George The Poet, real name George Mpanga, has scooped the 2020 Peabody Award for his podcast with collaborator Paul Carter, also known as Benbrick.
The show, Have You Heard George’s Podcast?, has beat out around 1,300 other entries and is the first-ever non-US receiver of the prestigious award, making George the first British winner.
The Peabody Awards recognise the most compelling and empowering stories hence why they’ve chosen George’s award-winning and critically-acclaimed podcast, which delivers a fresh take on inner city life with a mix of storytelling, music and fiction.
The deciding Peabody Board of Jurors branded the podcast “remarkable”, adding that it is, “arresting creative engagement with European colonialism and the Black Atlantic consciousness its afterlife produced”.
George the Poet explained the win as “being honoured as storytelling royalty”. He said: “Our podcast was inspired by greats from different fields who have also been honoured here; it’s a milestone in my career that I never dreamed of reaching so soon. On behalf of my community, I’m grateful for this recognition of our truth.”
“This recognition from the Peabody jury holds a special significance, not only given the award’s history,” explained collaborator Benbrick, “And the illustrious alumni of past winners that it has recognised since 1941, but because it offers an international spotlight to help highlight the importance of George’s writing.”
Commissioning Editor for Podcasts on BBC Sounds, Jason Phipps, said the win is a “huge milestone” and explained: “The podcast began as a grassroots DIY collaboration and this huge accolade is testimony to George the Poet and Benbrick’s extraordinary creativity and originality. I know I’m joined by others who have supported the podcast at Radio 1Xtra, Radio 4 as well as my team in congratulating George the Poet and Benbrick on this brilliant achievement.”
Have You Heard George’s Podcast? has previously accomplished a number of award wins including ‘Best Podcast’ at the NME Awards, ‘Podcast of The Year’ at the Broadcasting Press Guild Awards, as well as an additional seven titles at the 2019 British Podcast Awards.