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Trustees

Trustees

The Board of Trustees have overall legal responsibility for The Radio Academy and we seek to attract Trustees with a diverse range of skillsets to provide the Charity with a comprehensive knowledge base to serve our members best interests.

Trustees are expected to serve a minimum of 2 years and a maximum of 4 years.

Chair
Dr Yvonne Thompson CBE - Chair,

Deputy Chair
John Dash - Deputy Chair,

 
Dennie Morris,

 
Stephanie Hirst,

 
Steve Taylor,

 
Aradhna Tayal,

 
Jonathan Arendt,

 
Sam Bailey,

 
Ahmed Hussain,

 
Grace Hopper,

 
Dixi Stewart,

 
Philippa Aylott,

 
Nick Pitts,

 
Dom Chambers,



Dr Yvonne Thompson CBE - Chair

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John Dash - Deputy Chair

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Dennie Morris

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Stephanie Hirst

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Dr Yvonne Thompson CBE

Dr. Thompson brings a wealth of relevant experience to The Radio Academy, having been a director and founding member of the UK's only legal black-owned radio station, Choice FM, now Capital Extra following its sale to Global Radio in 2004.

Formerly music editor for the UK's first black monthly glossy magazine, Root, she also wrote for Music Week, in addition to working at record labels Warner Brothers and CBS. She is currently managing director of marketing and PR company, ASAP Communications, president of the European Federation of Black Women Business Owners and a board member at Punch Records.

John Dash

John is Deputy Chair of Radio Academy. He’s had forty years at the sharp end of radio as Producer, Presenter, Sports Editor and Programme Director.

He’s worked across the UK and Ireland including Red Dragon Radio, Piccadilly Radio, Galaxy 101, Wave 105, Radio Clyde and as Local Radio Group Programme Director for UTV Radio (now Wireless Group)

He formed John Dash Media in 2014 and has since advised clients including BBC Wales, Media Sound Holdings and Forces Radio BFBS. He’s a passionate Welshman - is there any other kind - and a Trustee of the International Children’s Charity, Radio Lollipop.

Dennie Morris

With over 15 years's experience in commercial radio, Dennie Morris is an authority in creating speech radio at the highest level. He is currently Managing Editor of talkRADIO and as part of the senior programming team at Wireless Group, he contributes to the development of the Wireless Group business.

Never afraid of pushing the boundaries and trying something new, Dennie has many production credits to his name, including: FIFA World Cup Finals in Brazil & South Africa and a radio ‘first’ transforming capsules of the London Eye into fully functioning radio studios and broadcasting LIVE shows from several capsules simultaneously.

Stephanie Hirst

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 Taylor

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Aradhna Tayal

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Jonathan Arendt

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Sam Bailey

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Steve Taylor

Steve is Creative Commercial Director of Bauer Medi's radio division. He works with a commercial team of over 300 people, generating ideas and inspiring clients to use radio.

Steve is involved in sharing creative concepts across Bauer stations in Denmark, Finland, Norway, Poland, Slovakia and Sweden

and has consulted for radio stations in Thailand, Ireland, India, Germany and South Africa - as well as setting up the National S&P department for the Australian Radio Network whilst travelling in 1998! His work has been recognised in the wider media industry too, with awards from Promax, Media Week Awards, Campaign Awards and the Institute of Sales Promotion Awards.

Aradhna Tayal

Having read Engineering and completed a Masters degree at Cambridge University, Aradhna joined the BBC in 2004 as a radio engineer, looking after the studios and production areas for the BBC’s national radio networks. Aradhna is passionate about the need for collaboration between production and technology to drive ambitious visions, and is an active champion of diversity.

Aradhna is one of the producers of Radio TechCon, the U.K's engineering and technology conference for the radio and audio industry. In particular, Aradhna is interested in helping arts and media organisations to build more robust business strategies around embracing new technology and digital innovation, and advocating creativity and resilience through working with people with more diverse and under-represented backgrounds.

Jonathan Arendt

Jonathan is CEO of Jazz FM and a director of connected research company, AudienceNet.

After an over-enjoyable early career in the wine business, a few years at business school and an interesting period as a political lobbyist in Strasbourg, Jonathan fell into radio, eventually co-founding Hallett Arendt in 1986.

A decade later he joined LBC as Commercial Director, then project managed Xfm’s successful bid for the London licence, joining the board as launch director. He went on to win new licences for fifteen commercial radio stations, many of which he helped launch and run.

