Pictorial Musings

Memories of the summer the Henley Regatta – a photographer caught in the act of taking a photo of a rowing crew!

Lovely memories of the summer here with a man taking pictures of Henley Regatta crowds on his camera/mobile phone

A  massive grass snake I met up with on a footpath in Sardinia this Summer.

Some pictures of the wild flowers growing in Sardinia

A radio tower near Henley on Thames, possibly relaying BBC Radio Berkshire on 94.6 FM ?

A bread and butter pudding I made in the oven recently!  Great British puddings.   Below is a video which shows you how to make one. I don’t cut my bread into triangles,  I cut them into rectangular lengths, also cut off the crusts. I also use 3 eggs !

I was amused by this – two of my favourite people at their best!

A brave attempt at broadcasting by Paul Harris and investors. Capital Radio with actuality on this video!  The station had an all female crew to maintain the ship!

Radio North Sea was real treat in the 70s – a video here celebrates the station and its history.

We were really chuffed when Radio Caroline returned in 1983 with a massive signal.  Ronan O’Rahilly had brought us Free Radio broadcasts since the 60s. Ronan is not at all well now, and I wish him well.

Now Radio Caroline is legally broadcasting on 1kw of power in Suffolk – it is also available on the Internet in good quality audio as well!  The 1kw from Orfordness pumps out a good signal outside its licenced target, Suffolk.

Finally some comedy for you

My Father’s Favourite back in the day, and he also makes me chuckle. Tommy Cooper!

Until next time good bye!


Tim Berners Lee inventor of the Internet speaks……………….

This caught my interest on the Microsoft Page –

a screen shot of Lawrence Kudlow in a suit and tie: Sir Tim was speaking at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon© AP Sir Tim was speaking at the Web Summit conference in Lisbon Sir Tim Berners-Lee has launched a “Magna Carta for the web”, warning that tech giants must change their ways to save the online world from the dangerous forces they have unleashed.

Sir Tim, who invented the World Wide Web in 1989, called for a “revolution” in how the internet is regulated and monetised in order to stem abuse, political polarisation and fake news.

The 63-year-old was speaking at the Web Summit in Lisbon to launch a new “contract for the web” which asks internet companies to uphold a set of principles such as protecting privacy and being transparent about their algorithms.

Facebook and Google have backed the contract, which will be agreed in detail next year, despite both companies being mentioned by its creator as examples of how “the web we know and love” is under threat.

Sir Tim said: “For the first 15 years, most people just expected the web to do great things. They thought ‘there’ll be good and bad, that is humanity, but if you connect humanity with technology, great things will happen….

“What could go wrong? Well, duh: all kinds of things have gone wrong since. We have fake news, we have problems with privacy, we have problems with abuse of personal data, we have people being profiled in a way that they can be manipulated by clever ads.”

Sir Tim, who developed the Web as a “side project” while working at the Cern research laboratory in Switzerland in the Eighties, has become increasingly vocal about what he sees as a perversion of his original vision.

He recently warned that tech giants such as Amazon and Google may have to be broken up in order to prevent them from amassing too much power, and has launched a project to decentralise data storage.

“I am disappointed with the current state of the Web. We have lost the feeling of individual empowerment and to a certain extent also I think the optimism has cracked,” he told Reuters.

World Wide Web's Inventor and Web Foundation's Founding Director Tim Berners-Lee speaks during the Web Summit 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal on November 5, 2018.© Getty World Wide Web’s Inventor and Web Foundation’s Founding Director Tim Berners-Lee speaks during the Web Summit 2018 in Lisbon, Portugal on November 5, 2018. The new contract has been developed by the World Wide Web Foundation, which Sir Tim founded, to mark the imminent moment at which half of the world’s population will be online. Other supporters include Richard Branson, Gordon Brown, the French government and the cybersecurity firm Cloudflare.

A key goal is to expand cheap internet into the third world

Radio Newsbeat


I would like to offer my sincere condolences to Peter Young’s family. He was a fine broadcaster with a very individual style.  He introduced me to the very many facets of Soul and Jazz music in my adult life. 

I successfully updated my Windows 10 operating system last night.  The early versions of the October update deleted peoples personal date, so the update for the general public was postponed until this problem had been solved.

