The late Dianne Oxberry, who tragically died in 2019 just 10 days after being diagnosed with ovarian cancer, is to be honoured with a new award at the This Is Manchester Awards.
The fifth annual awards, which celebrates local businesses and individuals from across Greater Manchester, will take place this November, with The Manc as proud media partners.
And this year, a new award has been created in honour of the broadcaster and weather presenter, with the full support of Dianne’s family.
The This is Manchester Awards (TIMA) announced the Dianne Oxberry Special Impact Award this week, which will recognise an individual who has faced adversity and won and, by doing so, has left a lasting legacy across the region.
Dianne’s widower Ian Hindle attended a special event to announce the new award, alongside TIMA hosts Jenny Powell and Scott Thomas.
One of her last-ever presenting jobs was at the inaugural TIMA awards in November 2018, prompting the event’s organisers to reach out to her family and ask to create a long-term legacy in honour of her memory.
The new award announcement coincides with the first anniversary of the launch of Dianne Oxberry Trust’s ‘Spread the W.O.R.D’ campaign, which aims to raise awareness of some of the main symptoms of ovarian cancer.
Dianne’s husband Ian Hindle commented on behalf of the Trust: “Our goal is to raise awareness of the signs and symptoms of this disease, to help improve speed of diagnosis, and hopefully lead to improved outcomes so more families have more time together than we had with Dianne.
“Our community is the key to this. We are normal people, members of the North West community, reaching out to others in the area. We can only shout loudly with the support of people in the North West – local people helping local people.
“The community in this region is amazing at pulling together and doing just that…and we can’t thank our supporters enough for helping us spread the word, and – most importantly – save lives.
“Our values align perfectly with that of the This is Manchester Awards and we were touched that they wanted to honour Dianne in this way.”
TIMA founder Ziara Siddique said: “We were incredibly fortunate to have Dianne Oxberry present the very first awards alongside Roger Johnson back in 2018.
“Her passion for the city and, for the spirit of the awards was undeniable – now in our fifth year and established as an annual legacy event, the time feels right to recognise that early support and we’ve been incredibly humbled by the reaction we’ve received from her family and close friends in helping us shape this award.”
Nominations across the 15 highly-contested categories are set to open next week.
The This is Manchester Awards will take place on 9 November at Lancashire Cricket Club – a new location chosen to accommodate the greater number of guests.
Featured image: Supplied
Chatting with DJ Fabio ahead of ‘A History of Jungle, Drum and Bass’ with Grooverider and The Outlook Orchestra
Ahead of their upcoming tour next year, we got the chance to one-half of legendary DJing duo, Fabio and Grooverider, who’ll be coming to Manchester early next year.
‘The Godfathers of Drum and Bass’ were there at the very start of it all and have been able to see how the genre, along with offshoots like jungle, has evolved over the years — so it’s only right that they be the ones to deliver a real education to ravers and newcomers this January.
Bringing their ‘History of Jungle and Drum & Bass’ to the Manchester Academy on Saturday, 13 January, 0161 is just one of three places that have been chosen for the limited run of shows and, as Fabio told us on the call, it because this city has a rich relationship with the genre and pioneering underground music in general.
So you’ve got the tour starting in the New Year and it’s a very limited run of shows — what can you tell us about what you’ve got in store?
What we’ve got in store is the best of live drum and bass and something very unique thing. It’s a great show and honestly, even if I wasn’t involved in this I’d go along and definitely enjoy it.
It’s everything that we expected and with a project like this, it’s not something that’s not really been done before, especially not with an orchestra of this size, anyway.
We want it to sound authentic and that’s what’s happened with the band; The [Outlook] Orchestra’s amazing, the musicians are great and it’s a very entertaining two hours.
How have you found building this as a full production with the Orchestra and fine-tuning everyone’s performances on stage?
Well, over the course of our careers in general, it’s just got a lot tighter and we’ve all got a lot more confident. You’ve got to remember when this all started we’d never done anything like it before, you know — we’re DJs and we were on BBC Radio 1 for 14 years and then Kiss for seven.
Public speaking is a completely different thing than speaking in front of a mic, so that was really daunting at first, I’ve got to say; the first one we did I was really nervous and we still get that sense of anticipation, but where it was a bit around the edge at the start, the audience didn’t know that and now I’d say it’s almost 100% the way we want it.
We’ve been doing it two years now and, yeah, it’s just a process of tweaking those fine margins and getting your timings right — when you’ve got 40 musicians, even if you’re a millisecond off it can kind of throw everything.
