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BBC Radio 1 and BFBS Radio scoop Friends of the Forces award


BBC Radio 1 and BFBS Radio were presented with the President’s Award at the inaugural RBL Friends of the Forces Awards, at a gala event at the National Liberal Club in London last night (13 July), attended by HRH Prince Harry. The Chief of the Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshal Sir Jock Stirrup, presented the special award to Fearne Cotton from BBC Radio 1 and Richard Hatch from BFBS Radio in recognition of the two broadcasters’ inspirational link-up earlier this year.

On Bank Holiday Monday 31 May, BBC Radio 1 and Forces Broadcaster BFBS Radio teamed up for a very special day – as Radio 1 linked live with the BFBS Radio studio on the ground in Afghanistan, across the UK and around the Forces world in more than 20 countries.

BFBS presenters Richard Hatch and Jessie Aru at their studio in Camp Bastion linked live with Radio 1’s Dev, Fearne Cotton, Greg James and Scott Mills between 9am and 7pm, for messages, banter and stories from the Forces in Afghanistan. In addition, from 12noon to 2pm, the entire Forces world in more than 20 countries from the Falklands to Afghanistan, joined for a simulcast, including the UK Forces audience listening to BFBS Radio on DAB, and the wider UK audience on BBC Radio 1.

Andy Parfitt, Controller, BBC Radio 1, said: “We’re delighted that our partnership with BFBS has been recognised in this way. Radio 1 has a strong connection with British Forces as many of them are loyal listeners and this initiative allowed us to make a special connection with the young men and women in Camp Bastion and beyond, allowing them to share some of their extraordinary experiences with other young listeners in the UK – it made for a great day’s broadcasting.”

Nicky Ness, Controller BFBS Radio, said: “We were really happy to work with BBC Radio 1 on this initiative, connecting the general public with the fantastic forces audience in Afghanistan and their families in the UK, showcasing the kind of connectivity we achieve on BFBS Radio every day, in the UK and worldwide. It’s impossible to put a price on the morale boost the daily link-up on BFBS Radio on DAB in the UK gives within the Forces’ world and we are really happy that BBC Radio 1 helped us communicate that content with the wider UK population, who were so supportive on the day.”

Lt General Sir John Kiszely KCB MC, National President of The Royal British Legion, said: “This award is richly deserved. In putting the British public in direct contact with its Armed Forces on operations in Afghanistan, BFBS and BBC Radio 1 have enhanced the appreciation of our Armed Forces and provided them valuable support – which is what the Friends of the Forces Awards are all about.”
Notes to Editors

Footage/Photographs available from: PA

BFBS Radio
BFBS Radio is available on DAB digital radio, Sky Guide 0211 and Freesat Channel 786 in the UK and on FM in more than 20 countries around the Forces’ World. BFBS Radio received a Sony Radio Academy Outstanding Achievement Award on 10 May 2010.

BFBS Radio is part of the Services’ charity SSVC, which includes BFBS TV, providing 10 TV channels for Forces and their families worldwide; CSE Forces entertainment, putting on live shows; SSVC Cinemas; The British Defence Film Library; and SSVC Retail.

The 2010 RBL Friends of the Forces Awards were hosted by Dan Snow.

Background to the RBL Friends of the Forces Awards
The Friends of the Forces Awards were launched in February 2010 by The Royal British Legion with the support of Prince Harry to recognise those from all walks of life across the UK who have made an exceptional contribution to the well-being and appreciation of HM Armed Forces and their families.

Through the Awards, the Legion seeks to salute those deserving of recognition and to encourage others to make a contribution to the living Military Covenant between the Armed Forces and the Nation.

Some 450 nominations were received from across England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland; in the Individual, Youth, Community and Corporate categories. Our panel of independent judges selected 32 regional winners; and from these, 12 shortlisted candidates were selected to go forward to the national awards. The final selection of the four national winners in the adjudicated categories was made independently by our Chief of Judges, The Chief of Defence Staff, Air Chief Marshall Sir Jock Stirrup.

About the Legion
The Royal British Legion is the nation’s leading Armed Forces charity providing care and support to all members of the British Armed Forces past and present and their families. It is also the national Custodian of Remembrance and safeguards the Military Covenant between the nation and its Armed Forces. It is best known for the annual Poppy Appeal and its emblem the red poppy.


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