I have recently discovered some excellent podcasts which cover technology matters  https://player.fm/series/the-wired-podcast-2399/


Also one I found on the Frontier Silicon radio portal.  Which is very excellent indeed https://www.frequencycast.co.uk/ 

Finally words of praise for the new Doctor Who series – some great stories and also more action and special effects than we have enjoyed for some time plus the very attractive regeneration of the Doctor 


News selected from the Radio Today Site

BBC Sounds officially launched at London event

BBC Sounds has been officially launched at an event at London’s Tate Modern, with the Director-General promising that the new offering would support a ‘whole new generation of talent’.

The corporation’s new app and online platform launches with 20 new podcasts, 40 playlists curated by artists and the BBC’s music experts, and more than 100 hours of classic BBC comedy and drama from the archives.

It also provides live and on demand access to BBC radio stations (replacing BBC iPlayer Radio), and for the first time also showcases a back-catalogue of non-BBC podcasts including award-winning series such as Griefcast and Beef and Dairy Network.

The launch event on Tuesday night saw a who’s who of BBC network radio turn out, including Greg James, Dotty, Steve Wright, Sara Cox, Ken Bruce, Jeremy Vine, Graham Norton, Claudia Winkleman, Tony Blackburn, Bob Harris and more. There were also performances by Nile Rodgers, Craig David, Tom Grennan, Mabel and the cast of Radio 4’s Dead Ringers.

BBC Director-General Tony Hall said: “Radio is a unique and precious part of our lives and we’re innovating to secure its future for generations to come. BBC Sounds is a standalone , and standout, destination bringing the best of everything we do in audio into one place. It allows us all to experiment – to explore new music, stories and ideas – to play with form and content. And it’s going to support a whole new generation of talent.”

James Purnell, Director of Radio and Education, added: “BBC Sounds will bring you all our audio, at the touch of a button. We’ll do the hard work of finding the right mix, podcast or radio programme for you. It’s the start of an adventure – we’ll learn from our audiences to keep improving what Sounds offers, so we can bring the best to everyone.”

Bob Shennan, Director of Radio and Music, said: “BBC Radio has always been brilliant at reinventing itself and BBC Sounds is the next chapter in that great tradition. We make the best radio, podcasts and offer the best music curation in the world and through BBC Sounds we can ensure more people than ever can enjoy that when and how they want.”

Inside the app, Mcasso composed the new BBC Sounds Sting.

Mcasso producers worked with the team at BBC Creative to compose a contemporary, human sounding musical sting, created to lie at the heart of the audio content the BBC provides.

Mcasso Composer Dave Reynaud modified a real ultrasound Heartbeat, and added reverse Piano and Percussive elements for the sting, with the aim to quite literally provide the BBC Sounds heartbeat.

Specially-curated music mixes include ‘Throwback Thursday’ and ‘Beats and Bars’ from 1Xtra, Radio 1’s ‘Break Up Soundtrack’, ‘Classical Fix’ from Radio 3 and a ‘Match of the Day’ mix created by footballers and managers. There are also celebrity curators including Nile Rodgers, Kylie Minogue and Craig David putting together playlists of their favourite songs in ‘The Takeover’

New podcasts released to co-incide with the launch of BBC Sounds include ‘Live Lounge Uncovered’ from Radio 1 and ‘Don’t Tell Me The Score’ hosted by sports journalist Simon Mundie, a Radio 4 Today Programme daily spin-off called ‘Beyond Today’ presented by Tina Daheley and Matthew Price, Rylan Clark-Neal’s ‘Step Back in Time’ looking at pop culture from the 70s, 80s and 90s, and one using BBC Radio Sport archive material called ‘Replay with Colin Murray’. There’ll also be a companion podcast to BBC One drama Eastenders.

There are new episodes of popular BBC podcasts coming with BBC Sounds too – such as Evil Genius with Russel Kane, Colin Murray’s Radio 2 show Blood On The Tracks and the ARIA-winning best new show You, Me and the Big C.

BBC Sounds is available online at bbc.co.uk/sounds and can be downloaded for iOS, Android and Amazon.

