9 Nov 2012

Broadcaster Kim Hill judged best in world

8:15 am on 9 November 2012

Radio New Zealand broadcaster Kim Hill has been named the International Radio Personality of the Year.

The award was made by the Association for International Broadcasting at a dinner in London on Wednesday.

Kim Hill has presented the Saturday Morning programme on Radio New Zealand National since 2002 and before that presented Morning Report and Nine To Noon.

The judges described Kim Hill as "an experienced and warm broadcaster, able to coax guests to reveal more of themselves; really enjoyable live and sparky content that demonstrates what is great about radio".

Kim Hill says she's very happy to receive the award, but is very embarrassed by it.

"I mean it's great for Radio New Zealand - which has a stellar range of presenters and producers - so I'm happy for all that. I mean, for me, you're only as good as your last less than fantastic interview, you know."

Radio New Zealand chief executive Peter Cavanagh, who accepted the award on Kim Hill's behalf, said she had the exceptional skill of being able to talk to experts about some of the most complex subjects the world has ever seen, and still make it completely understandable to the average listener.

"She's got that very rare ability to talk with people from all backgrounds and all walks of life and to engage in a conversation that turns out to be so candid that often the interviewees themselves can't believe it's happening," he told Morning Report.

He said until becoming an online broadcaster Radio New Zealand had limited opportunities to test the quality of its programming on the world stage.

Another presenter, Simon Morton, was highly commended in the radio documentary category for his Christchurch earthquake programme Broken River, which won a gold medal at the New York Festival earlier this year.

The AIB awards showcase the very best current affairs and documentary productions across a wide range of genres, celebrating creativity and rewarding achievement in factual programming.

They are unique in the field of international media, and judged by an independent international panel of respected industry professionals including producers, editors, journalists, writers and critics.