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30 Under 30



To be in the running make sure that you impress these people! Being from different areas of the industry means that our Judges are experienced in every facet.

2017's ReelWorld 30 under 30 Judges

Stephanie Hirst

Broadcaster

After a hugely successful career of over 20 years as a broadcaster, Stephanie took a break for personal reasons in 2014 and in October of that year, revealed that she is Transgender.

Stephanie has returned to radio, she hosts a "Vinyl Revival" show every Saturday night on BBC Manchester and now Weekday Mornings on BBC Radio Leeds.

Stephanie is proactively involved in the promotion of LGBT rights hosting Q&As and spends a large portion of her time giving inspirational talks about her fascinating & honest journey in the world of broadcasting & gender.

Stephanie was awarded an honorary doctorate from Leeds Beckett University for her contribution to public life, is a Fellow of the Radio Academy, and nominated at the 2017 British LGBT Awards.

Steve Parkinson (Chair)

Group Managing Director, National Radio, Bauer Media

Steve is responsible for the overall development of six brands within Bauer Media: Kiss, Absolute Radio, Magic, Planet Rock, Kerrang!, and heat.

Originally from Aberdeen, Steve volunteered for Grampian Hospital Radio in his teens, and went on to work in local, regional and national radio. He has previously been a presenter (not very good!), producer and programme director (better!), and marketing director as well as S&P manager in his time.

He has felt privileged to have built his knowledge and experience across several successful brands over the years including Metro, Hallam, Clyde, Heart, LBC and Galaxy. Steve now leads a team of 200 dedicated media staff and presenters in One Golden Square, and collectively the brands broadcast to over 12m listeners across the UK.

Steve believes that celebrating and championing young talent across the medium and helping them navigate the industry are prime objectives of the Academy, and therefore is delighted to be chairing the 30 under 30 once again for 2017.

Anthony Gay

Managing Director, ReelWorld

Anthony is responsible for all ReelWorld\'s activities in Europe and Asia. Based at MediaCityUK he leads a team of producers, composers, and consultants providing jingles and audio branding solutions to over 250 European radio stations in 31 countries including BBC Radio 1Xtra, Heart UK, RTE 2fm, Kiss UK, Los 40 Spain, Radio 2 Belgium, 104.6 RTL Berlin, and NRK P1 Norway.

Before joining ReelWorld, Anthony spent many years programming radio stations across the north of England.

Up until 2012 he was Regional Programming Director for Bauer in Yorkshire and prior to that Programme Director at Key 103, Hallam FM, and Rock FM. He was responsible for launching the long running breakfast shows Mike & Chelsea in the Morning and Big John @ Breakfast and was part of the team that won the West Midlands license for Kerrang! Radio in 2003. Whilst in Manchester he also programmed The Hits and Smash Hits Radio to become the most listened to digital radio stations in the UK.

Anthony first broadcast on hospital radio in Sheffield aged 11 but his commercial radio career started at BRMB and X-tra AM in Birmingham where he was a presenter and producer for all the station\'s news and sports output.

Sheetal Parmar

Senior Journalist BBC

Sheetal Parmar is an award-winning senior journalist at BBC News and has presented, produced and reported from around the world and the UK. She also spent time in Bangladesh as a journalism trainer for BBC Media Action.

Sheetal has reported on a vast array of stories from Milan’s migrant crisis for BBC World Service, grooming gangs in British towns and cities to developing and editing a news-making Bollywood programme. Sheetal is currently an Editor in BBC English Regions and regularly speaks at public events on diversity in the media and mental health within BAME communities.

Nicky Ness

Director of Forces Broadcasting and Entertainment

Nicky Ness started her broadcasting career as a radio reporter and then producer, daily Breakfast/Morning Show presenter, programme director and radio station manager and was a well-known voice on the radio in a diverse range of locations including Germany, Gibraltar, Belize and Cyprus.

Now with nearly 30 years’ experience and based firmly back in the UK with BFBS, she has a wide ranging brief covering radio & audio, television, live events and cinema portfolios, delivering content focussed services to the UK’s Armed Forces community on a variety of platforms in the UK and overseas. 