Here are a few podcasts available on BBC Sounds that we’ve picked out here at RadioToday that people working in the radio industry might enjoy…

The PopMaster Podcast
BBC Radio 2
Monday – Friday | Available November 2018
The PopMaster Podcast is a daily download of the hugely popular music quiz from Ken Bruce’s midmorning show on BBC Radio 2. The much loved slot features two listeners who each answer 10 questions on pop music from the past 50 years. The winner then has to name three UK single chart hits by a certain artist in ‘Three in Ten’. Alongside the quiz, it will also feature exclusive chat from Ken recorded especially for the podcast.

BBC Radio 5 Live
50 Episodes | Available November 2018
It is ninety years after the first football commentary was broadcast on BBC radio and Colin Murray delves deep into the BBC Sport archives to uncover classic moments in sporting history. Classic commentaries featured on Replay include the likes of Ali v Foreman in The Rumble In The Jungle in 1974, Celtic beating Inter Milan in 1967 to become the first British team to win the European Cup, Andy Murray winning Wimbledon in 2013, James Hunt becoming the Formula One world champion in 1976 and Jessica Ennis winning gold at London 2012. Colin Murray also rediscovers interviews with legendary names from the world of sport, such as Bill Shankly, Mary Peters, Seve Ballesteros and Alex ‘Hurricane’ Higgins.

Beyond Today
BBC Radio 4
New episodes Monday – Friday
In a world of non-stop news and sound bite social media, the BBC’s topical news podcast Beyond Today takes listeners to the heart of a single story every day. Born out of Today – Radio 4’s flagship news programme – and recasting news reporting for the on-demand world, alternate hosts Tina Daheley and Matthew Price and a team of younger journalists are on a daily mission to explore the right story, the right question with the right people to answer it. The 15-20 minute intelligent briefing will delve into a big news story with those who know it best. Aimed at anyone interested in making sense of what is happening in the world around us, Beyond Today will be available around 5pm every weekday.

BBC Radio 5 Live
Available November 2018
BBC Radio 1 Breakfast Show host and cricket geek Greg James, Test cricket’s most successful fast bowler Jimmy Anderson, and Maccabee’s guitarist Felix White take an alternative look at cricket in BBC Radio 5 Live’s popular podcast. Tailenders takes a sideways look at the game, mixing humour, music, puns, stories and general mischievousness. And now, the unruly threesome is taking the hit podcast live for the first time. This December Greg, Jimmy and Felix will record an instalment of Tailenders live at the BBC Radio Theatre. Expect a variety of well-known guests, cricket-themed chat, lots of singing and some mild mayhem.

Live Lounge Uncovered
12 Episodes | Available November 2018
BBC Radio 1’s Live Lounge is one of the world’s most famous live music showcases. In this new companion podcast, listeners will follow the evolution of different cover versions performed in the Live Lounge through the eyes of the artist or band that are performing it. The podcast, hosted by BBC Music Introducing presenter Abbie McCarthy, will take listeners behind the scenes to hear the artists as they debate which track to cover, what elements they want to play with, deconstruct what made the song great in the first place, and follow them as they experiment with their reinterpretation.

You, Me, and The Big C
BBC Radio 5 Live
BBC Radio 5 Live presenter Rachael Bland died in early September from breast cancer after sharing her experience of living with cancer on her chart-topping podcast, You, Me, and The Big C. Now, just as she wanted them to, Rachael’s co-presenters Deborah James and Lauren Mahon are honouring their friend in the best way they know how – continuing the conversation about cancer with a new podcast series. You, Me, and The Big C was crowned Best New Show/Podcast at the Audio and Radio Industry Awards (ARIAs) earlier this month, which Rachael’s husband, Steve accepted on her behalf. It was also named best podcast the Northern Blog Awards at the end of September. The new series returns later this year to talk about life after Rachael, the profound impact she had on the world, and the next chapter for those still living with cancer.

Bauer’s Radio Forth tackles loneliness issues

Radio Forth is revisiting their ‘Take The Time’ campaign celebrating Befriending Week as they continue their work to combat loneliness across Scotland.

‘Take the Time’, in association with The Befriending Networks, has garnered support from over 1200 people across Scotland who have signed up to become a befriender and the charity have hired another employee to deal with demand generated by the project.

