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What We Do

John at Make It Digital launchAll 2ZY projects are led by our director John Ryan. Additional contractors are brought in as required by each project. We have relationships with production and air talent across the UK, so finding the right expertise for your project won't be a problem. We are based in Manchester city centre, a twenty minute tram ride away from MediaCityUK or just over two hours out of London on the train. 2ZY is a member of RIG, the Radio Independents Group.

Current Projects at 2ZY

The Anon Podcast for the Big Life Group

Logo for Big Life Group2ZY is proud to be making a series of podcasts for the Big Life Group, publishers of The Big Issue in the North. Each episode profiles someone whose life has changed through working with the Big Issue.


Commissioning Editor at Virtual Reality Associates

VR headset2ZY is working with Virtual Reality Associates, a start-up based at Manchester's Space Project. VRA is establishing a production house for virtual reality content and 2ZY's John Ryan will be commissioning entertainment, factual and scripted short-form programming for the new platform.


Media Training

Media Training Pic2ZY offers a discreet service of bespoke media training for non-radio professionals. We coach people in how to make effective contributions on radio and television. We work using plenty of relevant exercises, and with additional post-session reviews of actual live work. Recent clients include organisations in the healthcare, property development and charity sectors.


Max Digital Radio

Max Logo2ZY operates Max, a radio station and format. Max broadcasts on the Manchester small-scale DAB multiplex provided by Niocast, and online at thisismax.co.uk. We're also on the UK Radioplayer and Tune In. Max plays music from 1978 to 1989. Programmes include re-runs of original American Top 40 shows from the 80s, presented by Casey Kasem, and tie-ins with Manchester's massive Girls on Film 80s night.


Hooked on Music with the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester

Hooked on Music event at MOSI2ZY has an on-going role in the Hooked on Music project, a citizen science experiment involving Manchester Science Festival. It harnesses the wisdom of the crowd to understand and quantify the effect of catchiness on musical memory and then predicts the catchiest fragments of music. We deliver bespoke Silent Disco events to dramatise and promote the research project.


The Real Breaking Bad

Breaking Bad RVWe've been to Albuquerque to discover the characters and stories behind the industry that's sprung up behind Breaking Bad. Details of the documentary, and transmission to follow.


Previously at 2ZY

The Story of LGBT Wales - for BBC Radio Wales

Pride flag on deesideTo mark the fiftieth anniversary of the decriminalisation of male homosexuality, 2ZY teams up with Gaydio Productions to make a two-part documentary on Wales's LGBT history. Welsh activists have been at the heart of the LGBT Equality movement, from straight allies like Leo Abse, the Pontypool MP who helped develop the bill to Cardiff-born Ruth Hunt, who leads the influential Stonewall organisation. Transmitting in August.


Long Term Consultancy at Eye Radio, South Sudan

Mama Helen presenterFrom August 2014 - March 2017, 2ZY's John Ryan worked for the American NGO Internews, as Lead Radio Advisor at Eye Radio in South Sudan. Eye Radio is based in the capital, Juba, and is developing rapidly into a full-service commercial radio station. 2ZY supported development of Eye Radio's station and programme management teams.


Clueless - for BBC Radio Wales

Caryl Parry JonesThree Clues, Two Hours, One Task!
Clueless is 2ZY's new game format, a live interactive Scavenger hunt, across the nation, on BBC Radio Wales. In Cardiff, Caryl Parry Jones, takes your calls to solve clues to mystery locations. She has no internet - just a map book - remember those?! - and whatever calls and texts Producer Toby filters through to her.

Llinos Lee on beachOn the road, Llinos Lee has to get to all three locations and complete a task if they're to win the game. Clueless is the first running strand to be commissioned from 2ZY. It concluded its first run and two specials in December 2014, and returned for nine weeks across Summer 2015 and a further Christmas special. Series Three ran from May to July 2016 and is back for a Christmas special.


The Rhyl Thing for BBC Radio Wales

Rhyl Water TubesIn this hour-long documentary for BBC Radio Wales, Caryl Parry Jones returns to Rhyl, her home town, to investigate plans for the resort's regeneration. With specially-commissioned songs about Rhyl, past, present and future, The Rhyl Thing is an affectionate look at how the town is planning to rethink itself.


