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Charles Kennedy presents the 2006 Picture Editors’ Awards

The Picture Editors’ Awards recognise and reward the very best in photographic journalism throughout the UK and Ireland; the winners are chosen by a ballot of picture editors across the British Isles.

The Picture Editors’ Awards were founded thirteen years ago to recognise and reward the very best of photographic journalism throughout the United Kingdom and Ireland. They are made possible by funding from BG Group, the global natural gas exploration and production business, and Getty Images, the leading provider of photographic and film imagery to media around the world. Additional substantial support comes from the City of London, Fujifilm Professional and Diageo.

For the first time, all images submitted to the 2006 Awards, more than 8,000 pictures, are available to view. This gallery is a unique and remarkable view of the year in pictures; a showcase for the depth of talent in press photography. Two major international exhibitions of award winning photography from last year’s Awards were mounted in 2005, in co-operation with the British Council.

The ultimate accolade of the 2006 Awards, BG Group Photographer of the Year, goes to Bryan O’Brien of the Irish Times, the first time the title has crossed the Irish Sea. The Sunday Herald was voted Getty Images Newspaper of the Year, the second success in this category for the Glasgow based broadsheet. The Sunday Times Magazine was awarded the Getty Images Newspaper Magazine of the Year.

Colin Lane, Liverpool Daily Post & Echo, was named Getty Images Regional Newspaper Photographer of the Year, and the Getty Images Photo Essay Award goes to Andrew Parsons of the Press Association. This was a keenly contested and hugely popular category, with entries up a remarkable 147% on last year. Andrew’s PA colleague, Phil Noble, is BG Group Sports photographer of the Year.

Among the single image categories, Karwai Tang of the Alpha Press Agency took the Fujifilm Royal Photographer of the Year title.

Ben Stansall, the Kent News and freelance photographer, is the new Diageo Young Photographer of the Year. The 2005 winner, Kieran Dodds, of the Glasgow Evening Times, travelled to Zambia for his Alan Harper Bursary Project, part of his prize. His remarkable pictures of eight million migrating fruit bats won him a coveted World Press Photo Award.

For the first time, all entries submitted to the Awards appear in A Year in Pictures, showcasing the immense photographic talent of UK and Irish photographers.