Wed 05 May, 2024

Prison Radio Association takes home Gold at the 2024 ARIAS

This year, our charity the Prison Radio Association was nominated for a record eleven awards across nine categories at the UK ARIAS (Audio and Radio Industry Awards).

At last night’s ceremony we found out we won six awards, including Gold for our show Free Flow sponsored by Shannon Trust and hosted by the incredibly inspiring poet, radio presenter, and Prison Radio Association staff member Lady Unchained.

Free Flow was crowned Best Specialist Music Show at the 2024 ARIAS – the Oscars of the radio industry – at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane on Tuesday evening.

The ceremony was hosted by Alice Levine and Romesh Ranganathan.

The award was presented to Lady Unchained and producer Arthur Hagues, with Lady Unchained becoming overwhelmed with emotion as they took to the stage.

The judges said the show was simply ‘transformative‘.

Free Flow is hosted by the poet Lady Unchained. She plays instrumentals to National Prison Radio listeners, encouraging them to write and perform lyrics along to the music. Listeners then call National Prison Radio’s freephone voicemail to record their bars, and Lady Unchained gives feedback and encouragement.

It’s slogan recognised amongst its listeners is:

It’s the show where we play the beat twice so you can get your bars right.”

Free Flow launched in 2018 as an instrumental show and has since become something truly special. It’s highly successful and presenter Lady Unchained encourages her audience to use words in a way that’s creative, expressive and therapeutic.

Free Flow has become an outlet for many people in prison and a community has been born from the show.

Reflecting on the award, producer Arthur said:

This award is really for all the listeners behind bars calling the freephone line, sharing their stories of change, positivity, inspiring other people. The Free Flow community – this is you, this is all down to you.”

Lady Unchained recently sat down with Ciaran Thapar at The Guardian to tell him all about Free Flow and the impact it’s had on its listeners.

In the article, we hear from Chequez – a Free Flow graduate who utilised the show inside to help him get through his sentence.

You can read this article here.

Other winners at the ARIAS 2024 included:

Life After Prison podcast hosts Zak and Jules won Silver for Best Speech Presenter. This is a brilliant result once again for Zak and Jules after being crowned Best New Presenter’s last year against the best broadcasters in the business.

Life After Prison also picked up a Bronze for The Grassroots Award.

National Prison Radio’s Rock Show hosted by the uniquely talented James Phillips, won Silver for Best Music Entertainment Show. Another successful year for James, after having won a Bronze award in 2023 and a Gold in 2022.

Takeover Tuesdays, produced by Arthur Hagues won Bronze for Best New Radio Show.

National Prison Radio’s daily breakfast show host Ali, won Bronze for Best New Presenter.

We are highly thankful to the Radio Academy for this recognition.

Receiving these awards and getting this industry recognition is so important to us because it continues to prove that we are not just a small charity doing our thing in isolation, we are a registered charity that produces the highest quality audio work alongside some of the most talented presenters and producers, who just so happened to have spent time in prison.

National Prison Radio is the world’s first national radio station for people in prison. It’s available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year on in-cell TV and reaches over 80,000 people behind bars across England and Wales.

National Prison Radio was founded by the Prison Radio Association – a registered charity. Our shows help people to cope with life inside prison and thrive on release. If you would like to support our work, and enhance the futures of people in prison across the UK you can make a donation at