Thursday 5 March 2020, London – Jess Gillam, chart-topping saxophonist and now award-winning broadcaster, accepted her gold award for ‘Best Specialist Music Programme’ for her weekly radio series on BBC Radio 3, ‘This Classical Life’ at the 2020 ARIAs last night.
Fighting off stiff competition from Gilles Peterson’s Radio 6 Music show and Absolute Radio Stories, Jess joined fellow radio presenters Greg James (Radio 1 Breakfast Show), Emma Barnett (BBC Radio 5 Live) and Mistajam (BBC Radio 1Xtra) as GOLD winners across 23 categories.
Accepting her award from broadcaster Zoe Ball onstage at the London Palladium, Jess spoke confidently and with her characteristic enthusiasm for classical music: “For me, music is about reaching as many people as I can… I’m very passionate about encouraging the next generation, making sure we can keep on sharing this hope and joy that [music] creates. These are the things that bring us hope, and we need them more than ever.”
Speaking after her win, Jess said she was “very surprised and absolutely delighted” to have won for ‘This Classical Life’, thanking her listeners, guests and the production team at BBC Radio 3 for their guidance and hard work. In reviewing the show, The Guardian noted that ‘there are many, more established presenters who lack Gillam’s warmth and impressive ability.’