Since inception in February 2018, ‘Take the Time’ has investigated the issue of loneliness across Scotland. Showcasing their experiences on air, the station has highlighted to listeners the extent of the problem across the country, calling for volunteers to be a part of the solution by signing up to become a befriender.

John Dickson (79) and Shelley O’Reilly (35) from Edinburgh have been brought together through the scheme. Shelly was alerted to the campaign through listening to Radio Forth and was paired with widower John through the charity Cyrenians in June.

John Dickson, beneficiary of Take the Time, on their pairing said: “It is something to look forward to, it’s just good to have company. I never realised how many people are on their own until my wife died. As soon as we got together we felt quite comfortable. We never stop talking, I probably talk too much!”

Shelley O’Reilly, John’s befriender added: “We clicked right away, we got on really well. It was a perfect match for us. We meet up once or twice a week, we chat, we go for dinner or meet up for a coffee. We’ve also been on a nice drive to Peebles, that was fun. We chat about everything, from politics to Love Island!”


Tributes paid to Jazz FM presenter Peter Young

Former Capital FM and Jazz FM presenter Peter Young, known affectionately as PY, has died from diabetes.

Peter stepped down from his show at Jazz FM in July 2017 due to ill health after 27 years on the station.

Jazz FM posted a tribute to him on Friday afternoon: “We are very sad to announce the passing of our dear friend and colleague Peter Young. A true Jazz FM and UK broadcasting legend who will be missed by all of us here.” A tribute audio package was played during Jazz FM’s slot at the International Radio Festival in Malta.

Peter was one of the original presenters on Jazz FM when in launched in London in 1990, along side Jez Nelson, Gilles Peterson and Chris Phillips. He’s well known for his Soul Cellar programme which launched on Capital in 1979, and he previously hosted Drive on Radio Mercury when it started in 1984.

His friends and colleague, including Jeff Young, Chris Philips, Mike Chadwick, Lynn Parsons and Andy Jacobs have paid tribute on social media.

Heart extra Xmas returns for festive season

Christmas radio stations are

starting to reappear for 2018, including Global’s Heart extra Xmas service.

Heart extra Xmas is available nationally on digital radio, and replaces Heart extra till December 26th.

Global says: “It’s the UK’s biggest national radio station devoted entirely to playing the best festive hits all the way through until midnight on Boxing Day (December 26th)! Get ready to turn up the festive feel good!”

UKRD’s Christmas stations launched on November 1st: Eagle Christmas, KL.FM Christmas, Pirate FM Christmas, Mix Christmas, Spire FM Christmas, Stray FM Christmas, Wessex FM Christmas, Yorkshire Coast Radio Christmas, plus Mince Pie FM in York and Christmas Spirit in West Sussex.

In addition, Wireless spin-off stations Signal Christmas, Wave Christmas and Pulse Christmas are returning on DAB, along with new online Christmas services for Peak FM, Radio Wave, Signal 107, Wish FM, Wire FM, Tower FM and U105 from November 16th.


Sara Cox to host Drivetime show on BBC Radio 2

BBC Radio 2’s Sara Cox is moving to the Drivetime show in the new year, replacing Simon Mayo and Jo Whiley.

Trevor Nelson will also move around the schedule from weekends to weeknights, bagging Sara’s current 10pm till midnight slot Monday to Thursday.

Sara said: “I’ve been proud to be part of the Radio 2 family for a few years now and the opportunity to present such a big show as Drivetime – playing fantastic music and hopefully making people smile as they cook tea or head home after a day’s graft – is the icing on what is already a very brilliant cake. I’m beyond chuffed to be given this role and to directly quote my mum on hearing the good news, it is indeed ‘fandabbyruddydozy’.”

Trevor will now move his Rhythm Nation show from Saturday nights to each Monday – Thursday night from 10pm – midnight. The show will continue to play Soul, R ‘n’ B, Dance, Disco and Reggae to celebrate the end of the day and liven up weekday nights.

“To present eight hours a week of the music I love on BBC Radio 2 is a dream come true for me,” says Trevor. “I’ll be introducing tracks from some soul stars of the future, as well as playing some of my favourite songs from the past 50 years of dance music, from Motown to the present day. Bring it on!”

