Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Country Music -- International broadcaster award

By Ruth Ellen Gruber

The Country Music Association's annual International Broadcaster Award goes to British radio personality Allan Watkiss. He was was surprised with the Award  while interviewing CMA Chief Executive Officer Steve Moore for his "Your Country" show on BBC Radio Sheffield. The award recognizes "outstanding achievement by radio broadcasters outside the United States who have made important contributions toward the development of Country Music in their country."
 Watkiss began his broadcasting career in 1993 at Radio Aire in Leeds, where he mixed news journalism with radio presentation. He soon began similar duties at Stray FM in Harrogate, where he presented the afternoon show from 1997-1999. A passionate Country Music fan since the late 1980s after he discovered the genre while volunteering at a hospital radio station, Watkiss was excited to host his first regular Country Music program in 2000 for Ridings FM in Wakefield.

When he moved to BBC 2001, he began "Your Country" on BBC Radio Sheffield, a weekly three-hour broadcast on Sunday afternoons which continues to this day. "Your Country" regularly introduces American Country Music to British audiences while also providing a showcase for the British Country Music artists of South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire.  Watkiss has interviewed superstar artists including Dierks Bentley, Reba McEntire, Brad Paisley, George Strait, and many more, while also giving in-depth coverage to big events including the CMA Awards and the British Country Music Awards.

In Sept. 2007, Watkiss launched UKCountryRadio.com, an online radio station playing both British and American Country Music. In addition to continuing to host "Your Country" for BBC Radio Sheffield, he also serves as a senior journalist for the BBC and is currently based at BBC Radio York.

Previous winners of the award were:

1997 Nick Erby, Australia
1997 Walter Fuchs, Germany
1997 John Laws, Australia
1998 Lloyd Coles, Wales
1998 Ruud Hermans and Jan de Jong, The Netherlands
1998 Kirsten Helm Petersen, Denmark
1999 Country FM, the Netherlands
1999 Trevor Smith, Australia
1999 Dieter Vulpus and Bernd Schroeder, Germany
2000 Dick Barrie, Scotland
2000 Thomas Jeier, Germany
2000 Korneliusz Pacuda, Poland
2001 Nick Barraclough, UK
2001 Gary Beattie, Australia,
2001 Bill Black, Scotland
2002 David Allan, UK
2002 Stuart Cameron, Scotland
2003 Pat Geary, Scotland
2003 John Laws, Australia
2003 Johnnie Walker, UK
2004 Bob Harris, UK
2004 Trevor Campbell, Northern Ireland
2004 Nikos Gravelas, Greece
2005 The Odd Squad
2005 Ray Hadley
2005 Bryan Burnett
2006 Ian Holland, Australia
2006 Helen MacPherson, Scotland
2006, Tim Rogers
2007 Nick Erby, Australia
2007 Jackie-Rae Greening, Candada
2007 George Lang, France
2008 John Bond, Australia
2008 Joe Fish, UK
2008 Pio McCann, Ireland
2009 Casey Clarke, Canada
2009 Grant Goldman, Australia
2009  Brian Clough, UK
2010 Allan Watkiss, Great Britain 

Other CMA international awards can be seen HERE

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