Developing a deep understanding of the needs of niche audiences and the content that excites them, Nicky has also driven commissioning approaches to deliver new and innovative content within both broadcast and entertainment landscapes.

As a long standing member of the senior management team of parent organisation the Services Sound and Vision Corporation (SSVC) she has also led digital transformation within her departments, evolving the strategy, skills and approaches of content creators to meet the ever evolving opportunities to connect with audiences.  She was appointed a Fellow of the UK Radio Academy in 2017 and is a regular judge on a number of the UK’s broadcast award schemes.

Matt Deegan

Manager of Station Fun kids and Director of MuxCo

Working at the Radio Academy, bidding for FM and digital licences for GWR and then leading strategic projects at Classic FM, XFM and Capital were all warm up for his current job as Folder Media’s Creative Director.

Folder incubates, then manages, new radio and media ideas. It created the award winning children’s radio station Fun Kids, that Matt leads.

Now nationwide on digital radio it sits at the centre of a suite of video, web, audio and mobile products for kids under 12. Matt’s also a Director of MuxCo, the network of local DAB Digital Radio multiplexes, who’s licences the company won and now operate. He’s also the co-founder of Next Radio and the British Podcast Awards.

Dave Terris

Editor of IRN and Sky News

Chris North

Founder & Manager, North Media Talent

Jo Bucci

Chief Operating Officer

Ahmed Hussain

Head of Prison Radio at HMPPS

Ahmed is currently the Head of Prison Radio at HMPPS. Having worked at the BBC with Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network for a number of years – Ahmed has also dabbled in TV, working on series 10 of Dragons’ Den.

He was also one of the much coveted ’30 under 30’ winners in 2014, showcasing some of the most exceptional talent in radio.

Having immersed himself in the world of radio since the age 14 learning the ropes at a local community station, Ahmed has since setup numerous community projects to help those with a keen interest in radio, music and media into the industry.



Stephanie Hirst

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Steve Parkinson (Chair)

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Anthony Gay

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Sheetal Parmar

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Stephanie Hirst

Broadcaster

After a hugely successful career of over 20 years as a broadcaster, Stephanie took a break for personal reasons in 2014 and in October of that year, revealed that she is Transgender.

Stephanie has returned to radio, she hosts a "Vinyl Revival" show every Saturday night on BBC Manchester and now Weekday Mornings on BBC Radio Leeds.

Stephanie is proactively involved in the promotion of LGBT rights hosting Q&As and spends a large portion of her time giving inspirational talks about her fascinating & honest journey in the world of broadcasting & gender.

Stephanie was awarded an honorary doctorate from Leeds Beckett University for her contribution to public life, is a Fellow of the Radio Academy, and nominated at the 2017 British LGBT Awards.

Steve Parkinson (Chair)

Group Managing Director, National Radio, Bauer Media

Steve is responsible for the overall development of six brands within Bauer Media: Kiss, Absolute Radio, Magic, Planet Rock, Kerrang!, and heat.

Originally from Aberdeen, Steve volunteered for Grampian Hospital Radio in his teens, and went on to work in local, regional and national radio. He has previously been a presenter (not very good!), producer and programme director (better!), and marketing director as well as S&P manager in his time.

He has felt privileged to have built his knowledge and experience across several successful brands over the years including Metro, Hallam, Clyde, Heart, LBC and Galaxy. Steve now leads a team of 200 dedicated media staff and presenters in One Golden Square, and collectively the brands broadcast to over 12m listeners across the UK.

Steve believes that celebrating and championing young talent across the medium and helping them navigate the industry are prime objectives of the Academy, and therefore is delighted to be chairing the 30 under 30 once again for 2017.

Anthony Gay

Managing Director, ReelWorld

Anthony is responsible for all ReelWorld\'s activities in Europe and Asia. Based at MediaCityUK he leads a team of producers, composers, and consultants providing jingles and audio branding solutions to over 250 European radio stations in 31 countries including BBC Radio 1Xtra, Heart UK, RTE 2fm, Kiss UK, Los 40 Spain, Radio 2 Belgium, 104.6 RTL Berlin, and NRK P1 Norway.