He is a fellow of the Academy and chaired the Radio Festival in 2016 and 2017.

Sam Bailey

Sam is Commissioning Editor for Radio 1's TV channel in BBC iPlayer, and recently led the station's 50th birthday project Radio 1 Vintage.

His background is in integrating digital content with radio output,

something he started as a teenager, when he ran his school radio station while studying for an A Level in Computing. Sam's worked with the Radio Academy for a number of years long before he was a Trustee, he ran the Academy's first website, and launched the webcasting of the Radio Awards. He lives in East London with his wife, cat and campervan.



Ahmed Hussain

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Grace Hopper

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Dixi Stewart

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Philippa Aylott

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Ahmed Hussain

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 is also a 30 under 30 alumni. 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.

Grace Hopper 

Grace is a Producer at BBC Radio 1. She currently produces Life Hacks every Sunday and the Life Hacks podcast. She’s previously worked on the Greg James and Scott Mills shows.

Grace started working in radio at the age of 15 in hospital, community and student radio and went on to work at BBC Radio 1Xtra, The Asian Network, BBC London, BBC Berkshire, BBC Devon and BBC Somerset. 

 

Grace is a 30 Under 30 alumni and previous judge at the ARIAs. She’s been a member of two trustee boards, passing new initiatives and overseeing the charities development.

Dixi Stewart 

 

Dixi has been making radio programmes for the past 30 years, starting in the newsrooms of Chiltern Radio, Fox FM and Capital Radio, then on BBC GLR where she devised and co-presented the BBC’s first weekly LGBT show, and later at Talk Radio UK working with Anna Raeburn, Lorraine Kelly and Caesar The Geezer.

In 1998 she joined BBC Radio where she produced and edited a variety of daily and weekly programmes including The Food Programme, Woman’s Hour and Saturday Live, as well as live news events, documentaries and, more recently,  podcasts such as Fortunately with Fi and Jane. 

For the past two years Dixi has been working with Bob Shennan, the BBC’s Director of Radio and Music, delivering his strategy to reinvent and grow radio across all the BBC’s services, including BBC Sounds, and planning the future of BBC Radio. Most importantly, she’s taken a lead in implementing initiatives to improve the BBC’s working culture and increase its diversity both on and off air.

Philippa Aylott

 

Philippa has 20 years broadcasting experience across all BBC pop music radio networks as well as working for external media companies.

She is passionate about broadcasting in all versions of audio (linear, digital) and leads a large team of audio passionate production heads! She has a love for popular culture and adores the creation of the best content for the right audience. 

Currently working as Daytime Editor at BBC Radio 2 – for the last 2 years Philippa has been the editor of The Chris Evans Breakfast Show, Ken Bruce, Steve Wright In The Afternoon, Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs, Simon Mayo and Jo Whiley.



Nick Pitts

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Dom Chambers

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Nick Pitts

 

Nick’s been ensconced in the radio landscape for nearly 27 years right across the board from BBC national to launching small scale and DAB, via big London breakfast shows and creating imaging for some of the UKs largest groups of the day. Basically, if it’s a creative role in radio, then Nick’s probably got some experience in it.

An ideas man, Nick strives to find creative opportunities in everything - in 2018 he booked George Benson to receive a Jazz FM Award knowing that he wasn’t able to come, instead organising to have it presented on stage at the Royal Albert Hall 2 weeks later. He was also integral in getting the Rolling Stones on stage at the event a year earlier!

Since 2008 Dom has run Somer Valley FM in Somerset.  Starting out in Hospital Radio he has worked in most radio sectors over a career spanning 25 years. Dom has chaired the Community Media Association (CMA) and the Radio Academy’s Affiliate Members Group. 

Having visited over 70 community radio stations Dom is well researched in what makes successful models of local broadcasting. He bridges grassroots knowledge with national strategic vision. Known for driving an agenda that links media with education Dom is also the CEO of the Somer Valley Education Trust CIO. His training programmes help meet significant social challenges around isolation and well-being while advancing the value to society of empowering voices less heard. His Media Education, Training & Skills (METS) programme was awarded Community Development Project of the Year at the 2018 Community Radio Awards. Somer Valley FM are the first business in the Bath area to receive the Princess Royal Training award. In 2018 this came with an additional commendation from City & Guilds for diversity and inclusion.

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