners for his breakfast radio show on indie music station Xfm. The presenter has been short- listed for three more awards in the radio industry "Oscars", the Sonys.

O'Connell, who was last year named DJ of the Year, is nominated in the category again. He faces competition from Danny Baker on BBC London 94.9 and Zane Lowe, who showcases up-and-coming acts on his BBC Radio 1 evening show.

O'Connell's Xfm show, which has been described as a cosier version of Chris Evans's zany zoo radio formula, goes head-to-head with Johnny Vaughan on sister station 95.8 Capital FM for the Breakfast Show of the Year award, and with BBC Radio 2's Jonathan Ross in the Entertainment category.

Last year, the Sony judges described O'Connell's Xfm show, which attracts nearly 300,000 listeners, as "high octane, unmissable radio". The DJ, who was sacked from hospital radio as a teenager for attempting to emulate Steve Wright's irreverent style, before being plucked from relative obscurity to front the Xfm show, also presents Fighting Talk on BBC Radio Five Live.

Rock School, a contest that O'Connell recently launched for young bands, is also up for the award for best radio competition, challenging the BBC Radio 4 Food & Farming Awards.

Radio 2, Britain's most listened-to station, with a weekly audience of more than 13 million, will battle it out with Radio 1 and commercial rival Classic FM for UK Station of the Year.

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