Judges for the Sandford St Martin 2021 Awards

Sandford St Martin judges represent some of the best of the UK’s broadcasting and journalism industries.  Chosen to represent a broad range of experience, perspectives and backgrounds as well as attitudes to faith, what they have in common is their skill, professionalism and commitment to excellence in broadcasting.

Bernard P Achampong

Radio/Audio Judge

Bernard P Achampong is a six-time Sony Radio Academy award-winning audio producer, with many years of experience working for BBC, Spotify, ITN Productions and as a freelance producer.
In 2015, he was nominated for the BBC World Service documentary HRH The Prince of Wales: Building Bridges which contextualised a conversation with HRH Prince Charles with candid first-person illustrations of the displaced Christians from the Middle East but he’s probably best recognised for his 10-part exposé on the Dark Web for Audible UK.
In 2011, Bernard formed the digital development company Unedited and launched Unedited Stories podcast network in 2017.

Anna Bassi

Children’s Judge

Anna Bassi is Editor-in-chief of the multi-award-winning children’s news magazine, The Week Junior which, following its success in the UK, launched a US edition in the spring of 2020. Anna has been creating magazines for children for more than 25 years.  She has an in-depth understanding of what young readers engage with, and a commitment to providing brilliant, perfectly-pitched, trusted and age-appropriate content that keeps children –and their parents – coming back for more. In December 2018 Anna was presented with the Editors’ Editor Award by the British Society of Magazine Editors.

Innes Bowen

Journalism Judge

Innes Bowen is an executive producer specialising in documentary podcast serials.  She recently left the BBC where she was Investigations Editor at BBC Newsnight.  A former editor of Analysis, The Briefing Room and The Bottom Line on BBC Radio 4, she is the author of ‘Medina in Birmingham, Najaf in Brent: Inside British Islam‘ and has been described as “the woman who mapped British Islam”.

Kay Benbow

Children’s Judge

With over 25 years of experience in Children’s Broadcasting, Kay Benbow is an Independent Children’s Media Specialist.  As Controller of CBeebies (2010 – 2018), Kay commissioned all content – TV, Online, Apps and Radio, for the BBC’s pre-school Channel. Under her leadership, CBeebies became a multi-genre, multi-platform offering and was awarded BAFTA Children’s Channel of the Year five times during Kay’s tenure.  A member of BAFTA, the RTS and Vice Chair of the Steering Group for the BFI Young Audiences Content Fund, in 2017 Kay was awarded an Honorary Doctorate from Sheffield University for services to Children’s Broadcasting.

Felicity Finch

Radio/Audio Judge

Felicity Finch is an actor, probably best known for playing “Ruth Archer” in BBC Radio 4’s ‘The Archers’. She’s also a features and documentary presenter, and journalist for Radio 4 and The World Service. Her work has taken her to Rwanda several times where she’s made programmes about the long-term effects of the 1994 genocide on women’s lives. Documentaries examining how radio drama can be sues to communicate vital information to listeners have taken her to Peshawar, Albania and Cambodia, as well as back to Rwanda. In Afghanistan, alongside making features, Felicity has trained actors and directors on the Afghan soap ‘New Home New Life’. Her documentary ‘Will He Change His Socks’ was nominated for a Sony Award.

Flora Gregory

TV/Video Judge

Flora Gregory’s career spans over thirty years in the broadcast and the independent sectors. Among her peers she’s renowned for her commitment to uncovering and mentoring new talent and for bringing stories made by local filmmakers around the world to an international audience. She is currently Executive Producer on One World Media’s Production Fund and Project Director of the Global Short Docs Forum and also works with BBC Media Action, Esodoc, EDN, IDFAcademy and Medimed.  Previously she was Director of the Edinburgh International Television Festival (1990 – 92), the first chair of the Production Managers’ Association (1991) and Programming Manager of Discovery Europe’s The Learning Channel during its launch years (1992/3). She conceived and ran ‘Unreported World’, Channel 4’s long running foreign affairs strand (2000-2005) and was Founding Commissioning Editor for ‘Witness’, AJE’s Flagship documentary strand (2005-2014).

Jonathan Levi

TV/Video Judge

Jonathan Levi is a highly experienced multi award winning executive producer working in both unscripted and scripted television. In February 2021 he launched the new indie Content Kings, with Gavin Hay (co-founder of Brighter Pictures), former ITV and Warner Bros executive producer and post-production specialist Simon Green (founder of Green Rock).  Previous roles include Head of Arts and Popular Culture at ITV Studios, Executive Producer Renegade Pictures and Creative Director of Antenna Pictures. His credits include ‘Hatton Garden’ and ‘Broadmoor’ for ITV.  He’s also worked on the critically acclaimed ‘Transformation Street’ (ITV),  ‘Ross Kemp and The Armed Police’ (ITV) Ewan McGreggor’s ‘Cold Chain Mission’ (BBC2), ‘Tulisa The Price of Fame’ (BBC3/BBC1) as well as ‘Used Car Wars’ (Dave).  He is the author of the Sunday Times top 10 best seller and number 1 on Audible, ‘Inside Broadmoor’.

Swarzy Macaly

Chair of the Radio/Audio Judging Panel

TV and Radio Presenter Swarzy Macaly presents KISS Breakfast every Saturday and Sunday from 8-11am. She is also the voice of BBC Sounds, the official host of My Life My Say’s Quarantine Question Time, and has presented two BBC documentaries: ‘Me VS Climate Change‘ and Instagramification.

As well as TV and radio, Swarzy is the founder of Too Much Source – an annual exhibition with live events dedicated to celebrating Black British creatives who are making history today. This year’s gallery is called ‘Joy and Resilience in 2020’ – a dedication to two attributes that remain central to the black experience – and is in partnership with Roundhouse, KISS, and BBC Creative.

