A feature writer has broken a losing streak stretching back nearly two decades after triumphing for the first time at the O2 Media Awards North West.
Before last night’s ceremony Roger Lytollis, who writes for the Cumberland News and Carlisle News & Star, had been nominated 11 times without taking home a trophy since first being shortlisted in 2000.
Such was Roger’s dismay that in 2016 he launched an appeal through HTFP in an attempt to find other journalists who could match his losing streak.
But last night Roger, pictured, finally managed to break his duck after triumphing in the Best Writer category in the ceremony at Chester Racecourse.
Roger told HTFP: “It’s a great feeling to finally win. I really didn’t expect it. Watching other people win 11 times tends to lower your expectations.
“I know there are more important things to worry about than awards, but I’ve waited a long time for this. It’s 18 years since I was first shortlisted.
“My colleagues said they were desperate for me to win and I’m sure they were, if only in the hope that it would stop me going on about all the times I’ve lost.”
It was a quadruple celebration for Newsquest Cumbria, with Roger’s News & Star colleague Jon Colman taking home the Sports Journalist (Print) award, the Westmorland Gazette winning Community Campaign and Taste Cumbria receiving the Specialist Publication honour.
Elsewhere, Blackpool daily The Gazette was awarded the Daily Newspaper prize, with the paper’s coverage of the death of footballer Jimmy Armfield, who also worked as a journalist for the title, highlighted by judges along with its “exemplary content and design.”
The Liverpool Echo and its sister Sunday Echo title scooped four awards, with the latter receiving the Weekly Newspaper prize.
The Echo also won the Team (Print) award, while senior news reporter Emilia Bona won Young Journalist (Print) and Colin Lane won the Photographer category.
A Social Media award named in honour of BBC presenter Rachael Bland, who died from breast cancer in September, was won by the North Wales Daily Post’s Sarah Hodgson.
Nicola Green, director of corporate affairs at O2, said: “We are honoured to keep Rachael’s spirit alive through the O2 Awards. She was an inspiration to so many people.
The full list of winners is as follows:
Rachael Bland Social Media Award: Sarah Hodgson – Daily Post
O2 Stand Out Awards: Lucy Meacock – ITV Granada Reports, Ray Liddy – Tameside Reporter
Community Campaign: Westmorland Gazette
O2 Emerging Talent: Tom Burnett – The Sentinel, Lise McNally – ITV Granada Reports
News Reporter: Neal Keeling – Manchester Evening News
Best Writer: Roger Lytollis – Cumberland News
TV Entertainment Programme:- The Making of a Militant – Saffron Cherry Productions
Radio Entertainment Programme: Jimmy & Eamonn – BBC Radio Manchester
News Programme: ITV Granada Reports – Rail Special
Factual Programme: Manchester Bomb: Our Story – Blakeway North
Sports Programme: BBC North West Tonight – Race & Pace
Online Journalism: Warrington Guardian
Team (Broadcast) : ITV Granada Reports
Team (Print): Liverpool Echo
Radio Programme: Radio City – Remembering Rhys
Specialist Publication: Taste Cumbria – Newsquest Cumbria
TV Journalist: Matt O’Donoghue – ITV Granada Reports
Sports Journalist (Broadcast): Chris Hall – ITV Granada Reports
Sports Journalist (Print): Jon Colman – News & Star
Radio Journalist: Chris Chambers – Global’s Newsroom North West
Daily Newspaper: The Gazette, Blackpool
Most Memorable (Broadcast): Nikki Meets PM – Blakeway North
Most Memorable (Print): Ryan Evans tragedy – The Sentinel
Community Publication: Cumberland and Westmorland Herald
Young Journalist (Print): Emilia Bona – Liverpool Echo
Young Journalist (Broadcast): Mike Stevens – BBC Radio Lancashire
Photographer: Colin Lane – Liverpool Echo
Video Journalist: Dave Guest – BBC North West Tonight
Moving Images: Martin Brough – The Sentinel
Community Journalism (Broadcast): Global’s Newsroom North West – Still Birth
Weekly Newspaper: Sunday Echo
Broadcast Presenter: Roger Johnson – BBC North West Tonight