Youth Programming for National Prison Radio

NPR presenter in T with headphonesFrom January 2016, 2ZY delivered a nine-month project for National Prison Radio, working with groups of young offenders across England and Wales to produce and present a monthly youth programme, The YO Takeover.


Content and training for Manchester Business Radio

Beetham Tower Manchester2ZY worked with the ground-breaking new Manchester Business Radio, the first all-business, all-speech radio station in the UK. MBR runs 24/7 without presenters. All the content is fronted by the city's business community. 2ZY gathered audio for this major radio project, and trained contributors in radio technique.


Make It Digital for BBC Radio 5 live

Rundle at Bletchley2ZY made a series of features for BBC Radio 5 live as part of the BBC's Make It Digital project, presented Michael Rundle, the Digital Editor of WIRED.co.uk. Subjects have included coding, robotics, gaming and internet security. 2ZY is also delivered the 'Make It Digital Ones to Watch' to identify the UK's top ten digital influencers. Judges include Maggie Philbin and Rory Cellan-Jones.


Radio Bradfield

Radio Bradfield studio2ZY facilitated a three-day radio station for Bradfield College as part of its end of year Festival. Ex-Bradfieldian Hattie Pearson and John Ryan ran workshops with groups of young people who went on to produce and present their own hour-long shows on the three-day online Radio Bradfield. We're experienced in making radio stations in workplaces, prisons, fields - anywhere really! Get in touch if we can help make your idea a reality.


Internews South Sudan Training Tour of UK

radio manc visitIn April 2015, 2ZY was commissioned by Internews to deliver a ten-day training tour of the UK for eight South Sudanese broadcasters. This comprised two formal training days in Media City UK, visits to 13 radio stations (including Radio 2, 5live and Key 103) and three interviews on UK radio. We scheduled every aspect of the project, including cultural visits, free time options, accommodation and transport. "A memorable experience that will stay with me forever," said one delegate.


Manchester Cultural Walk for Tour App

CulturalTour Whitworth2ZY's experience in writing for audio, and our Director John Ryan's qualification as a Green Badge Manchester Tour Guide were both deployed in this project. Creative Tourist commissioned us to write a Cultural Tour of Manchester, presented by Mary Anne Hobbs, starting in the Northern Quarter and finishing at the refurbished Whitworth Gallery.


Positive Radio

Logo of Positive radio2ZY is provided pro bono consultancy to Positive Radio, a project hosted by George House Trust. It is the UK's first internet radio station dedicated to providing incisive HIV- related content. Our work focused on the music and on-air branding of this online station.


Producer-in-Residence at HMYOI Hindley

PRA logoFor two years, 2ZY's John Ryan worked part-time on a National Prison Radio project at Hindley Young Offenders Institution near Wigan. Young people there made 71 editions of HYPE, a weekly show for 15-19 year olds inside. The Prison Radio Association (PRA) aims to change the lives of serving prisoners through the power of radio. An award-winning education charity, the PRA runs National Prison Radio in partnership with the National Offender Management Service.


Staying Out for PRA Productions/BBC Radio 1 Stories

Paris Lees portraitPRA Productions commissioned 2ZY's John Ryan to deliver their latest production for BBC Radio 1 Stories. Nearly 3/4 of young people who leave jail, goes on to offend again. Paris Lees, herself a former prisoner, now acclaimed writer and columnist, met those who changed their lives around.


The Story of Trock for BBC Radio 1

Original Doctor Who logoAs part of the fiftieth anniversary celebrations of Doctor Who, 2ZY was commissioned by BBC Radio 1 to make a Radio 1 Story documentary about the show. The Story of Trock takes trock (Time Lord Rock) as a starting-point, the music inspired by the series, popularised by vloggers such as Alex Day and Charlie McDonnell. We met fans, stars, and the eleventh Doctor, Matt Smith, on a journey through the Doctor's fifty years. The Story of Trock aired on BBC Radio 1 on Monday 25 November.


My First Vote for Savvy/BBC Radio 1 Stories

r12ZY's John Ryan produced fellow Manchester indie Savvy Production's Radio 1 documentary 'My First Vote'. Presented by Shona Summers, it looked at every side of the Scottish independence debate and the impact on the lives of young people across the UK, particularly those 16/17 year old Scots who'll be voting for the first time.


