Sam and Amy win Gold. Last year Sam and Amy were catapulted to new echelons of profile when they were finally recognised at the Sony Radio Academy Awards, and last night it happened again, only this time their moment was golden.
Whilst winning awards for making the tea, designing a doily or best execution of giving away a pen are all very well, many mutter under their breaths that only few of the categories really have a reflection upon what a listener values, or more accurately, notices.
In the sales environment, selling your station as having an award recognized breakfast show over the competitor has some serious clout. Capital London therefore will be able to champion Dave and Lisa’s overall breakfast show of the year win until the tills stop ringing, and quite right too. They are quite brilliant. In Sam and Amy’s case, winning the Gold for best breakfast show outside of London is equally astonishing, especially as they broadcast in an area that nobody has heard of and where there are some serious competing brands.
There is also no hiding the fact that the judges overlooked broadcasting heavyweights in favour of the East Midlands trio and that in itself is an immense accolade. It’s not that Sam Amy and Dave are underdogs, (well Dave is), but until now, industry paradigms have implied that unless you are “in London”, you are not on the “map”, not any more.
A few years ago, we tracked them down for an interview. We wanted to find out what makes this hilarious team tick. What did we learn? Well, very little… which actually was quite a lot.
You see, although the three of them will be celebrating and making “we won the Gold jokes” for the next decade, they actually never set out to, and that makes it all the more quixotic. All they actually care about is living their lives, having fun and telling stories on the radio. Credit should actually also go to their management team too, because without their smart thinking philosophy, Sam and Amy, like some shows could be immobilized by the ideas of imbeciles.
The result of this excellent management stratagem is an environment where Sam, Amy and Dave can propose and implement artistic ideas without worrying if the people in the next studio are auditioning for their job.
Note: We used the word Gem, cleverly in that last paragraph.
Dave and Lisa deserve a special hat tip too, as we suppose there is no greater pressure than working on the world’s most famous radio station, right underneath the office of the most important and brilliant visionaries in radio! Not to mention the fact that they are in the same building as some incredible radio talent and radio management virtuosity.
Watching Chris Moyles on his last show at the BBC again on You Tube the other night, we were further astonished how such relaxed risk taking radio can be carried out to such an enormous audience and under arguably the most strict policy implementers on the planet. Well done Chris too. Although he didn’t win anything because he is in pantomime at the moment!
(Joke, God! Sensitive)
In our book we discussed the importance of the radio breakfast show and how the pressure, quite justifiably, can be too much for some performers. Knowing that your every word can have a financial impact on the entire business you represent is no easy task. It takes a special talent to learn to switch off and get on with it and a special set of managers to help the talent feel at ease. With that consideration, every breakfast show deserves an award, for just retaining audience and keeping the lights on. Just in case you think we were overtly favouring anyone.
Back to our conversation some time ago with Sam, Amy and producer Dave, we learned that their vision of the world is what makes them so successful, they focus on the present; they focus on having the most amount of fun and as a result, none of it is work. Just as Simon Hirst regularly declares that he gets paid to muck about on the radio, or words to that effect, Sam, Amy and Dave have a similar philosophy.
They rarely think about work when they are not there, they rarely worry about their business or their contracts, they just experience as much of life as they can, and pass that on to the listener.
Part of their award entry illustrates this perfectly; one of the audio clips was how Amy’s mum fell asleep at the ballet! You just couldn’t plan or consciously create that as a cognitive and deliberate piece of show prep. (Granted many managers will be sending memos to their breakfast show today instructing them to take a recording device to the ballet before Friday and get it on air)
Sam, Amy and Dave, are exactly the same off air as they are on. There is absolutely no alteration. They are what the listener hears, and that is what radio is about. The listener likes to hear things that are private, risqué, off topic, outrageous and they love to feel part of an exclusive and special family. Nothing about the show sounds unspontaneous, rarely does it even sound planned and that is what makes a listener pay attention. It’s also what people want today.
Want proof? Shaytards have 2 million followers on YouTube. They are just a family who film and upload their daily lives. So far they have had approximately 20 million views. At 1 dollar per 1000 views or more, they have made a few quid. Rumours are circulating they earn 300k a year or more but more importantly they have created the equivalent of 20 million “appointments to listen” so far (a special radio phrase). Not bad for not planning your content.
In our book (cough) we briefly touched upon our theory that a listener can tell when they are being “entertained” they can tell with miniscule unspoken knowing when something feels off or unnatural. Just as all humans can sense danger, animosity, or being lied to. Sam, Amy and Dave, literally just seem to be living their honest life publicly. They encapsulate the notion that when you turn on the radio, a smile happens. And it does. Well Done Sam and Amy.
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To read what some current and past Sony Award winning presenters have said about this short valuable nugget of wisdom Click here.
Sam and Amy Showreel