Radio Festival confirms new line-up

Event to open with Breaking Bad News, a session on reporting tragic events in real time

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A new line-up of guest speakers and panelists has been unveiled for the rescheduled Radio Festival, now taking place next Wednesday June 21st at the British Library, after it was postponed following the Manchester terrorist attack last month.  

Organised by The Radio Academy and supported by sponsors PRS for Music and PPL, Radio Festival will be hosted by radio and TV presenter Colin Murray, who will be joined by speakers and guests talking on the theme ‘Stand-Out!’

Sky News presenter Kay Burley and Michelle Livesey, news editor for Key 103, will open the Radio Festival with ‘Breaking Bad News’. Reflecting on the recent terrorist attacks in Manchester and London Bridge, the session will take a look at the difficult task of reporting, speculating and informing the nation in real time when tragedy strikes. 

In another addition to the line-up, Paul Coleman, creator of the hit TV show, Car Share, will be exploring how we can be more creative. Coleman has trained and helped thousands of people to tune up their creativity, solve cultural challenges, land new ideas for products and services and energize teams as a partner in Humanise, an insight and innovation agency.

Comedian and actress Josie Lawrence will quiz actor and broadcaster, Nicholas Parsons, in a session entitled ‘Hesitation, Repetition and Deviation’. Parsons will share his insights and stories from 70 years of working in radio – his favourite professional medium – and reveal some of his favourite moments from chairing the long-running panel game ‘Just A Minute’ which celebrates its 50th anniversary this year.

Previously confirmed sessions include:

  • Sunil Singhvi, Head of Strategic Partnerships for Instagram, sharing his insights into how Instagram and radio can be the best of friends.
  • MOBO Award-winning songwriter, DJ, producer, visual artist and actor Goldie, MBE, meets Goldierocks (Sam Hall) to talk about his music and relationship with radio.
  • Comedian Matt Richardson will be talking about how Virgin Radio helped pop his radio cherry when he began hosting drivetime – and what he’s learnt along the way.
  • CEO of Soundbite, Steve Godman, will take a look at how audio is consumed on smartphones and will offer some fresh ideas and applications to help radio stations ‘Stand-Out’, whilst Rüdiger Landgraf, Co-Founder at SKIP>>FM, will demonstrate how playlists can be customised to give individual listeners a unique experience. 
  • ‘The New Theatre of the Mind’ session will meet radio teams who have grappled with Virtual Reality to add to radio’s storytelling power. Nathan Newman, CEO of Virtual Reality Associations, Ane Skak of Danish Broadcasting Corporation and Rhian Roberts, BBC Radio 4’s Digital Editor will talk about why radio people are best placed to exploit the new medium and demonstrate some cutting-edge VR/radio cross-overs.

Other guest speakers confirmed for this year’s Radio Festival include BBC 6’s Music’s Shaun Keaveny in conversation with the journalist, Miranda Sawyer; the team behind the award-winning My Dad Wrote a Porno, Jamie Morton, Alice Levine and James Cooper in conversation with BBC Radio 1’s Matt Edmondson; ‘The Stand-Out Stars of Online Radio’ with Simone Marie of Primal Scream/Soho Radio and Vernon Kay sharing his views on the differences between presenting for the BBC and commercial radio.

A number of other special events will take place at Radio Festival, including the launch of reelworld Radio Academy 30-under-30; new ‘Fellows of the Academy’, plus the Wickers’ World Foundation award will be revealed, with winners scooping a total prize of £7,000 to help make the documentary of their dreams.


Radio Festival’s is set to be a Stand-Out day with a line-up that’s tribute to the efforts of all concerned in rescheduling, making themselves available and generally supporting the radio and audio industry. I’m looking forward to hearing from some great speakers and our thanks for your support in staging this event after postponement in such tragic circumstances.

Roger Cutsforth, CEO of The Radio Academy

For full line-up details and tickets please visit:  


For more information please contact Lucy Goodwin on: 0203 189 1951 or mobile: 07961 452558 or email: 

For press passes, please contact Lucy Goodwin


About PRS for Music

Here for music since 1914, PRS for Music is a world-leading music collective management organisation representing the rights of more than 175,000 talented songwriters, composers and music publishers. Redefining the global standard for music royalties, PRS for Music ensures songwriters and composers are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. 

For 110 years it has grown and protected the rights of the music creator community, paying out royalties with more accuracy, transparency and speed. In 2023, PRS for Music paid out £943.6m in royalties and collected a record £1.08 billion in revenues.

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