The finalists in the 32nd Australian Commercial Radio Awards (ACRAs) were announced today with Australia’s top radio presenters competing for the coveted Best On Air Team in both the AM and FM categories.
Previous winners of the Metro FM top prize Brendan Jones and Amanda Keller (Jonesy and Amanda, WSFM, Sydney, winners in 2012, 2014 and 2019) are in the running against six-time winners Kyle Sandilands and Jackie Henderson, (The Kyle and Jackie O Show, KIIS 106.5, Sydney)
First-time nominees Christian O’Connell and Jack Post (The Christian O’Connell Show, Gold 104.3, Melbourne). Popular drive show team Kate Ritchie, Tim Blackwell and Joel Creasey (Kate, Tim & Joel, Nova Network, Sydney) have also been nominated alongside stars Carrie Bickmore and Tommy Little (Carrie and Tommy, Hit Network, Melbourne).
The Metropolitan Best On-Air Team AM title will be a contest between:
- David Penberthy and Will Goodings (FIVEaa Breakfast, Adelaide, NOVA Entertainment)
- Ross Stevenson and Russel Howcroft (3AW Breakfast with Ross Stevenson & Russel Howcroft, 3AW, Melbourne);
- The Continuous Call Team (The Continuous Call Team, 2GB, Sydney)
- Laurel Edwards, Gary Clare and Mark Hine (Laurel, Gary & Mark, 4KQ, Brisbane).
After a big year for talk radio, the Best Talk Presenter nominees are 2GB’s Ben Fordham, stablemate John Stanley, 21-time ACRAS winner Neil Mitchell (3AW) and Melbourne radio stalwart Dee Dee Dunleavy (3AW) The first female nominated for this award in the metro category.
Fordham and Mitchell are also in the running for Best Current Affairs Presenter alongside Jim Wilson (2GB) and Triple M’s Luke Bona.
In the Best Entertainment Presenter category, Kyle Sandilands is up against his breakfast partner Jackie Henderson, Carrie Bickmore, Tim Blackwell (who recently celebrated 20 years at Nova) and Lawrence Mooney (Triple M, Sydney).
The metro finalists for Best Newcomer on Air are:
- Comedian Joel Creasey (Nova Network, Melbourne)
- Adman-turned-broadcaster Russel Howcroft (3AW, Melbourne)
- Former Origin star player Bryan Fletcher (SEN 1170, Sydney)
- WNBA and AFLW star Erin Phillips (Mix 102.3, Adelaide).
Best Music Presenter finalists are:
- Kent “Smallzy” Small (Nova Network)
- Chris ‘Becko’ Beckhouse (Triple M, Sydney)
- Gavin Miller (Gold 104.3, Melbourne)
- ‘Ugly’ Phil O’Neil (WSFM, Sydney).
Four finalists were nominated for the Brian White Award for radio journalism in the metro category:
- Matthew Pantelis (FIVEaa)
- Clinton Maynard (2GB)
- Natalie Peters (2GB)
- Gareth Parker (6PR).
Awards will be handed out for the best podcasts in three categories. In the running for Best Original Podcast (Unbranded) are:
- The Briefing (SCA),
- Hamish & Andy (SCA)
- FlusterCuck featuring Tommy Little (SCA)
- Zero Waste Baby with Veronica Milsom (SCA)
- Stuff of Legends with Christian O’Connell (Christian O’Connell and iHeartRadio Australia/ARN).
Entries were received from 260 metropolitan and regional radio stations across Australia. Stations outside the metropolitan areas are well represented at the ACRAs with more than 200 finalists from country and provincial stations.
This year the gala black-tie event will be held at the International Convention Centre Sydney on Sunday, 13 February and will start at 6 pm AEDT (red carpet 5pm).
The event has been dubbed ACRAs 20/21 to take into account two years of work after awards organiser Commercial Radio Australia was forced to cancel the 2020 event due to COVID and reschedule the 2021 event to 2022, to allow time for corporate events to resume after government vaccination targets are met.
The event will take place in accordance with COVID-safe procedures.
The chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia, Joan Warner, said: “Congratulations to all the talented finalists across metropolitan and regional Australia on their outstanding work, fantastic creativity and commitment.
“We look forward to celebrating their achievements and rolling out the red carpet once again.”
The national awards cover 39 categories. Winners are announced in each category across four areas: metropolitan, provincial, country and syndication/production company and encompass all areas of commercial radio broadcasting including news, talk, sport, music and entertainment.