Community radio presenter wins top national award

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2A radio presenter at Southampton’s award-winning Unity 101 Community Radio, is celebrating being crowned the national 2013 Radio Personality of the Year by the UK BEFFTA Awards – dubbed the ‘Black BAFTAs’ – which recognises outstanding talents in Black Entertainment Film Fashion Television & Arts.

Veronica Gordon, from Southampton, has been presenting the ‘Vibrant Vibes radio show’ on Unity 101 Community Radio for almost 7 years bringing vibrant music –afrobeats, calypso and reggae –and vibrant chat, community news and events, to Southampton’s airwaves. After successfully surviving the BEFFTA Award’s strict short-listing process, Veronica placed as a nominee, and the Award winners were selected by public vote. Veronica received overwhelming support from local people – with scores of Southampton residents backing her to win – and even had a celebrity supporter, her favourite actor Jimmy Akingbola4, the actor best known for playing the confident Dr Malick in BBC One’s Holby City.

The lavish award ceremony took place in London at the weekend and Veronica attended with some of her excited supporters3 4 travelling from Southampton, walking the red carpet and waiting in anticipation for the results. Not expecting to bring the Award back to Southampton, Veronica said: “I’m still in shock that I won! Some of the other nominees in the category were very popular radio presenters from London, with bigger followings than me so I never thought I’d beat them! When they announced my name as the winner, everything just went blur! I could hear my family and friends cheering and they swept me up into their arms – which was a good thing as my legs would’ve given way! I keep kicking myself now though as I didn’t have a winner’s speech prepared as I wasn’t expecting to win, so I just thanked everyone and proudly mentioned that I’m from Southampton. My award was announced by one of my radio inspirations & previous BEFFTA Award winner, DJ Abrantee from Global Radio’s newest hit station Capital Xtra! Everything was so surreal.”

Other BEFFTA UK winners on the night included soul sensation Beverley Knight [Best Female Act], Wiley [Best Male Act], D’Banj [Best Music Video: ‘Oliver Twist’], Fuse ODG from the hit ‘Antenna’ [Best UK Afrobeats Act],

Ram Kalyan “Kelly”, Station Manager, Unity 101 Community Radio: “Veronica deserved this award having served Unity 101 for the past 10 years, 7 of which as the presenter of the Vibrant Vibes radio show. She works hard on the show alongside her co-presenter Keesha Edwards and every other Saturday from 6pm to 8pm broadcast a professional and fun show enjoyed by many from all communities. A big well done to Veronica – it’s got to be party time now!”

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