Most recently, Lord Simon Woolley recognised Swarzy for her charisma and passion for social justice and so nominated her to be part of the Duke and Duchess’s list of Black History Month Next Generation Trailblazers 2020.

Social media: @swarzymacaly

Abdul Rehman Malik

Radio/Audio Judge

Abdul-Rehman Malik is an award winning journalist, educator and cultural organizer. In June 2019 he was appointed Lecturer and Associate Research Scholar at the Yale Divinity School. He also serves at the Program Coordinator at Yale University’s Council on Middle East Studies, and is responsible for developing curricula and partnerships with public schools to promote better cultural, language and religious literacy about the Middle East to educators and students alike. He is programs manager for the Radical Middle Way, which offers powerful, faith-inspired guidance and tools to enable change, combat exclusion and violence and to promote social justice. As a broadcaster, Abdul-Rehman is a regular voice on BBC Radio, offering contemporary perspectives on contemporary spirituality. Until 2018 regularly presented the popular Pause for Thought segment on Radio 2 and Something Understood on Radio 4. He hosts the “This Being Human” arts and culture podcast which explores Muslim experience and identity.

Jenni Murray

Chair of the Journalism Judging Panel

Dame Jenni Murray DBE is a journalist, broadcaster and the longest serving host of BBC Radio 4’s ‘Woman’s Hour’ having presented the flagship magazine programme most weekday mornings between 1987 and 2020. She is a patron of the Family Planning Association and Breast Cancer Now and a former non-executive director of the Christie Cancer Hospital, as well as the author of a number of books on women’s health and history and regular commentator in the press.

Adnan Sarwar

Chair of the TV/Video Judging Panel

Adnan Sarwar is an award-winning television documentary presenter. A former British soldier who served in the Iraq war alongside the US Marines, his TV and journalism career was launched in 2017 in which time he’s worked for the BBC, Channel 4 and ITV covering the Partition of Pakistan and India, Iraq fifteen years after the invasion, male circumcision in the Jewish, Muslim and black African communities, gang warfare and the drugs trade in South Africa, the high altitude mountain passes used by migrants to get from Italy into France and coronavirus. In 2020 he won the Premio Luchetta Award for Reportage for his documentary from South Africa.

Twitter: @adnansarwar

David Strachan

TV/Video Judge

David Strachan is a multi-award winning TV Producer and Strategist who also sits on the board of Creative Scotland.  As Founding Managing Director of Tern Television until 2018, David saw the company grow from staff of four to more than fifty in Aberdeen, Glasgow and Belfast. For 19 years he was Scottish representative on the board of the producers trade association. He served for a term on the board of Scottish Screen and has long been an active advocate for increased production from the Nations.  He is an honorary professor in the film and media studies department of the University of Stirling.

Rosamund Urwin

Journalism Judge

Rosamund Urwin is a journalist for the Sunday Times, and currently the paper’s media and technology correspondent. She previously covered Brexit for the paper and broke the Yellowhammer scoop, revealing the government’s own forecasts about the impact of a no-deal Brexit. Before that, she was a columnist, senior feature writer and interviewer for the Evening Standard. She appears regularly on TV and radio and has also written for publications including Elle, US Vogue, the New Statesman, the Catholic Herald, the Observer, the Telegraph and Grazia.

Ewan Vinnicombe-Wallis

Children’s Judge

Ewan is an experienced Executive Producer. Throughout his career, of which over 20 years were spent within the BBC, Ewan ensured the success of many well-known programmes including in its 60th celebratory year, the BBC’s flagship brand Blue Peter – the world’s longest running children’s TV programme. Since leaving the BBC, Ewan has worked for a variety of independent producers, Manchester International Festival, BFI and SharpFutures in Manchester as a consultant.


Tony Walsh

Chair of the Children’s Judging Panel

Tony Walsh is a Manchester-based poet working around the UK and internationally, writing and performing for both children and adults. His writing came to worldwide attention with the now iconic performance of his poem “This Is The Place” at the vigil for the victims of the Manchester Arena bombing in May 2017. Tony subsequently performed to a global audience at the One Love stadium concert to raise funds for the victims, whilst licensing the poem to raise approaching £200k for Manchester charities.
A former Poet in Residence for Glastonbury Festival and a regular on tv and radio, Tony’s work has been commissioned for the final of The Great British Menu on BBC2, Socceraid for Unicef on ITV1, for the launch of the Rugby League World Cup 2021, as well as by organisations including the Lake District National Park and Imperial War Museum North.  Tony’s poem to mark the 60th anniversary of CBBC’s flagship Blue Peter earned a standing ovation at the 2018 BAFTA Children’s Awards Ceremony.
A passionate and inspiring educator, Tony has recently signed a deal for three children’s picture books with Hachette, and was a roving reporter on CBBC’s Newsround in 2019. He has worked in schools, colleges and universities around the UK and as far away at Turkey and Kazakhstan. Tony was awarded an honorary doctorate by the University of Salford, becoming a Doctor of Letters, in 2018.
Social media: @longfella


In addition to our judges, we are hugely indebted to our 2021 shortlisters, all of whom lent us their time, energy, enthusiasm and their professional experience to the category they were asked to work on.  Together they whittled down more than 200 entries to create this year’s shortlists.  Our thanks to:

Ngunan Adamu, Shola Adesina, Bridget Cass, Colette Cunningham, Rosie Dawson, Torin Douglas, John Matheson, Nana-Adwoa Mbeutcha, Anna McNamee, Nicola Meyrick, Reem Nouss, Harry Parker, Mark Perrow, Pete Rawlings, Angela Robson, Paresh Solanki, Bryony Taylor and Chris Wilson.