For 52 years the New York Festivals Radio Awards has recognised the world's best work in radio broadcasting. On 6 July it was announced in New York that a World Gold Medal has been awarded to 'The Budgerigar and the Prisoner' - a podcast reflecting on the Advent Season, produced by Clifton Cathedral parishioner Mary Colwell for the Clifton Diocese website: www.cliftondiocese.com.
Mary Colwell said: "'The Budgerigar and the Prisoner' really seems to have hit a spot, and I'm delighted about the New York Festivals Radio Awards. Les's story is universal and speaks to anyone. If it brings a sense of hope anywhere in the world it will have done its job. I'm really pleased."
Along with prisoner Les, Father Robert King features in the podcast. He said: "I'm thrilled that such a simple story of redemption should receive international acclaim. Everyone has a tale to tell and Les's story inspires hope as people strive to find their own way in life."
The World Gold Medal is decided by a grand jury made up of top radio professionals from five continents and more than 25 countries. Each year the New York Festivals Radio Awards selects winners from radio stations, networks and producers from over 30 countries.
The New York Festivals competition is dedicated to searching out and rewarding the world's best work. Each competition represents the best in communications the world has to offer.
'The Budgerigar and the Prisoner' won the radio equivalent of an Oscar - a Sony Radio Academy Gold - earlier this year. The programme was recently highlighted at a media conference as an example of excellent public service broadcasting in the new digital age.
The podcast is also on the shortlist to win the internet audio award at the Jerusalem Radio Awards - the announcement for this prize takes place at the Royal Academy in London in October. The Clifton Diocese, which serves the Catholic community in Bristol, Gloucestershire, Somerset and Wiltshire, has won this honour for the past two years.