Veteran broadcaster Johnnie Walker was presented with the Gold Award for lifetime contribution at the 2004 Sony Radio Academy Awards, held last night at London's Grosvenor House Hotel.

Veteran broadcaster Johnnie Walker was presented with the Gold Award for lifetime contribution at the 2004 Sony Radio Academy Awards, held last night at London's Grosvenor House Hotel.

Walker recently returned to his BBC Radio 2 afternoon drive slot after taking time out to recover from colon cancer. Elton John, who was hand to present the award, described Walker as "a fighter in every sense of the word, both personally and professionally." Walker established his career during the 1960s as a DJ for offshore British pirate station Radio Caroline.

Also on the night, pioneering reggae music presenter David Rodigan won the music broadcaster of the year award. Rodigan, who has spent 25 years in the radio business, was one of the first British radio DJs to champion reggae, a genre he still specializes in at London rhythmic station Kiss 100.

Other major awards went to news/talk station BBC Radio 4 (national station of the year), alternative station XFM/London's Christian O'Connell (DJ of the year) and the GMG Radio group's John Simons (station programmer of the year).

The winners are chosen largely by a panel of 100 judges selected by the Radio Academy.