Lewis Carnie, Head of Radio 2 said: “Sara is hugely popular with the Radio 2 audience and I have every confidence that she’ll make the new Drivetime show her very own. Trevor is one of the leading lights in soul music in the UK, and he’ll bring his curated blend of music to Monday to Thursday nights, which I know our listeners will love. With Zoe Ball at Breakfast and Jo Whiley from 7-9pm each weekday, 2019 looks to be an extremely exciting year for Radio 2.”

Sara joined BBC Radio 1 in 1999 to present a Saturday lunchtime show, moving on the following year to present the Radio 1 Breakfast Show until December 2003. Over the next 11 years, Sara presented various shows on the network, including the weekday afternoon show, a Saturday and Sunday weekend afternoon show and weekday mornings.

Sara covered various shows on Radio 2 from June 2011, and landed her own show on the network in 2013 by launching Sounds of the 80s, which she presented until earlier this year. Sara also fronted the show’s BBC Red Button specials featuring interviews with 80s musicians. Sara began presenting her 10pm-midnight show on the station in May 2018 and has also covered for Chris Evans on the Breakfast Show in recent years. In 2017, Sara raised a £1,242,624 for Comic Relief by taking part in a non-stop 24-hour Dance Challenge to 80s music, live from Wogan House.

Trevor kicked off his radio career at pirate station Kiss in 1985, transferring to Saturday nights on BBC Radio 1 in 1996 to present the first ever national R’n’B show, The Rhythm Nation, for 17 years. Trevor also joined BBC Radio 1Xtra in 2007 to present the Breakfast Show, then the 10am-1pm weekday show until November 2016, when he moved to weekends 4-7pm.

Trevor made his Radio 2 debut in 2008 by presenting a weekly Wednesday night soul show and in July 2016, he launched Rhythm Nation on Saturday evenings. Trevor has also covered for Ken Bruce. Trevor has won a variety of plaudits including four MOBO (Music of Black Origin) Awards and an MBE for services to the community following his work as an ambassador for the Millennium Volunteers. In 2010 he received a Gold Lifetime Achievement Award at the Sony Radio Academy Awards for his services to broadcasting.

Trevor will continue to present on BBC Radio 1 Xtra, Saturday and Sunday 4 – 7pm.

Sara takes over from Jo Whiley and Simon Mayo who currently present each weekday, and follows the announcement that Simon Mayo will be leaving Radio 2, and Jo Whiley will be launching a new Monday – Thursday show from 7-9pm.

BBC Radio 2 tells RadioToday they will announce who will host the Saturday night 8-10pm slot in due course.

Portugal – Porches

We visited Porches which is on the Algarve, last month and enjoyed it very  much indeed.

For the first time since staying many times in this lovely country, I could pick up the only English Language Station Kiss FM which was broadcasting from nearby Albufeira

The station came in very well on my small Tividio Radio, and I listened for some time when washing in the morning and in the evening.  I did hear one DJ refer to his time on the “Pirates” in Ireland, but did not catch the man’s name

Porches has some very high class hotels that hog the coastline, there is a footpath in between hotels on the walk to the next town which leads to a small secluded beach.  The main town of Porches consists of a Intermarche Supermarket, some excellent holiday apartments that we stayed in, hotels, restaurants, hardware shop and a pottery.  

Some shots below of Porches and the beach that you can reach in about 10 minutes, accessed by the footpath you can see in the video.  There are quite a few steps down but they have quite a wide tread and easy to negotiate. This beach was very private and secluded when I visited it in September 2018

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The local town took us around 30 minutes to walk to and was beautiful, it’s called Armacoa de Pera. Long beach, shops, restaurants, bars etc  

The nearest large main town is Albufeira. We got a ride from our tour operator which took around 45 minutes. We went there out of season and there was so much to do so it must be very lovely in the summer months. That is where we caught a catamaran which took us on a tour of the caves around about. The catamaran cannot get into the smaller caves. Beware if you take a local small boat, they can go into the caves, but if the sea is not calm you need to be a good sailor.  

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Radio Newsbeat


Radio continues to expand on the digital platforms.  More on the Internet, but some local DAB outputs of  Radio Caroline and Cyber Gold.   One of my favourites on DAB is Jack 3, in essence a computerised playout  system, but the recorded announcements are very witty and anarchic at times.