Radio Talk podcasts for the Radio Academy

Liz Kershaw on chesterfield sofaWe also produced a Radio Talk podcast from recordings made at the launch of Liz Kershaw's book The Bird and The Beeb. Liz was interviewed by Clint Boon at Manchester's 2022 venue in front of a live audience. She talks about her Radio 1 years, the campaign to save BBC 6Music and we hear from her band (with Carol Vorderman!) Dawn Chorus and the Blue Tits.

Joyce, Sweeney, Boon'Musicians on the Radio' was a Radio Academy NW event starring Mike Joyce (The Smiths) and Clint Boon (Inspiral Carpets) in which they spoke to Mike Sweeney about going from band to broadcaster. 2ZY cut the audio into this podcast. [Event production by Darryl Morris, Sound Engineering by Simon Peel]


Presentation Cover on Celador's Jack FM

Jack logo J2ZY's John Ryan was back on the air in 2013 as a presenter for Celador Radio's Jack FM. John covered breakfast on both the South Coast regional out of Southampton, and the Bristol station.


Bump Club for Sparklab/BBC Radio 5 live

Logo for Bump Club2ZY's John Ryan worked with Jo Meek for fellow Manchester indie Sparklab, on a major strand for BBC Radio 5 live. Bump Club was all about the ups and downs of pregnancy. Each week, the show combined advice, insights and in-depth features from a host of experts, along with personal experiences and anecdotes from well-known mums and dads-to-be. Bump Club, was presented by Edith Bowman and Colin Murray for a seven week run in Summer 2013. John's back at Sparklab to work on the Bump Club Christmas Special.


PRA Prison Radio Conference 2013 with BBC Outreach

John Ryan at PRA ConferenceJohn produced this year's PRA Conference, in association with BBC Outreach, which was held at BBC Quay House in Media City UK on 2 December. The event explored best practice in prison radio production and offered an opportunity to build a community of prison radio practitioners. The conference was followed by a reception and the first ever National Prison Radio Awards.


Podcasts for Manchester International Festival

Lopa BW2ZY produced two podcasts for the Manchester International Festival 2013. These went behind the scenes of an inspirational choir, who will perform music by John Taverner on 7 July in the city's Bridgewater Hall. If Ye Love Me is a new piece for the MIF Sacred Sounds Women’s Choir, formed from faith communities across Greater Manchester working together to explore the beauty and power of voices raised in praise. The choir also performed Tavener’s Mahamatar, set to Werner Herzog’s film Pilgrimage, alongside special guest Abida Parveen. Completing the evening was a rare performance of In Alium, Tavener’s radical Proms commission from 1968. Presented by BBC Radio 3's Lopa Kothari, the women in the choir tell our podcast about the incredible experience of coming together in song for this unique performance.


Men's Hour - Mental Health at Work

Tim and Car2ZY's John Ryan returned to Tonic Productions for a special edition of Men's Hour. Broadcast on Sunday 28 July, this was a special show about mental health at work and men who can't face Mondays. We heard from men about the stigma of asking for help and investigated the employers who are leading the way in making things better. Men's Hour is presented by Tim Samuels.


Training in Algeria for BBC Media Action

Maya from Tipaza2ZY's John Ryan spent sixteen days in Tipaza for the BBC's international development charity, BBC Media Action, delivering training to Algerian radio's 48 local radio managers. Sessions included every aspect of radio station management from scheduling and news values, to presenter coaching techniques and administration.


Gaydio expands to London and Sussex Coast DAB

Logo for GaydioOn 7 January, the DAB licences operated as Gaydar Radio were transferred to not-for-profit Gaydio. Gaydio runs a partly-split service, in order to meet the obligations of the Manchester 88.4 FM community licence, as well as an attractive schedule for DAB listeners in the South. 2ZY's John Ryan is Chair of Gaydio on a pro bono basis and supported the management team through this major development for the station. 2ZY also supplied compliance and broadcaster training for Gaydio's team of volunteer presenters.


Men's Hour for Tonic/BBC Radio 5 live

The presenter of Men's Hour, Tim Samuels2ZY's John Ryan produced Men's Hour's 2013 New Year special on BBC Radio 5 live, celebrating Men Who Sing. It was the final job for now from Tonic Productions, who contracted John as Series Producer on Series 3 of Men's Hour through 2012. Presented by Tim Samuels, Men's Hour is a weekly magazine programme about male issues. John was responsible for seven one-hour shows. Subjects included Cage Fighting, Becoming a Dad, Gay Stereotyping, Cougars and whether men are victims of the so-called Second Sexism.