Before joining ReelWorld, Anthony spent many years programming radio stations across the north of England.

Up until 2012 he was Regional Programming Director for Bauer in Yorkshire and prior to that Programme Director at Key 103, Hallam FM, and Rock FM. He was responsible for launching the long running breakfast shows Mike & Chelsea in the Morning and Big John @ Breakfast and was part of the team that won the West Midlands license for Kerrang! Radio in 2003. Whilst in Manchester he also programmed The Hits and Smash Hits Radio to become the most listened to digital radio stations in the UK.

Anthony first broadcast on hospital radio in Sheffield aged 11 but his commercial radio career started at BRMB and X-tra AM in Birmingham where he was a presenter and producer for all the station\'s news and sports output.

Sheetal Parmar

Senior Journalist BBC

Sheetal Parmar is an award-winning senior journalist at BBC News and has presented, produced and reported from around the world and the UK. She also spent time in Bangladesh as a journalism trainer for BBC Media Action.

Sheetal has reported on a vast array of stories from Milan’s migrant crisis for BBC World Service, grooming gangs in British towns and cities to developing and editing a news-making Bollywood programme. Sheetal is currently an Editor in BBC English Regions and regularly speaks at public events on diversity in the media and mental health within BAME communities.



The Radio Academy

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Nicky Ness

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The Radio Academy

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Matt Deegan

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Nicky Ness

Director of Forces Broadcasting and Entertainment

Nicky Ness started her broadcasting career as a radio reporter and then producer, daily Breakfast/Morning Show presenter, programme director and radio station manager and was a well-known voice on the radio in a diverse range of locations including Germany, Gibraltar, Belize and Cyprus.

Now with nearly 30 years’ experience and based firmly back in the UK with BFBS, she has a wide ranging brief covering radio & audio, television, live events and cinema portfolios, delivering content focussed services to the UK’s Armed Forces community on a variety of platforms in the UK and overseas. 

Developing a deep understanding of the needs of niche audiences and the content that excites them, Nicky has also driven commissioning approaches to deliver new and innovative content within both broadcast and entertainment landscapes.

As a long standing member of the senior management team of parent organisation the Services Sound and Vision Corporation (SSVC) she has also led digital transformation within her departments, evolving the strategy, skills and approaches of content creators to meet the ever evolving opportunities to connect with audiences.  She was appointed a Fellow of the UK Radio Academy in 2017 and is a regular judge on a number of the UK’s broadcast award schemes.

Matt Deegan

Manager of Station Fun kids and Director of MuxCo

Working at the Radio Academy, bidding for FM and digital licences for GWR and then leading strategic projects at Classic FM, XFM and Capital were all warm up for his current job as Folder Media’s Creative Director.

Folder incubates, then manages, new radio and media ideas. It created the award winning children’s radio station Fun Kids, that Matt leads.

Now nationwide on digital radio it sits at the centre of a suite of video, web, audio and mobile products for kids under 12. Matt’s also a Director of MuxCo, the network of local DAB Digital Radio multiplexes, who’s licences the company won and now operate. He’s also the co-founder of Next Radio and the British Podcast Awards.



Dave Terris

Learn more



Chris North

Learn more



Jo Bucci

Learn more



Ahmed Hussain

Learn more

Dave Terris

Editor of IRN and Sky News

Chris North

Founder & Manager, North Media Talent

Jo Bucci

Chief Operating Officer

Ahmed Hussain

Head of Prison Radio at HMPPS

Ahmed is currently the Head of Prison Radio at HMPPS. Having worked at the BBC with Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network for a number of years – Ahmed has also dabbled in TV, working on series 10 of Dragons’ Den.

He was also one of the much coveted ’30 under 30’ winners in 2014, showcasing some of the most exceptional talent in radio.

Having immersed himself in the world of radio since the age 14 learning the ropes at a local community station, Ahmed has since setup numerous community projects to help those with a keen interest in radio, music and media into the industry.

Closed for 2018.

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