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Spark FM’s golden, delicious win in the big apple.

Programme controller Ivan Lehane, head of station sound Richie Lee, former station sanager Sarah Harrison and former presenter Phil Dean (we’re not sure which is which, other than Sarah of course).

Which Student Radio station is officially the best in the world?

Well, according to judges at the New York Festivals, it’s Sunderland’s Spark FM.

The station is no stranger to professional recognition, having picked up Radio Academy regional awards and student awards for both radio and television in the UK.

But the New York Festivals are a different kettle of fish: a bigger kettle altogether containing many more fish and exotic piscine species from around the world. But this award proves that when it comes to fish, you can’t beat the North East (ok, the fish thing was exhausted ages ago).

The Festivals are always worth entering, especially if you canĀ a) get somebody else to pay and b) fancy a trip to New York.

In addition to collecting the prize for Best Student Radio Station in the world, Spark’s Sarah Harrison picked-up a Bronze and former presenter Phil Dean was named as a finalist in the Best Documentary category.

The Spark project at the University of Sunderland includes a radio station, television channel, magazine and digital operation, served online and via its own Android app. It’s properly integrated into the curriculum and receives the full support of the University authorities.

Graeme Thompson, Dean of Arts, Design and Media at the University, praised the award-winning achievements:

Congratulations! A wonderful tribute to the professionalism and talent of everyone involved in the Spark project.