Sounds like you’ve really nailed it. The idea of a ‘History of Jungle and Drum & Bass’ — how far back are you going into the genre and how do you think it’s changed over the years?
So we go back to 1992. It’s crazy for us to think that was 31 years ago, but yeah, we’re going right back to the beginning and we literally break up the set into years: ’92-93, 94-96 and so on into the 2000s.
I think it has changed over time and you can certainly hear it when you compare the likes of the first track we do, Johnny L’s ‘Hurt You So’, which is kind of like jungle techno, to the modern-day stuff which gets on the radio now, it’s different. But that’s the great thing about both genres, they move on real quick.
Say if you’re a drum and bass head now and took a year off and then came back, you’d be like, ‘What is this?’ but drum and bass is always like that, every single year.
It’s going through a great time at the moment, probably the best in three decades. It’s bigger now than I think that it’s ever been and I think it’s because it’s been accepted by the public get it; they understand it more and it’s less of a niche.
People have always known about house music but now people actually recognise the big names like Chase and Status, Pendulum and so on. It’s in a very healthy place and I know some of the real purists are a little bit p*ssed and feel it’s gone a bit commercial but the underground scene is still there and I don’t think that will ever die.
Yeah, and I suppose that’s what the beauty of events like these is you can play to both of those crowds. Do you find the audience has that mix?
Well, that’s why we’ve tried to get that fine balance between big tunes that your everyday, casual listener will recognise as well as keep some underground stuff in so the real ‘heads’ can come and dive into it.
It’s been very deliberate and we’ve sat down to really think about how to strike that combination and it’s another thing that’s been done really well.
And, obviously, you guys are London kings but how big a role do you think Manchester has played in the scene and how it’s progressed?
Oh man, it’s always been really important. Going back to A Guy Called Gerald who was one of the first truly big English producers, when people listened to ‘Voodoo Ray’, even the Americans thought was a guy from New York and he’s a bit of an unsung hero really.
He made some of the first jungle tunes as well, so we’ve always felt the influence and link with Manchester, especially over the last 10 to 15 years when it’s been really, really strong here.
You know, you’ve got DRS and, of course, had Marcus Intellect, God bless his soul, who always flew the flag for Manchester, you know what I’m saying? And, um, you know, there’s a really healthy, uh, seed in Manchester.
Strategy, Dogger, Mindstate: a lot of those guys are very important to drum and Bass and a lot of them grew up knowing each other as well, which is cool. We’ve also got Jenna G in the show and not only is she from Manchester but she’s one of the real highlights of the show, she’s absolutely amazing.
Also, it’s really important that we put on a good show because the Manchester crowd know their sh*t as well — you can’t really con them.
Absolutely, and in terms of artists right now, whether they’re from Manchester or elsewhere, who’s really exciting you at the minute?
I mean, the staple is obviously Chase and Status who have helped get [the genre] some radio play to the point where there were four drum and bass tracks in the top 40 just last year. Absolutely insane.
Hedex and all those guys are also helping grow the underground scene but, honestly, there’s too many names to mention that lifting up others so we’re in a real good spot at the minute.
Are there any favourite Manchester venues that come to mind?
Band on the Wall — I LOVE it in there and, of course, Warehouse Project which is basically flying the flag for drum and bass across Britain right now. It’s possibly the hottest venue in the UK so, yeah, Manchester was always a no-brainer and we’re really looking forward to coming there.
Nice, and lastly, if you could describe the upcoming shows in three words what would they be?
Fashion royalty Alexa Chung posed in a Chanel outfit, while Oldham-born supermodel Karen Elson walked in the show.
And Liam Gallagher’s sons Gene and Lennon – who are the absolute spit of their dad, eyebrows and all – were also there representing Manchester.
Guests were then whisked away to Victoria Baths for an almighty afterparty.
Chanel said: “The finale – the CHANEL 2023/24 Métiers d’art show took place on an emblematic street in Manchester, one of the most effervescent cities of pop culture and an avant-garde one, whose bands, spanning all genres, have changed the history of music.
“In a shimmering pop palette, with a dash of the sixties, the collection imagined by Virginie Viard celebrates the CHANEL art of tailoring and tweed, while wraparound skirts, miniskirts with godets and Bermuda shorts highlight the British accents of the silhouettes.”
You can watch the full video of the Chanel catwalk through the Northern Quarter in Manchester below.