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Take a bow (tie)!
The Tameside Reporter and Radio news team members are celebrating latest professional and personal award successes.
For while ITV and BBC walked away with the lion’s share of prizes in this year’s O2 Media North West Awards, the Tameside Reporter and Radio were also among the nominations at the glittering awards night.
ITV Granada Reports anchorwoman Lucy Meacock was crowned the region’s top Broadcast Presenter and the BBC North West Tonight’s Richard Askam was presented with the award for top Sports Broadcaster.
But rubbing shoulders with them was none other than our very own former news reporter Max Wieland from Hyde, shortlisted for his work at the Tameside Reporter and Radio in the Weekly Journalist of the Year print category.
Max was highly commended in the category on the night, taking to the stage to collect his certificate.
He was one of just four from more than 40 entries in the category alone invited to attend the awards night staged in Chester along with Reporter editor Nigel Skinner.
More than 25 working editors and executives from newspapers, magazines, broadcasters and on-line publications were involved in the judging process.
With more than 360 individual entries, the O2 Awards in the North West is the biggest regional press awards of the year.
BBC Breakfast presenter Louise Minchin hosted the evening’s celebrations.
The judges praised Max’s reports for reflecting the very heart of community life, as well as their campaigning nature on behalf of many charitable causes.
The judges also picked up on the fact that Max was delivering daily news bulletins for Tameside Radio and video news for our website as part of his role.
Max, who first joined the Tameside Reporter for two weeks work experience when still at school, aged just 14, went on to carve out a successful journalistic career for several years with the newspaper and radio after completing his journalism studies at Salford University.
He recently moved on from the paper to pursue a high-flying communications role with a locally based council, but praised the opportunity the newspaper and radio had provided.
“I would like to thank everyone at the Tameside Reporter and Radio. Not only was it a great training ground but a huge confidence-builder – and it just goes to show how important work experience can be in helping to shape student’s futures. It certainly helped to shape mine.”
In fact, the judges commented on the night that a great many award-winning journalists and broadcasters begin their careers with their local weekly community newspaper.
Editor Nigel Skinner praised Max’s achievement, not least for embracing the very different challenges that newspaper and broadcast reporting demanded as the newspaper and radio had combined to provide the borough with a unique news service.
 Nicola Green, Director of Communications and Reputation at O2 UK, said the judging panel was hugely impressed by journalists working across different media organisations in the North West.
“Congratulations to those who made the final line up, but also a huge thank you to everyone who entered this year’s competition,” she said.
“The evening was a celebration of some superb journalism and a reminder of how important the regional media is to local communities.”
Ben Tolhurst, Capita O2 Partnership Director, added that the awards were one of the most prestigious of their type in the UK.
“We are delighted to sponsor these awards. The event enables us to look back at how the press brought news events to life for readers, viewers and listeners across the region.”
Meanwhile Nigel was celebrating more awards nomination success himself at the annual Association of Community Theatre (ACT) awards on Saturday, having already been shortlisted in the NODA (National Operatic and Dramatic Association) North West awards earlier this year.
For, more than 12 months after he stepped out in the role of Blackadder in the Mossley AODs production of Blackadder Goes Forth, the play is still collecting accolades.
The play scooped the Most Creative Drama Production category at a glittering awards ceremony staged in Altrincham on Saturday evening.
Nigel was shortlisted in the Most Accomplished Actor in a Drama category while his sidekick Nigel Winters (who played Baldrick) was shortlisted in the Most Original Character Portrayal in a Drama.
In all Mossley AODS were nominated in no less than 13 categories alongside community theatre groups from across the North West region, stretching from Burnley to Crewe.
The Mossley team won two further categories – Most Accomplished Ensemble Performance (Youth) for Joseph and Most Accomplished Musical Ensemble for Evita.
There was more local success, with Scott Lees a joint winner in the Most Original Comedy Performance for Dukinfield AO&DS Sugar, Hyde Musical Society won three categories for their production of Bad Girls and Romiley OS’ Debbie Wood won the Most Original Group Dance Performance for Hairspray.
A special award went to Kay Lilley, President of Congress Players, for her lengthy service to community theatre, which has included work on behalf of local theatrical societies including Guide Bridge, New Mills and Saddleworth among others.