It's a long way from Birchencliffe to Broadway.

But a Huddersfield-born drama teacher has spoken of his shock after winning one of the world’s highest radio accolades.

Lecturer Jay Sykes has won Best Student Drama Program at the The New York Festivals World’s Best Radio Programs awards.

Jay, originally from Birchencliffe, picked up his Gold Radio Winner award during a glitzy ceremony in Manhattan, this week.

He received the award for ‘SeaBurn’ a dark, psychological tale about a young woman suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Other Gold Radio Award winners included the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Ireland’s national broadcaster RTE and the BBC.

The Greenhead College graduate said: “How did it feel to win? Absolutely ridiculous.

“I stood up and accepted my gold award in front of a room of radio professionals from around the world.

“It was by far one of the most nerve-racking experiences of my life, and also the most wonderful – because my drama was there amongst this room of award-winning radio producers and presenters.

“Essentially, my drama is the best student radio drama in the world. I can still hardly believe it happened.”

Jay also picked up a Bronze Radio Award for Spark FM, Sunderland University’s student radio station, for which he works as a presenter.

Jay Sykes with his awards for Best Student Drama Program

As well as teaching drama at Sunderland University, 22-year-old Jay produces a podcast called ‘99% Perspiration’ offering advice to people hoping to break into the creative sector.

Jay said: “It’s all about helping give advice and confidence to people interested in creative or artistic careers, like myself.

“Every week I interview others from around the UK and the wider world I think it’s so important to have advice from other people in the creative industries.”

And has Jay got any advice for budding drama writers or radio producers?

He said: “Just go for it!

“Honestly, I didn’t think my drama would be selected for the New York Awards, I entered it on a whim. But you never know what could happen.

“I worked so hard, and it’s overwhelming to see the recognition. And I wouldn’t be there if I didn’t take a chance.

“Believe in yourself, and it could become a reality.”