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From a teenage volunteer to top presenter in the UK
HE started out as a teenager helping at Radio Cherwell after answering an appeal in the Oxford Mail for volunteers.
Now Ian Pinnell is officially the best male presenter on hospital radio in Britain.
Mr Pinnell, 24, won the coveted award at the National Hospital Awards in Bristol.
It was not the only award for Radio Cherwell, the hospital radio station which broadcasts to patients at Oxford’s Churchill and John Radcliffe hospitals and the Nuffield Orthopaedic Centre, as it picked up silver in the Station of the Year category.
Then aged 16, Mr Pinnell joined Radio Cherwell after he spotted a story appealing for volunteers in 2006, working his way up to co-presenting and then having his own shows.
Mr Pinnell now does a request show from the Churchill studio on Wednesdays between 9pm and 10pm.
The part-time hospital administrator, who runs his own business called Pinnell Productions creating radio jingles, said: “I still can’t believe I’ve won the award.
“When they said my name I was in shock. It’s all a bit of a blur to be honest but a very good blur.”
He said he had done several different shows for the station and added: “I do it because I enjoy visiting the patients and the interaction you get with your listeners.
“I used to present the Weekend for Everything show, which was the children’s show and we would go around the wards and do the show at the children’s bedsides. When you arrive they are really low but when you leave they are happy and you see the smile on their faces. That goes for all the patients.
“No one likes to be in hospital. I enjoy broadcasting but it’s making someone smile that’s the reason I do this.
“It’s a lot more than just speaking into a microphone. In terms of presenting, it’s all about the planning.
“You’ve got to think who your audience is and what they are interested in. You’ve got to be clear and concise and make sure you don’t have any gaps.”
Judges at the weekend’s Bristol awards event said Mr Pinnell, also programme controller, was a “joy” to listen to and his broadcast was “perfect for hospital radio”.
They said: “Great interviewees, packed full of interesting material, which sounded slick yet natural. A man at ease with his microphone and a clear understanding of who he’s communicating with.”
Last year’s most requested song was Gangnam Style by Psy but Mr Pinnell has a secret he keeps from the patients – he is not a fan.
“It’s not the strangest request but it is the most annoying,” he said. “But you have to keep the smile on and big-up the track when you get asked for it.”
Station chairman Neil Stockton, who helped set up Radio Cherwell in 1967, said it was a fantastic result.
He said: “We’ve been winning awards on and off over the years and I think it reflects the standard of broadcasting.”
He said winning Station of the Year was the only award eluding the station.
The team was also shortlisted in the Best Programme with Multiple Presenters and Station Promotion.
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