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Welsh indie Bengo Media wins Radio 2 Early Breakfast Show contract

L-R: Holly Markham (Assistant Producer), Marina Lois (Bengo Media Director), Kayleigh Hughes (Assistant Producer) Bottom L-R: Georgie Kemp Walker (Producer), Steve Austins (Bengo Media Director), Vicki Blight (Producer)

Audio production company Bengo Media has won the contract to produce Radio 2’s Early Breakfast Show with new presenter Owain Wyn Evans after the station put the strand out to tender.

Radio 2 has commissioned Welsh independent audio production company Bengo Media to produce the Monday to Friday 4-6.30 am programme, presented by Owain Wyn Evans, following a competitive pitch process.

The programme will be broadcast from the BBC Cymru Wales broadcast centre in Cardiff, making it the network’s first weekday programme to broadcast beyond the London and Salford studios. The move is part of the broadcaster’s Across The UK plans – announced by the Director General in 2021 – allowing it to better reflect, represent and serve all parts of the country.

The show launches on Monday, 13th February 2023, which also marks the 100th anniversary of the national broadcaster in Wales.

Bengo Media Co-Founder, Steve Austins, will be the show’s executive producer.

 He said:

“Radio 2 is one of the biggest radio stations in the world, with 14.29 million people tuning in every week. As a Wales-based company, we are delighted to produce Owain as Radio 2 brings the Early Breakfast show to Cardiff. The production team were lucky enough to get some new alarm clocks for Christmas, and we can’t wait to help Owain keep the UK entertained in the early hours!”

Owain has worked as a television and radio presenter for over 20 years. He began his broadcasting career at 18 as a children’s news presenter at BBC Wales before becoming a weather presenter for Look North (Yorkshire), North West Tonight and Breakfast TV. Having spent time at Radio Cymru, he has presented radio shows for several of the broadcaster’s Local Radio stations, including Radio York, Radio Leeds and Radio Manchester. In December 2020, he hosted several ‘in conversation with’ shows for BBC Sounds in which he interviewed stars including Little Mix, Kylie Minogue and Dolly Parton.

A keen drummer since the age of seven, Owain shot to international fame when, during the lockdown in 2020, he produced a video of himself drumming to the BBC News theme tune, viewed tens of millions of times. This was the springboard for his record-breaking 24-hour Drumathon for Children In Need, which raised over £3.8m, making it the most successful 24-hour challenge in the 41-year history of the charity.

Since 2018, Cardiff-based Bengo Media has produced live shows and documentaries for the broadcaster in Wales, including Sunday Morning with Colin Jackson and Suzanne Packer, Sunday Morning with Jonathan Davies and Nigel Owens, The Long Tail: My Coronavirus Recovery and The Idea with Catrin Nye.

Bengo Media was founded by husband-and-wife team Steve Austins and Marina Lois, who both have a background in radio. Steve was formerly Station Editor at Radio Wales, whilst Marina has a background as a Station Director and product developer. Bengo Media also create and edit podcasts for a range of businesses and provide podcast training and consultancy.

The company has produced podcasts for Pitney Bowes, Surrey County Cricket Club, Life Sciences Hub Wales, and adventure athlete Richard Parks. In addition, they have collaborated with communications agencies to create podcasts for the National Adoption Service for Wales and Welsh Government and offered training and consultancy to Northumbria University, Community Housing Cymru and Macmillan.