Commercial radio is gearing up for its glittering awards night to be held at Sydney's Luna Park next week. One of the world's funniest comedians, John Cleese, will open the show and a host of radio personalities and entertainers will be part of the night's line-up.

Some of Australia's best known radio personalities will be vying for awards. Last year's winners of the Best On Air Team award, Merrick and Rosso from Nova 969, have been nominated again this year and will be up against Kyle Sandilands and Jackie O from 2 Day FM Brendan Jones and Amanda Keller from WS FM the Cage from Triple M and Ross Stevenson and John Burns from 3AW.

Entertainment on the night will be provided by David Campbell, the six-times Aria-nominated band Augie March and Youth Group, who enjoyed a number one hit with their single Forever Young.

The 18th annual Australian Commercial Radio Awards will be held on Saturday, 14 October before an audience of over 800 radio and music industry figures from around the country.

'There is intense rivalry in radio, but this is the one night where everyone in the industry gets together, applauds outstanding performance in commercial broadcasting and has a fantastic night,' said Joan Warner, chief executive officer of Commercial Radio Australia, the industry body hosting the event.

Personalities presenting awards will include 2UE's John Stanley, WSFM's Amanda Keller and Brendan Jones, Bianca Dye from Nova 969, 2Day FM's Kyle and Jackie O, Vega FM's Tony Squires, and the breakfast duo from Hobart's Sea FM, Dave Noonan and Kim Geale. 

Radio king John Laws will also play a role in the evening's festivities and there will be a surprise performer, but details are being kept under wraps. 'We want to keep some surprises up our sleeves,' said Joan Warner.

Radio personalities Ray Hadley (2GB), Stan Zemanek (2UE), Peter Fitzsimons (2UE), Leon Byner (Fiveaa, Adelaide) and Neil Mitchell (3AW) will battle it out to win the prestigious Best Current Affairs Commentator (metropolitan) category.

Adelaide's Ryan Fitzgerald from Nova 91.9 is a finalist for Best Newcomer On Air alongside Corey Kay from Triple M, Jabba from Nova 106.9 Brisbane, and Gabby Millgate from Brisbane's B105FM.

Finalists for the Best Sports Presenter include 2GB's Ray Hadley, Brian Taylor (Triple M) Graeme Hughes (2SM) Travis Winks (WS FM) Andrew Moore (2GB) Andrew Martin (Nova 969) and Clinton Grybas (3AW).

The Australian Commercial Radio Awards differ from television's Logie Awards in that they are peer judged.  A feature of the Awards is the Hall of Fame, which acknowledges a lifelong contribution to the Australian radio industry.  Past Hall of Fame inductees include Rod Muir, John Laws, Bob Rogers and Gary O'Callaghan. (source cra)