Newstalk takes gold for Mark Pollock documentary at International Radio Program Awards

The station took a total of four prizes at the New York Festivals gala

Newstalk takes gold for Mark Pollock documentary at International Radio Program Awards

Simone George and Mark Pollock pictured in 2014 [RollingNews/Sam Boal]

Newstalk 106-108FM’s Futureproof has received top honours at the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards Gala, which took place in New York yesterday, June 19th securing a gold award for its ‘The Space Between Skeleton and Skin’ programme.

The programme, which charts Mark Pollock’s efforts to walk following his paralysis, also won silver in the ‘Heroes’ category.

Documentary on Newstalk also took home two awards at the prestigious festival. ‘No Roses Round My Cottage’ picked up a silver award while the drama 'Matches' received a bronze award.

Futureproof is the only national science programme on Irish radio and covers the latest developments from the world of science and technology. The show also includes short radio documentaries and special features on how scientific advancements can aid human progress.

This special feature entitled ‘The Space Between Skeleton and Skin’ is the exclusive story of Irish adventurer Mark Pollock and his latest major breakthrough since he was paralysed.

Jonathan McCrea charts the remarkable journey of Mark and his fiancée Simone, along with the team of scientists and medical experts, as they try and utilise a radical new therapy—reshaping what we know of how the body moves and how we treat spinal injuries.

Combining creative sound-design, inspiring characters, and remarkable scientific innovations, it tells an inspiring story of human endeavour and exclusively reveals the latest achievement in an incredible journey of hope and perseverance.

‘No Roses Round My Cottage’, which picked up a silver award, was produced and narrated by Nuala Macklin. It shares the stories of four ordinary yet remarkable Irish women who forged a challenging path through the Northern Ireland Troubles. Speaking on the record for the first time, the women represent the Civil Rights Movement, the UDA (Ulster Defence Regiment), UVF (Ulster Volunteer Force), and the Nationalist/Republican sector.

‘Matches’, which finished with a bronze award, was produced by Henchman Productions. It tells the story of Tom, a recovering alcoholic looking for love in a world of dating apps, social media and the ever-present lure of alcohol. Exploring this mysterious sub-culture, Tom discovers some of the thrills and pitfalls of the modern dating scene.

The play was written by Sean O’Connor, produced by Daithi McMahon and directed by Fred O’Connor with outstanding performances by radio drama stalwarts Morgan C. Jones, Karen Scully and Caroline Power and featuring rising Irish stars Genevieve Hulme-Beaman and Fiach Kunz along with Aoibheann McCann, Eva-Jane Gaffney and Matt Ryan.

Patricia Monahan, Managing Editor at Newstalk106-108FM said, “Winning the gold award at the New York Festivals International Radio Program Awards, along with three other awards for our programmes, is a fantastic achievement for Irish radio and an honour for the team at Newstalk 106-108FM.

"At Newstalk we strive to bring our listeners the very best stories from across the country and around the world and this award is a testament to our efforts.”

Newstalk 106-108FM beat off stiff competition with over 336 finalists from 32 countries worldwide, all of whom were judged by the 2017 Grand Jury on production values, organisation and presentation of information, creativity and use of the medium.

Futureproof brings you the latest developments from the worlds of science and technology every Saturday at 12. The Documentary on Newstalk series examines the issues shaping our nation and the world. Saturdays from 10-11pm and Sundays at 8-9am.