Swindon 105.5’s news presenter and chief reporter, Dave Woods hopes to represent the Liden based community radio station in New York later this year after entering one of the world’s most prestigious radio awards.
The New York Festivals’ International Radio Program Awards honours radio programming from radio stations, networks and independent producers from around the globe. Dave’s entry, ‘Lydiard: Past, Present and Future’ broadcast last September, was a special edition of the radio station’s regular daily morning programme ‘Roundabout Swindon’.The 60 minute speech-based magazine show focused on Lydiard Park, which at the time had been the subject of increased public scrutiny as Swindon Council’s plan to lease the park and historic Grade 1 Georgian House to an outside bidder was put on hold, and a proposed housing development by Taylor Wimpey on the edge of the estate had also met with widespread anger from local residents. Researched, edited, produced and presented by Dave, the programme investigated both stories, plus explored the St John’s family’s illustrious past, joined the Swindon Park run team and reported on the estate’s 12th Century church’s lottery bid to restore rare medieval wall paintings, giving an informative and varied topical programme delivered with a depth of knowledge and understanding that told the stories to the Swindon 105.5 listeners. The 49 year old presenter from Gorse Hill has been with the community station for over 8 years and raised the awards’ entry fee through a crowdfunding project. Dave said: “To enter this annual competition isn’t cheap” “However, I was really proud of the programme, and thinks it fits the brief of the category I’ve put it in for, so I hope it has a chance. I asked our listeners and friends if they would help me enter, and was overwhelmed at everyone’s generosity, meaning I was able to.” It is thought that Dave is the first community radio presenter from the UK to enter the international awards in their 35 year history. Dave will find out in May if he has made the final shortlist, and travel to the Big Apple and the Gala Award Ceremony at the Manhattan Penthouse, New York in June.