2017 Sandford St Martin Awards Judges

Sandford St Martin judges represent some of the best of the UK’s broadcasting and journalism industries.  They’re chosen to represent a wide and rich variety of media experience, backgrounds and experiences of faith or spirituality.  What they have in common is their skill, professionalism and commitment to excellence in broadcasting.

David Almond

Chair of Children’s Judges

David Almond is the author of Skellig, The Savage, A Song for Ella Grey, and many more novels, stories and plays. His major awards include The Carnegie Medal and the Hans Christian Andersen Award, the world’s most prestigious prize for children’s authors. He is Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University. He lives in Newcastle.

Navid Akhtar

TV Judge

Navid Akhtar is the founder and CEO of Alchemiya.com and an award winning Television and Radio producer.

Anna Bassi

Children’s Judge

Anna Bassi is the editor of The Week Junior – an award-winning current affairs magazine for children 8 to 14 years old.

Rev Kate Bottley

Interview Judge

Kate Bottley is a priest and a regular contributor to Channel 4’s “Gogglebox“.

Innes Bowen

TV Judge

Innes Bowen is an editor in the BBC’s Radio Current Affairs department and the author of Medina in Birmingham, Najaf in Brent: Inside British Islam.

Jill Burridge

Interview Judge

Jill Burridge was editor of Woman’s Hour between 2002 and 2011. Before that she helped to launch the discussion led website iVillage. Now an independent editor and media consultant, she continues to actively advocate for women in the media. 

Julie Etchingham

TV Judge

Julie Etchingham presents and reports for ITV News at Ten.  Julie also presents the Tonight programme for ITV and was the first woman to be named Royal Television Society Presenter of the Year in 2010. She won the award for a second time in 2016.

Hussein Kesvani

Interview Judge

Hussein Kesvani is a freelance journalist and the Head of PR/Communications at Theos. He was previously a special correspondent for BuzzFeed News

David Lloyd

Chair of Radio Judges

David Lloyd is a radio executive, strategist, trainer, media historian, broadcaster and the author of ‘How to Make Great Radio’.

Nicola Meyrick

Radio Judge

After 21 years at the BBC as a producer and senior manager including being the network’s Head of Radio Current Affairs, Nicola is now combining freelance journalism and editing with securing a MA in Spanish, Portuguese and Latin American Studies.

Aasmah Mir

Chair of the Interview of the Year Judges

Aasmah Mir is a Sony Gold Award-winning broadcaster and the co-presenter of ‘Saturday Live‘ on BBC Radio 4.  She also reports for ITV’s flagship current affairs programme ‘Tonight‘.

Tim Patterson

Children’s Judge

Having held a number of senior positions at Nickelodeon/Viacom, BBC, UKTV, ITV and Disney, Tim is now CEO of Larkshead Media, an end-to-end media service company.  Primarily focused on kids programming IP, Larkshead Media gives TV programme ideas the best start in life and plans for their future, with specific focus on programme development, investment, programme brand planning and strategy and sales.

Daniel Pearl

Chair of TV Judges

Daniel Pearl is the deputy head of news and current affairs at Channel 4 where he commissions Channel 4 News and also edits ‘Dispatches‘, the award-winning current affairs documentary series. 

Nabila Ramdani

Radio Judge

Nabila Ramdani is an award-winning French-Algerian journalist, columnist and broadcaster specialising in French politics, Islamic Affairs, and, the Arab world.  She is a regular contributor to many of the UK’s major broadsheets as well as to international publications such as the NY Times and Le Monde.

Caroline Raphael

Radio Judge

The first woman Head of Radio Drama at the BBC, a former Commissioning Editor of Comedy & Fiction at Radio 4 and “one of the most influential comedy executives of her generation” having been responsible for early shows featuring Miranda Hart and Sarah Millican, Caroline is now working with her own company, Dora Productions.

Jeanette Steemers

Children’s Judge

Jeanette Steemers is Professor of Culture, Media & Creative Industries at Kings College London and an active advocate for children’s television.


In addition to our judges, we are indebted to our 2017 shortlisters all of whom have have direct and relevant broadcasting experience in the category they were asked to work on.  Together they are charged with whittling down the entries.  They include:

Fareena Allam, Jane Anderson, Roger Bolton, Olive Clancy, Torin Douglas, Hugh Faupel, Oliver File, Abdul-Rehman Malik, Flora Gregory, Natasha Maw, Anna McNamee, Pete Rawlings, Angela Robson, Sharmini Selvarajah, Paresh Solanki and Bryony Taylor.