Maria Williams is an award-winning Executive Producer, with over 20 years experience of radio production. Also a Media Trainer, she now leads change within the radio industry through the group she founded, Sound Women.
Maria’s background is in radio production at the BBC, where she specialised in both speech and music radio. As an Executive Producer at BBC Radio 4, she created and launched Saturday Live with Fi Glover, winning a Sony Gold Award for ‘Best Speech Programme’ in 2008.
As Deputy Editor of Woman’s Hour at BBC Radio 4, Maria oversaw everything from the ‘Two Davids’ Tory leadership debate, to interviews with the likes of Lauren Bacall. At BBC Radio 1, she commissioned and executive produced the network’s Social Action Campaigns, the Sunday Surgery, and all Radio 1 documentaries – from The Troubles With Drugs, about drugs and paramilitaries in Northern Ireland, to setting up a band in Bass Player Wanted. She also focused on film, working closely with Mark Kermode on Movie Update for Radio 1, and The Directors and Celluloid Jukebox for Radio 2.
Leaving the BBC to become Head of Programmes at leading independent radio production company Wise Buddah, Maria worked on both BBC and commercial radio projects. She ran many successful offers rounds, and executive produced everything from The Huey Show on BBC 6 Music, to documentaries such as Looking For Leonora on BBC Radio 3, Sugar Plum Story Time for CBeebies, and documentary series for the Guardian Media Group.
Maria is passionate about the future of audio content on all platforms. She is widely known for her bold approach to programme-making, her ability to creatively lead and inspire teams, and her high production values.
Now working as an Executive Producer with independent production companies including Loftus, Testbed and Tonic, Maria manages projects for both the BBC and commercial clients. She recently oversaw Sport Relief 2014 for BBC Radio.
Maria also delivers training for the BBC Academy and was the Radio Practitioner in Residence at Bournemouth University Media School. She speaks at events like this Guardian Masterclass, and prepares professionals of all fields for media appearances.
Recently made a trustee of the Radio Academy, Maria is also the founder of Sound Women – an organisation she set up to develop and celebrate women in radio. The group has gone from strength to strength in just three years, and has received widespread press and praise.