Meet your 2023 York BNOC competition winners: Joe Brearley and Yakov Boani

The duo host a weekly student radio show called ‘What’s for tea?’


After a tonne of nominations, three intense rounds of voting, and literally HUNDREDS of votes, the results are finally IN and we have a winner (or two).

We can now reveal that Joe Brearley and Yakov Boani, the faces behind “What’s for tea?”, have won the competition to be crowned York’s biggest name on campus of 2023! Not only did these guys smash the second round to make it into the final four, they then dominated the final with 45 per cent of the votes.

In response to winning the esteemed title, Yakov said “that’s really cool”, and Joe added: “Thank you so much to anyone who voted for two silly northern blokes who can hardly drive a radio show”.

Joe Brearley (left) and Yakov Boani (right)

Joe and Yakov received an impressive number of nominations due to their radio show, “What’s for tea?”, which the duo have hosted for over a year on University Radio York. An Instagram that the pair made to promote their show, @whatsforteaury, currently has nearly 2,000 followers, likely helping to lift them to official BNOC status.

Yakov told The York Tab about the origins of the show: “Joe suggested starting a radio show whilst playing pool on the wonky table in JJ’s common room in Halifax College about a year and a bit ago, impulsively saying yes became one of the best decisions of my university journey.

“Tea is really good. We were in our kitchen one day thinking about what to name the show and I asked Joe ‘what’s for tea?’ whilst he was cooking. We both stared at each other and burst out laughing. These are the best sorts of ideas.

“‘What’s for tea?’ being as successful as it’s turned out has taught me that, with some quirky ideas, consistency, and strong belief, any realistic idea is achievable.”

When told the news, Joe said: “wow, uhhh, where to start? ‘What’s for tea?’ was what got me started in radio, which has led me to pursue radio as a career. While we are very silly and we cause much mayhem, we have a bloody good time, which is what WTF? began as, and will continue to be.

“It’s an outlet for me and Yakov to talk about our favourite meal, but so much more, we get to talk about food. Our audience are bloody legends who send us loads of pics of their tea, and the silly things we get to do have been a huge part of our time at uni.

“Thank you so much to anyone who voted for two silly northern blokes who can hardly drive a radio show.”

Yakov shared his advice for future York BNOC hopefuls: “My advice to anybody who stumbles upon this article and for some insane reason wants to be a BNOC is to throw yourself into as many deep ends as you can, because the worst case scenario is that you’ll float up to the top and that particular swimming pool isn’t for you.

“I’m not very good at metaphors but, join lots of societies, meet as many people as you can and spread the love as much as we spread the love for tea and if you don’t become a BNOC, you’ll become an even better person.”

Anyone else feeling inspired?

Feeling thankful for their new title, Joe stressed that “York is the greatest place on Earth” and wanted to remind people to “always eat your tea”, which is pretty good advice tbf.

He said: “If you see us in Flares and mention ‘What’s for tea?’, we won’t buy you owt but we’ll be well chuffed xxx”

Seemingly unavoidable on campus, across York, and on Instagram, these guys have earned the title of York’s biggest names on campus 2023. Congratulations Joe and Yakov!

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