Jane Garvey, presenter of Woman's HourAnother highlight was a collaboration with Radio 4's Woman's Hour, on a special joint show for the August Bank Holiday. This focused on the secrets kept between the sexes. Tim was joined by the brilliant Jane Garvey. The Independent said, "5 Live's answer to Radio 4's Woman's Hour has been gathering in confidence and imagination over the last 12 months."


Room Producer at Radio Festival

Room 2 at the Radio Festival 2012 with Margherita Taylor and John RyanFor the third year in a row, 2ZY's John Ryan was the Room Producer for Room 2 at the Radio Academy's Radio Festival 2012, working with new Hall of Fame entrant Margherita Taylor on smooth transitions and sum-ups between sessions.

John Ryan and Jon HolmesJohn was back in 2013 and 2014 to once again produce the Lowry Salford's Compass Room for the 2013 Radio Academy Radio Festival. Presenters included Fi Glover and Jon Holmes. John and Jon worked together previously at CTFM Radio in Canterbury, and latterly on Men's Hour, a Tonic Production for BBC Radio 5 live.


Helen and Olly's Required Listening for TDC/BBC Radio 5 live

Helen and Olly from TDC2ZY's John Ryan worked for Trevor Dann's Company to produce a special for BBC Radio 5 live. Presented by Answer Me This's Helen Zaltzman and Olly Mann, this live show introduced some of the most passionate podcasters, presenters and audio enthusiasts from across the English-speaking world.


Your Story - Manchester's Gay History

Pink Balloons at Town HallChris Holliday and volunteers at Manchester's Gaydio have completed a unique personal testimony documentary. 'Your Story' is a Heritage Lottery Fund project for which Gaydio has gathered over one hundred real-life stories of LGBT people in Manchester. 2ZY cut and mixed the resulting hour-long documentary, which is a finalist in the first ever British Public Radio awards. The Guardian's Elisabeth Mahoney said, "This was vivid social history, engagingly told." Your Story was nominated in the Long Form Documentary category of the British Public Radio Awards 2013.


The Story of the Blockbuster Game for Wise Buddah/BBC Radio 1

Dev, presenter of the Story of Blockbuster Games2ZY's John Ryan was co-producer with Kate Cocker of Wise Buddah for "The Story of Blockbuster Games." Part of BBC Radio 1's Video Games season, presenter Dev went behind the scenes of narrative blockbuster games. We met programmers, script-writers, gamers and the stars of the games themselves.


Salford City Radio

The logo for Salford City Radio2ZY worked with Salford City Radio, preparing a station assessment for the Board. John Ryan supported volunteers to operate the city's community radio station, as it passed the milestone of five years on air.


BBC Fast Train North

Fast Train Radio Training Session2ZY provided one-to-one radio training at the BBC's Fast Train North event in Salford. Over 400 delegates experienced a multi-media training day at Media City. 2ZY's John Ryan also presented a new seminar based on the 2ZY Blog '5 Immutable Laws of Radio Presentation'. [Pic: Copyright BBC]


Radio Coaching Days for Manchester Airports Group

Manchester Airports Group Press Team, taken at Media City2ZY offers bespoke media and performance training in Manchester, Salford and around the UK. Members of the Manchester Airports Group press team spent a day based at MediaCityUK to learn and practice presentation skills, building confidence for their future on-air appearances.

Amy and Claire in radio coaching sessionFollowing the first successful session, 2ZY was booked to follow up with the Press Team at East Midlands Airport. This time the training was delivered at the airport, and included one to one coaching as well as group sessions.


Side Projects from 2ZY

Retro Silent Disco

New Retro Silent Disco logoLaunched in November 2012, Retro Silent Disco is a new regular club night at Bar Pop in Manchester's Gay Village. Our wireless headphones provide three channels - 70s, 80s, and 90s - of classic hits. We have also supplied DJ services and a full bespoke, turnkey Silent Disco service to private events.

Girls on Film

Hattie Pearson and John Ryan at Girls on Film2ZY's John Ryan also DJs at Manchester's biggest 80s night, Girls on Film, every Saturday night at the Deaf Institute. Girls on Film DJs also regularly showcase mixes on 2ZY's radio station, Max. The club night is also regularly broadcast live on Max from the venue.

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