Independent Podcast Awards crowns inaugural winners

Media Storm, Aunt Nell and Folk on Foot among honourees

The winners of the inaugural Independent Podcast Awards were announced in London yesterday, showcasing a breadth of independent talent across a number of genres.

The debut event saw a range of winners crowned, including Folk On Foot, which won the Arts and Culture category, as well as Media Storm for Educational, and Aunt Nell's Queer Roots and Routes for the Sexuality and Relationships category.

"I'm so excited to win and to be among a crowd of fellow independent podcasters," said Media Storm's Mathilda Mallinson. "I'm only sad I can't share it with my co-host Helena Wadia, who decided to go off on her honeymoon - her loss!"

"Working on Queer Roots and Routes was a particularly special project," Aunt Nell co-founder Tash Walker told PodPod, "because we worked directly with the Queer community, with people who are migrants or descended from migrants, and making a podcast like that in a time like this right now feels particularly powerful. But the one thing that really rang true throughout the entire project was Queer joy, love and solidarity, and I think that says it all."

The awards, which were sponsored by companies including Captivate, Adelicious and Pirate, were launched this year to celebrate the independent podcasting sector.

"I think these awards have been solely needed," said Captivate founder Mark Asquith, "something that's been missing from the UK for such a long time, to reward the persistence of everyone that's taken part and the independent podcasters that put that much work into it behind the scenes. I'm looking forward to next year. It's been a triumphant success."

The event was held at Kings Place in London, home of the London Podcast Festival, and was opened by Film Stories founder Simon Brew and Em McGowan, host of the Verbal Diorama podcast.

"It's quite hard to put into words," Brew told PodPod; "when you see how much it means to people who have been overlooked and not recognized in spite of the fact that what they're putting out is standing toe to toe with stuff with massive budgets and massive companies behind it. It's not just the people you've seen on stage who've got prizes; I've listened to so many of the nominees, and I'll tell you, it's one of those things, the further and deeper you look, there's so much talent out there."

Independent Podcast of the Year, chosen from the winners of the other categories, went to Celebrity Catch Up: Life After That Thing I Did, which also picked up an award in the Film and TV category. The Apocalypse Players also picked up two gongs for their blending of actual-play tabletop roleplaying with sterling sound design and improvisation.

The event followed the British Podcast Awards last month, and shared a number of nominees, including Black Earth Podcast, which picked up a Silver award for Best New Podcast at the BPAs, as well as previous BPA winners such as Effin' Hormones.