Rich Williams sings the travel news and wins a radio gong

By Candice Krieger, July 1, 2010

Mazeltov to Leeds-based radio star Rich Williams. The host of 96.3 Radio Aire's drivetime show has been named presenter of the year at the Arqiva Commercial Radio Awards. He won the mid-size station category - broadcasting to between 300,000 and 1 million listeners.

Mr Williams, 28, has been entertaining listeners at Radio Aire - one of Yorkshire's biggest commercial radio stations - for the past year. He does so from 3 to 7pm. Popular features include "Singing Travel", in which he sings the travel news rather than just saying it; and "I'll say anything", in which listeners text or email in with anything (within reason) they want said on air, and he will broadcast it. "I think my favourite to date was when a person sent in a text on a Friday saying: 'I'm just on the way home for my Shabbos meal.'"

He tells People: "It is amazing how relaxed you become doing the show and I always try to speak as I would do around friends, which can mean the odd Yiddish word drops in from time to time. I think it goes over the heads of most listeners but am sure there are a few people with a wry smile when they hear it.

"Generally the show is all about being a big voice for Leeds. It's great to be doing a show in the city where I was born so everything I do tends to relate back to a love of Leeds, which is shared with my listeners."

Mr Williams, who lives in Roundhay, joined the Radio Aire Street Team while studying at Leeds University. He went on to be the radio's travel scout and reported on traffic from a helicopter for Logie's Big Breakfast. He then moved into the studio and spent three years as part of Logie's Big Breakfast before taking over Radio Aire's Home Run in May 2009.

What next? "I am happy where I am at the moment but radio is a fast moving industry, so when the right opportunity comes up I'm sure I'll be happy to grab it with both hands."

The awards were presented at the Westminster Bridge Park Plaza hotel in central London last month by Absolute Radio's Christian O'Connell. There were performances from Katie Melua and The Saturdays.

Last updated: 11:20am, July 1 2010