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Churchill’s Iconic War Speech Heralded As Most Memorable Moment in Radio

Press release   •   Apr 15, 2013 00:00 BST

Winston Churchill’s iconic wartime speech, commonly referred to as “We Shall Fight On The Beaches”, has been lauded as the most memorable moment in radio history, Sony reveals today.

The 1940 speech, delivered to the Houses of Parliament and broadcast via radio, beat off stiff competition from Martin Luther King’s 1963 “I Have A Dream” speech, a cornerstone of the American Civil Rights movement.

Radio legend Sir Terry Wogan commented: “Winston Churchill’s magnificent speeches that rallied this country in the darkest days of World War Two have been etched into the fabric of our society - highlighting the importance radio has played in our history.

The third most popular moment was the Live Aid concert of 1985 which helped propel radio forward as a music-orientated medium, just managing to edge out H G Wells’ radio drama The War of the Worlds, broadcast in 1938, which duped many US radio listeners into believing they really were being invaded by aliens.

The top ten most memorable moments in radio, ranked in order of result, is included below:

  1. Winston Churchill: His "We Shall Fight them on the Beaches" speech, broadcast to rally the nation during World War Two in 1940.
  2. Martin Luther King: His "I have a dream" speech in 1963 was broadcast on both television and radio, effectively reaching the vast majority of the United States and fuelling the civil rights movement
  3. Live Aid: The Live Aid concert in 1985 which fully utilised the power of radio and its association with music
  4. The War of the Worlds: H G Wells’ radio drama The War of the Worlds, broadcast in 1938, tricked many members of the US public into believing the fictional story was real, and they were in fact being invaded by aliens.
  5. The Hillsborough Disaster: Football stadium disaster which unfolded live on BBC radio in 1989
  6. Sachgate: Russell Brand and Jonathan Ross prank called actor Andrew Sachs leaving obscene messages on his answering machine resulting in a record number of complaints in 2008
  7. The Kings Speech: King George VI taking elocution lessons to overcome his stutter. Upon declaration of war with Nazi Germany in 1939, he eloquently addressed the British Empire via radio
  8. Record Breaking: Chris Moyles breaks the Guinness World Record for the longest marathon DJ (team) show in 2011
  9. Frankie Goes to Hollywood: Mike Reed threw their single "Relax" across the studio in 1984 resfusing to play it for its supposedly obscene lyrics. The single went on to top the UK charts for five weeks without the success.
  10. Chris Moyles Salary: Chris Moyles complaining about the fact that he had not been paid in two months in 2010

Sony compiled the list of ten memorable moments in conjunction with the Radio Academy; a registered charity dedicated to the encouragement, recognition and promotion of excellence in UK radio.

The research was commissioned to mark the public voting launch of the Sony Golden Headphones Award – a new ‘listener’s choice’ category at the 2013 Sony Radio Academy Awards.

The Sony Golden Headphones Award will be decided entirely by public vote as of today (April 15). Voting is limited to one vote per email address and will close at 5pm on Friday 10th May. Any radio presenter or personality over the age of 18 who holds a regular slot on a UK-based radio programme had the opportunity to register for the award, or be put forward by one of their fans.

Sir Terry Wogan commented: “As the proud winner of a number of Sony Radio Awards, it was gratifying to know that they were awarded by my fellow-broadcasters. However it’s always the listening public who decide what, and who, is the best on the radio. The Sony Golden Headphones Award will give the listeners their voice on the all-time great radio presenters.”

John Myers, Chairman of the Sony Radio Academy Awards, commented: “Radio has been a powerful medium for decades. As you can see with this top ten list, many of the most memorable moments are directly linked to great presenters. The Sony Golden Headphones Award will showcase another great presenters – one who will make their own memorable mark on radio – and we can’t wait to see who the public choose.”

The winner of the Sony Golden Headphones Award will receive a specially created trophy. The design is based on Sony’s best-selling MDR-1 headphone range and will be presented to the winner at the Sony Radio Academy Awards ceremony on Monday 13th May at Grosvenor House Hotel.

Sony has decades of heritage and expertise in audio electronics, from digital radios right through to the latest quality headphones. The groundbreaking MDR-1 headphones range was created via a unique partnership with Sony Music Entertainment in collaboration with leading music industry figures including singer songwriter Katy B and dub-step super-group Magnetic Man.

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