Near FM wins Celtic Media Festival award for Best Radio Drama

Executive producer Ciaran Murray

Near FM has won the Celtic Media award for Radio Drama in 2020. Beating off competition the BBC, Near FM won the award as part of their work encouraging new audio drama from women writers.

The Torc Award for Best Radio Drama

The Celtic Media Festival is an annual event that promotes film, TV and radio content among Celtic Nations and Regions. Near FM won Best Radio Drama for Petal’s written by Gillian Greer with script consultancy by Lisa Tierney-Keogh. Petal’s, which was also directed by Jeda de Brí and starred Kate Gilmore, was produced as part of New Drama Hour, a series of audio drama’s written exclusively by women writers. Petals is the story of one girl and her journey towards the night of a lifetime along with the trail of lust, longing and loss she finds on the way. Written entirely in verse, Petal’s takes a vibrant look at what it means to be sexually awakened in a city where school nuns shame, school boys leer; where less is more, no means yes and the beer-soaked nightclub is sanctuary.

“Hugely ambitious, hugely captivating and hugely original. The prospect of an hour long monologue in the form of prose didn’t seem particularly compelling on paper but on radio it was fantastic. The winner unfurled itself like a book, we were brought on a humorous, sad day long story that was a joy to listen to and that was tough to listen to.

This years winner of the Celtic Media Festival’s Radio Drama Category was one of the best things I’ve heard on radio in a long, long time.”

Rónán Mac Con Iomaire (Celtic Media judge, 20220)

Near FM’s New Drama Hour series is now in its second season, and to date Near FM have worked with 11 emerging women writers, many of whom are having their work produced for the very first time. As well as writers, Near FM are working with a wide range of female directors and actors making a name for themselves in the world of Irish film and theatre. Executive Producer Ciaran Murray remarks upon a great opportunity to showcase new writing talent:

‘Near FM always aspire to give new talent air time on our station. Whether that is in music, theatre, books or indeed audio drama. This series allows us to do this, and bridge the gender divide that still exists in radio, and more importantly when we look at the content these women are writing about, it breaks down barriers of female representation, and shines a light on societal pressures that affect everyone. We’re over the moon that Petal’s won Best Radio Drama as it is beautifully written and a very important subject’.

The New Drama Hour series will continue on Near FM in 2021, with three brand new audio dramas going into production as soon as Covid restrictions allow actors back into the studios. The series is also supported by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland Sound and Vision scheme with the television licence fee. Petal’s is available to listen back at (Listener discretion is advised)

Listen to ‘Petals’

The full anthology series is available online here:

And you can hear the first 3 plays from series two here: