The Audio and Radio Industry Awards

ARIAS Categories 2022

The qualification period is 1st January 2021 to 31st December 2021. You can download the full ARIAS Rubrics here. The 2022 Categories are as follows:

  1. Best New Presenter
  2. Best New Show
  3. Best News Coverage
  4. Best Speech Breakfast Show
  5. Best Speech Presenter
  6. Best Sports Show
  7. Best Coverage of an Event – returned for 2022
  8. The Comedy Award
  9. Best Music Breakfast Show
  10. Best Music Entertainment Show
  11. Best Specialist Music Show
  12. Best Factual – Single Programme
  13. Best Factual – Series
  14. Best Independent Podcast
  15. Best Fictional Storytelling
  16. Best Station Sound
  17. Best Commercial Partnership
  18. Best Marketing Campaign
  19. The Grassroots Award
  20. The Creative Innovation Award
  21. The Impact Award
  22. Best Local Radio Show
  23. The John Myers Award for Best Local Station of the Year
  24. UK Station or Network of the Year
  25. Radio Times Moment of the Year – voted by the general public

Breakfast Show dates

For the Breakfast Show categories, your audio compilation can be up to 20 minutes long, and may contain up to 20 clips. It must feature at least 10 minutes from our specified day. The audio compilation should be in two clear sections, with clips from the specified day first, and clips from the rest of the year second.

The specified day for this year’s Breakfast Show entries is as follows:

  • Date 1 – Thursday Nov 11th 2021 - The main date, which must be used
    if the regular team were presenting on that date.
  • Date 2 – Thursday Nov 25th 2021 - The backup date, which should only
    be used if the regular team were absent on Date 1.
  • Date 3 – Thursday Oct 7th 2021 - The final backup date, which should only
    be used in extremis, if the regular team were absent on both Dates 1 and 2.

If you want to enter a Weekend Breakfast show, you may use the nearest broadcast day to the specified date (i.e., the following Saturday if the show is a weekend breakfast show, or the following Sunday if it is a Sunday-only breakfast show). In order that fair comparisons can be made, no other dates are allowable for these categories. You will be asked to provide written confirmation if you are forced to use Dates 2 or 3.


How the ARIAS are judged

How many judges are there?

There are more than 100 judges, operating in panels ranging in size from 5-9 (depending on how many entries there were in the pool).

How are judges selected?

Judges are invited to participate by the Chair of Judges.  They represent a cross-section of senior practitioners in the audio industry.

How are the panels made up?

Each panel has a Head Judge who is a Trustee or Fellow of the Radio Academy.  Each panel has a 50/50 gender split, and each panel has a recent alumnus of the Radio Academy’s 30 Under 30 scheme.  In each panel, there is always at least one person from the BBC, and one person from a commercial or indie background.  25% of the judges in 2019 were from BAME backgrounds.

How do the judges make their decisions?

Each panel judges just one category, and each award is determined in isolation.  Judges listen to the audio and read the text, then give each entry scores out of 10, in three areas – impact, creativity, and production. This produces a score out of 30 for each entry.

How is the shortlist of nominees formed?

The entries are sorted into one of two pools: Pool A is entries broadcast on the BBC (made by either in-house or indies); Pool B is entries broadcast on commercial radio or published independently.  Having completed their individual scoring, the panel are told their collective top three entries from Pool A, and their top three entries from Pool B.  These form the six-strong shortlist, and the panel meet (either in person or on a conference call) to identify their Bronze, Silver and Gold.  (The pool system is occasionally relaxed in categories where one or the other clearly dominates, eg Fictional Storytelling or Commercial Promotion).

How was the Radio Times Moment of the Year shortlist formed?

We invited Radio Academy members to suggest (for free) any moment from across audio and radio, whether they worked on it or not.  A panel of judges formed of Radio Academy Trustees and the Editor of the Radio Times scored these to create a leaderboard, and met as a group to discuss the entries.  The longlist of ten was determined at this meeting.  The readers of RadioTimes will vote for this on the RadioTimes website.

Can I read any more?

Check out this 2019 blog post from our Chair of Judges, Phil Riley

Any questions?

If you have any questions about The ARIAS, please email