Meridian’s Fred Dinenage encourages firms to enter Adur and Worthing Business Awards

Gaining huge enjoyment from covering two Olympic Games and countless news shows during his on-screen career, Fred Dinenage knows all about the level of determination needed to succeed.

Having worked his way up the career ladder since starting out as a newspaper tea boy in the 1960s, the ever-genial TV presenter is keenly aware that nurturing industry talent is vital for any business.

So he’s relishing the prospect of returning as compère for the Adur and Worthing Business Awards, which is less than two months away.

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To date, we’ve experienced a positive response in terms of entries, but as ever, we want to hear from as many firms and individuals as we can in order to ensure it is an occasion that is truly memorable.

So far, 2012 is shaping up to be a fine night for the awards ceremony, which takes place at Worthing’s Pavilion Theatre on Friday, November 16. The glitzy-black tie event has firmly established itself as the must-attend evening for the area’s business community, and this year will be no different.

There will be a grand total of 18 categories in which firms are set to compete – ranging from start-up enterprise of the year through to the lifetime achievement award.

The event is clearly something which ITV’s evening broadcaster, who won an MBE in 2010, relishes playing his part in.

As he explained, despite continuing economic concerns, there are more than enough enterprises out there well worth shouting about.

He said: “I love doing the business awards – my wife runs a family business and I see all the hard work that goes into making a company work, so events like this are a very good way of recognising people, especially in these times, which have not been easy.

“I think there are some amazing businesses out there surviving this economy and it means so much to them to gain an award.

“It’s great to be a part of them and it is lovely to hear such success stories. They are terrific events.”

Fred warned ceremony-goers not to expect an early finish: “Every event has over-run, which is usually my fault,” he quipped.

He attributes it to enjoying sharing some much-needed banter with the broad spectrum of winners and highly-commended companies.

The awards will be judged by a panel including leading business figures from the area, the Worthing and Adur Chamber of Commerce and management representatives from the Herald.

Competition for honours will no doubt be as tough as ever, but what does Fred believe makes for the key ingredients for business success?

“What comes across most from those firms that are doing well is that they have a terrific rapport between staff and management,” he said.

“That’s why I think it’s important when giving out these awards to have a chat to as many people as possible who are up on stage with a company, not just those directly receiving an award.”

Though he may just have turned 70, it seems there is no slowing him down.

So far, 2012 appears to have been exceptionally busy for Fred.

Presenting a crime investigation documentary series for Sky, fronting the regional news show Meridian Tonight and preparing to host our awards have kept him extremely occupied.

Away from work, the former Pompey FC director’s time is spent largely with his family at their home in Hampshire. He enjoys nothing more than relaxing and taking their dogs out for a walk. With his considerable background in sports journalism, he has kept a keen eye on proceedings at this year’s London 2012 Games.

Describing them as a “quite extraordinary event”, he felt they had extra special meaning being on home soil and above all, he hopes they have created a genuine sense of legacy.

Significantly, they have also provided a valuable business boost to many companies supplying a wealth of goods and services across the region.

Adding that the games made him feel “proud to be British” it has added to many happy memories covering, perhaps, his favourite sporting highlight prior to this summer – the 1980 Moscow Games.

He added: “I believe this is my 48th year on TV and I’ve been doing ITV for 28 years now and I enjoy it as much as ever.

“It has been great to be involved with regional TV and love getting the chance to meet our viewers.”

On the upcoming awards, he added: “I hope this year will be bigger and better than ever and having been to many awards, I don’t think anyone matches how the company organises these events.

“It’s a pleasure to be involved.”

n To place a nomination for this year’s awards, enter via our the website at