PinkNews Awards 2018: Homo Sapiens and Reasons to be Cheerful win Broadcast Award

Podcasts Homo Sapiens by Will Young and Chris Sweeney and Reasons to be Cheerful by Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd have both won the PinkNews Broadcast Award.

The star-studded podcasts saw off competition from, among others, BBC documentary True North: Out Of The Shadows—on Northern Ireland’s gay liberation movement—Channel 4’s First Dates and the BBC’s The Victoria Derbyshire Show.

Read more: The complete list of winners of the PinkNews Awards 2018

The seven-strong shortlist also featured ITV’s This Morning and BBC Radio 4’s consumer affairs show You and Yours.

Chris Sweeney and Will Young arrive at the PinkNews Awards 2018 (Paul Grace)

The honour was presented by Gogglebox‘s Stephen Webb and Shadow Foreign Secretary Emily Thornberry, who said she was especially excited to attend the event because she got to meet Webb.

After receiving the award, ex-Labour leader Miliband joked: “This makes up for the general election in 2015.”

He then made an emotional tribute to “Joe,” the pseudonym for an anonymous father of a trans child who he and award-winning radio host Lloyd interviewed during episode nine of Reasons To Be Cheerful in November last year.

Ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband (Paul Grace)

Miliband said that “the podcast worked because of” Joe’s testimony, which was featured alongside interviews with trans campaigner Paris Lees and trans health expert Dr Helen Webberley.

“I learned a lot by listening to him,” Miliband continued.

“I think its moving to hear Stonewall and the recognition that they rightly got, but I think they would say the battle is not yet won.”

During the episode, titled “Transgender Rights Are Human Rights,” Miliband hit out at articles in outlets like the Daily Mail and The Sun, saying that they were orchestrating a transgender “moral panic” that was comparable to the homophobia exhibited by the press in the 1980s.

The show is presented by ex-Labour leader Ed Miliband and award-winning radio host Geoff Lloyd (Reasons to be Cheerful)

Young and Sweeney have also been widely praised for their coverage of LGBT+ issues on the Homo Sapiens podcast.

While creating the self-described “LGBTQ+ answer to Radio 4 Women’s Hour,” the two co-hosts have explored hard-hitting issues like chemsex, queer mental health, and LGBT+ inclusivity in schools.

They also look at more upbeat topics, with one recent podcast seeing the pair visiting Hebden Bridge, a small town in Yorkshire, which has been dubbed the “lesbian capital” of the UK.

Homo Sapiens, which has been running for two seasons, has also featured interviews with prominent LGBT+ individuals and allies, including Jeremy Corbyn, Jack Monroe, Marika Hackman, Russell T. Davies, Owen Jones, Asifa Lahore and Johann Hari.

First Dates was nominated for the award after featuring LGBT+ people ever since it started airing in 2013, including the same-sex couples who appeared on the Channel 4 show this year.

In February, the programme — which sees participants being set up on blind dates — featured transgender participant Nick, who has since spoken out about trans representation on mainstream TV. 

In December last year, two men who appeared on the show — Greig and Shaun — announced their engagement.

Greig and Shaun (Twitter)

Another of the nominees for the award, This Morning, regularly discusses queer issues and has featured openly gay Rylan Clark-Neal and his husband Dan Neal as stand-in presenters.

In July, the ITV show invited on 14-year old drag queen Athena Heart, who was banned from competing in a school talent show.

The segment left Clark-Neal crying with pride, with the presenter telling the teenager: “I’ve got to say – I think you are amazing, I really, really do.”

Clark-Neal teared up at Lewis’s story (this morning/youtube)

The award was given to LBC radio host Maajid Nawaz and ITV chat show Lorraine last year, with previous winners including Good Morning Britain and The Victoria Derbyshire Show.

Former Prime Minister Tony Blair, Home Secretary Sajid Javid, Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn and Lib Dem leader Vince Cable were also present at the event at central London’s Church House.

Celebrity Big Brother winner Shane Jenek, singer and PinkNews Award nominee Will Young and BBC broadcaster Victoria Derbyshire also attended, among other stars.

Will Young speaks on sexuality in the music industry at LGBT Leaders conference presented by PinkNews (Paul Grace)

Attendees saw awards handed out to the best campaigner, third sector organisation and politician of the year, as well as a Lifetime Achievement award.

The PinkNews Awards is supported by Lloyds Banking Group.