Focal members of the ‘Lenton Boulevard’ team receive their Radio 1 Award from the late Kevin Greening.

In 2002 a housemate asked me to help him launch a student radio drama series. I was cautious at first, but a year later our project had won the highest award in student radio – Best Entertainment Show at the Radio 1 Student Radio Awards – and was an unprecedented achievement in student radio that propelled us both and others into jobs in the industry.

I’ll personalise this article with fresh insights and tales in the future, but for now here’s how I’ve described our achievements on the Friendly Creatives website and elsewhere:

Ian’s prisons work [for BBC WM] was a natural progression from his work in co-founding award- winning student soap opera Lenton Boulevard, producing 17 weekly episodes in a year,
written by and starring 35 student volunteers as well as Ian himself. Ian was Head
Writer and also starred in, directed and produced episodes, as well as compiling and
writing the show’s successful entry for ‘Best Entertainment Show’ at the Radio 1
Student Radio Awards…


Friendly Creatives’ Ian Kennedy was a co-founder of Lenton Boulevardwhich became the first successful student radio soap opera and won Best Entertainment Show at the 2003 Radio 1 Student Radio Awards…The series springboarded Ian into his radio drama and radio production career, and also began several other successful media careers.

Ian was Head Writer of the series, achieving 17 weekly episodes of 15 minutes each, and managing a team of up to 10 writers, many of whom went on to successful careers as journalists. Ian also produced several episodes of the award-winning student soap opera and its successful Radio 1 Student Radio Awards entry for URN 1350 (2003).

The ‘Lenton Boulevard’ cast in a publicity still.

Ian wrote and produced the successful Lenton Boulevard entry to the 2003 Radio 1 Student Radio Awards, which resulted in the series winning ‘Best Entertainment Show’ – click here to download the sampler compilation (MP3, 9MB) and press release (Word, 20KB). The bid was greatly enhanced by the involvement of BBC Radio Nottingham – prior publicity work resulted in a live interview with Ian and the series Executive Producer in the popular Karl Cooper Breakfast Show, an online feature, and the entire series becoming promoted and hosted by the BBC online.

Publicising the show’s award-winning success earned significant industry praise and media exposure. The series was given a major colour third-page feature in The Nottingham Evening Post, and earned interest and praise from industry professionals including The Archers Editor Vanessa Whitburn, who consequently provided Ian with contacts at the BBC who provided him with dozens of commissions over the next six years.

You can download the ten-minute sampler compilation(9MB), which featured in the series’ successful Radio 1 Student Radio Awards entry and promotional CD. You can also download the full episodes from the BBC’s Lenton Boulevard website, at

The ‘Lenton Boulevard’ cast in a publicity still.

Extracts on the compilation (9MB) – click here to listen to:

  • FRICTION among the housemates (Episode 03)
  • The STUDENT JAPE to end all student japes (17)
  • EARLY MORNING in Lenton (13)
  • DOCUMENTARY introduction to show (Autumn season)
  • ROB’S NARRATION on student life (04)
  • English professor’s ESSAY ADVICE (10)
  • Trip to Leeds, and TERI’S CONCERN (07)
  • Philosophy in STUDENTS’ UNION BAR (12)
  • Landlord LOCKED IN BATHROOM (05)
  • Passing the time, WATCHING TV (05)
  • For whom THE BELL TOLLS (17)

Also available are: press releases for our Launch promotion (Word, 20KB), and Student Radio Award (Word, 31KB)

If services like this could be of interest to you or your organisation, get in touch today!

Just from the colleagues and friends I’m still in touch with, I know of four of us from the series who went on to forge media careers for ourselves. The story is still growing.


If you’d like me to deliver projects like this for you, email me at!

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3 Responses to Award-winning student radio drama ‘Lenton Boulevard’

  1. […] the first wave of commissions of my career, which I’ll cover in another article, was being Head Writer and Co-Founder of what was apparently the country’s first successful ongoing…. After winning the highest possible award in student radio from Radio 1, we embarked on a publicity […]

  2. […] Invest! A People’s History of Castle Vale – audio history series Award-winning student radio drama ‘Lenton Boulevard’ Student Radio Experience and Demos By IanKennedy On January 14, 2013 · Add Comment […]

  3. […] been helping other writers develop their craft since before I became a professional writer, as Head Writer on an award-winning student radio drama. Since then  I’ve been a professional writer for over ten years, and a professional script […]

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