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Radio awards triumph for under-threat 6 music

Under-threat station BBC 6 Music triumphed in the face of adversity with a double win at the radio industry's biggest awards event - including a prize for chart star-turned-presenter Jarvis Cocker.

Despite being earmarked for closure by the BBC, the station - with high profile supporters and a listener campaign to save it - landed a pair of prizes at last night's Sony Radio Academy Awards.

Ex-Pulp star Cocker won the Rising Star award for his Sunday show, while 6 Music's presenting duo Adam Buxton and Joe Cornish won the Best Comedy prize at London's Grosvenor Hotel.

For the night's big award, self-professed "saviour of Radio 1" Chris Moyles lost out to colleague Scott Mills, who beat him to the title of Music Radio Personality of the Year.

Zane Lowe was another double winner as he walked away with the award for Best Specialist Music Programme for his Radio 1 evening show and Music Radio Personality of the Year. He pulled off the same feat in 2006.

BBC Radio 5 live also landed one of the biggest prizes as it was named the UK's national station of the Year.

And the key battle for top Breakfast Show was won by Radio 4's Today programme. The six-times-a-week agenda-setting show, hosted by a team including John Humphrys, Evan Davies and James Naughtie, last won the title in 2007.

Cocker used his acceptance speech to have a "rant" about the proposed closure of 6 Music.

He said: "The show that I do couldn't exist on any other station. I'm allowed to play whatever music I like, interview whoever I like and record jingles in my cellar.

"The BBC must offer licence players value for money and I'm not saying what we get paid but they do it for the love of music and it is certainly value for money.

"6 Music is never going to be the biggest station in the UK but it would be devastating if it was to close.

"6 Music isn't going to change the world, it just wants to make it a bit nicer. "Rant over, thank you very much."

The 6 Music triumphs will be a boost for the station, which is earmarked for closure under BBC director general Mark Thompson's strategic review of services.

Another BBC station threatened with the axe under the review also won a prize, with BBC Asian Network's Nihal being named Best Speech Programme.

Host Nihal Arthanayake defended the station while accepting his award.

He said: "The BBC Asian Network is something which is very close to my heart. I love the BBC and I just hope the BBC will stop bending over to politicians because it deserves to be left alone."

Elsewhere, London station Capital 95.8 breakfast hosts Lisa Snowdon and Johnny Vaughan won Best Entertainment Show, beating rival early duo Jamie Theakston and Harriet Scott of Heart FM.

Sir David Attenborough won Speech Broadcaster of the Year for his contributions to BBC Radio 4 and Dermot O'Leary reclaimed his 2008 prize for Best Music Programme with his Radio 2 Saturday afternoon show.

U2 singer Bono, more accustomed to winning prizes for his musical output, was also the unlikely recipient of a broadcasting award when his programme Elvis By Bono - in which he read his beat poet-style ode to the king of rock 'n' roll - was named Best Music Special.

It was one of six awards for Radio 4 at the event, which recognises broadcasting excellence and draws the key players from the world of radio.

Woman's Hour host Jenni Murray's R4 interview with Sharon Shoesmith, the former Haringey children's services director who was axed after the Baby P scandal and later sought compensation, was named best interview at the ceremony.

Presenter Trevor Nelson, who hosts shows for Radios 1, 1Xtra and 2, was given the annual Sony Gold for his ongoing contribution to broadcasting.

And local radio presenter Frances Finn of BBC Radio Nottingham triumphed over better known big-hitters - including Radio 4's Eddie Mair, talkSPORT's Adrian Durham and last year's winner Nick Ferrari of LBC 97.3 - to win Speech Radio Personality of the Year.

© Press Association