Fran Nevrkla receives The Special Award at the 2011 Arqiva Radio Awards

Commercial radio's biggest night is a huge success.

The Arqiva Awards took place last night at London's Westminster Bridge Park Plaza Hotel and was hosted by Absolute Radio's Christian O'Connell. The awards recognise the best in commercial radio and PPL sponsored two awards: The PPL Breakthrough UK Artist of the Year - which was won by band The Wanted - and The Most Played UK Artist on Commercial Radio, won by boy band Take That.

PPL Chairman and CEO, Fran Nevrkla, won the prestigious Special Award in recognition of all his achievements within the music industry – both as an musician and as an executive:

Fran toured Europe as a teenage musician, emigrated to England aged 21, was sentenced to ten years in absentia in a Czech jail and saw his music career as a violinist struck down by a mystery ailment - but, what was classical music's loss was the music industry's gain, and he's now one of this country's most respected music industry executives.

He has notched up some pretty impressive achievements: annual revenues at the collecting society now run at around £150m. Total revenues collected during the executive's time in charge now easily exceed £1bn - more than the society collected in total during its previous 65 years. He believes revenues of £175m are now in sight - and overseas income could soon reach as much as £50m.

Fran also made a major contribution towards developing a better business environment and relationships between the broadcasters and the music industry.

Now, with his 66th birthday fast approaching, he has signalled he's ready to take a less hands-on role and explore other opportunities.