The UKs longest serving TV newsreader has praised the work of Hospital Radio Volunteers, sending special congratulations on the work they do. Alastair Stewart filmed a special greeting from the ITV News room, played on the big screens during the National Hospital Radio Awards Ceremony in Bristol.
He said: "I've always supported Hospital Broadcasting and the amazing work you all do for those people who are in sitting hospital and not having a great time of it. It gives them things to talk about, to enjoy, it just makes their life a little bit better."
The newsreader wasn't alone in sending good will messages this year. The cast of ITV's Emmerdale recorded a special scene in the soaps Woolpack Inn where seven cast members explained why they loved Hospital Radio. The cast, which included Chris Chittell and Charlie Hardwick, the shows Eric and Val Pollard, said: "We just wanted to say a huge thank you for the work volunteers do in hospitals right across the UK. The work is really appreciated in bringing a bit of light relief to hospital patients."
Tony Audenshaw, who plays Bob Hope in the drama, joked: "It would help though if you didn't broadcast at seven o clock every night because there's something really good on ITV!"
HBA Ambassador, Radio 2's Ken Bruce also sent a video greeting for the awards ceremony. He said: "Well done to all those who've won awards, it's a great achievement and you've done fantastically well but then everyone working in Hospital Radio has done so well again this year, as you do every year. It really is the most important service you can deliver to patients around the country."
There were further tributes on the stage itself, during the ceremony. Paul Robinson, new CEO of the Radio Academy and judge of the awards said: "I think hospital radio really does produce incredible radio and you should all be very very proud of what you do.