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Newspress Awards making the news

publication date: Mar 29, 2016
author/source: John Kendall


Anna Farnell mouthpiece of SMMT and Nina Conti

Newspress staged its first awards evening in London with gongs for journalists, publications, websites, videographers, photographers and on the PR side, for both teams and individuals.


Staged at the Brewery in Central London, it was presided over by MC Alan Dedicoat, best known to many as the voice of the BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing and the National Lottery. With 22 Awards to hand out, there was no standing on ceremony and Dedicoat set a frantic pace as Newspress’ Craig Cheetham and Tim Barfoot handed over the awards and winners sped off to be photographed. Guests were treated to entertainment from ventriloquist Nina Conti (daughter of actor Tom), who brought along her regular companion “Monkey” to help with the act. Nina called on members of the audience to help, using face masks to literally put words in the mouths of her assistants. Willing victims or not, SMMT senior events and communications manager Anna Farnell (pictured right) and regional communications manager for Ferrari North Europe Jason Harris proved to be perfect foils for Conti’s humour.


Back to the serious business of awards and the remaining 11 trophies were handed out, with Dedicoat able to keep his promise to get AA president Edmund King on the last train home with around 45 minutes to spare. 

Among the winners, Western Group members will be pleased to see that JLR’s Sarah Pelling picked up the award for PR rising star. Sarah was instrumental in organising the Western Group JLR driving event at Bowood last July, with JLR hosting a Western Group meeting. Honda's Simon Branney was declared PR of the Year (below). 


Sarah with Tim   Simon with Tim


Suzuki took the award for press office of the year, with the judges noting how Alun Parry (below left) and Jade Wells managed to provide such an excellent service from one of the smallest press offices in the business.

Suzuki were our hosts in March for the most recent Western Group driving event, hosting a meeting as well as a partner’s dinner and overnight stay at Bailbrook House Hotel near Bath.

First recipient of the Newspress special award was retiring SMMT Communications Manager and the newest Friend of the Western Group, Janet Wilkinson (below right). Janet was warmly applauded for her many years service in the SMMT press office.

Newspress first lifetime achievement award went to VW PR supremo Paul Buckett. Although Paul could not attend in person, he was commended for the breadth of his technical knowledge both at Citroen and Volkswagen, where he has spent most of his automotive PR career.


Tim and Alun   Janet and Tim


The Newpress 2016 winners





Automotive Blog


Automotive Business Journalist

Ben Oliver

Automotive Business Publication

Motor Trader

Automotive Consumer Journalist

Dominic Tobin

Automotive Consumer Publication

Auto Express

Automotive Editor

Jim Holder, Autocar and What Car?

Automotive Feature Writer

David Lillywhite

Automotive News Writer

David Simister

Automotive Regional Journalist

Frederic Manby

Classic Car Writer

James Ruppert

Rising Star Journalist

Martin Saarinen

Automotive Website

Honest John

Automotive Video

Keith Jones

Automotive Photographer

Luc Lacey

Commercial Vehicle Writer 

John W Henderson

Automotive PR Campaign/Event

Ford Mondeo

Automotive PR Support Agency 

Performance Communications

Rising PR Star

Sarah Pelling, Jaguar Land Rover

Automotive PR of the Year

Simon Branney, Honda

Automotive Press Office of the Year


Special Newspress Award

Janet Wilkinson MBE

Lifetime Achievement Award

Paul Buckett, VW



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