If  you want a regular update on digital, am and fm,shortwave , and long distance reception. Also the pirate radio scene in the UK- join the British DX Club. They have a monthly newsletter called Communication, available in print and pdf formats.

From their site

How to Join

Print out and fill in the application form below (or send details by email or in writing) and send it with your payment to:

British DX Club, 10 Hemdean Hill, Caversham, Reading, RG4 7SB, UK.

E-mail enquiries to: bdxc[at]bdxc.org.uk **

** When sending an email [at] should be replaced with the @ symbol. Email addresses are shown this way on our web site to deter spam.

What it Costs

The current rates for 12 months membership (please double these rates for 24 months) are:

  • United Kingdom and BFPO £18.00
  • Europe / Worldwide (airmail) £30.00 / 40 Euros* / $US45 dollars* (*Euro/dollars by cash, paypal or bank transfer)
  • E-Subscription (pdf version sent via email) £10.00 / 14* Euros / $US15* (*Euro/dollars by cash, paypal or transfer)

How to Pay

We accept the following methods of payment:

  • UK cheque or postal order
  • PayPal to bdxc[at]bdxc.org.uk
  • Bank Draft or International Money Order (in UK pounds sterling drawn on a UK bank)
  • UK or international Bank Transfer (please e-mail for our account number)
  • UK or foreign currency bank notes (no coins). Duration of membership will be adjusted to cover any under/overpayments
  • UK postage stamps in denominations of £1.00 or less
  • International Reply Coupons (at the rate of 1 IRC = £1.00).IRCs must be the current series and still valid.

All cheques and Postal Orders should be made payable to British DX Club

If you would like to pay by bank transfer, or have any other queries, please email us at: bdxc[at]bdxc.org.uk **

Your Application Form

Name: _________________________________________________________

Address: _______________________________________________________



Postal code: ____________________________________________________

E-mail address: _________________________________________________

How did you hear about BDXC?: _____________________________________

BDXC Privacy Policy

BDXC will fully protect and respect your privacy and personal data. Our Privacy Statement can be found here.



From Radio Caroline from their site:

A Nasty Case of the Android’s

A new version of the Caroline Android app was published to Google Play on Wednesday 29th August, but unfortunately installing and running it has proved problematic for some of our users. Something we are trying to address.

A significant number of users have reported a ‘dead on arrival’ situation where it won’t get past the splash screen. And we are still trying to work out what the root cause is given it appears to run as intended for others.

This has alway been the nightmare scenario with the Android platform, where there are literally thousands of different device models, by different manufacturers, running almost any level of the Android operating system from the very old (and ‘old’ in mobile device terms is as little as three years) to the latest – 9.0 “Pie”.

Somebody asked if we tested our app before distributing it on Google Play. And the answer is “Yes”, of course we do, but we can’t test on every Android device under every level of the Android operating system. And that is the fundamental weakness of the platform, known as fragmentation, making development for the Android platform much more challenging than rival platforms such as iOS where hardware and software are less varied.

Update: 6th September: We have been working on a re-build of this app and are testing across as many different Android devices as we can muster. Hopefully a replacement version will be published within days.


News selected from the Radio Today Site

Chris Evans is returning to Virgin Radio for Breakfast

vans is returning to the Virgin Radio brand after announcing he’s leaving BBC Radio 2 before the end of the year.

Speaking about his new appointment, Chris said: “In many ways Virgin Radio is my spiritual home. I see nothing but exciting and groundbreaking opportunities ahead. In a medium that is changing so quickly on a daily basis, the potential for growth is unprecedented. Our plan is: to give it all we’ve got, see where we can get to and have the most possible fun along the way. It makes me smile every time I think about it.”

Scott Taunton, CEO of Wireless, said: “We are beyond thrilled that Chris has chosen to come back to Virgin Radio. He is the biggest name in radio and is synonymous with the brand. He has the most exciting Breakfast Show in the industry and has an energy that captivates audiences.

“This is a transformational moment for Virgin Radio since it relaunched two years ago. It is the next stage of our radio revolution, giving us a world-class presenter and a nationally recognised breakfast show that will drive audience growth for the station, across DAB, our app and all forms of connected listening.”

He previously hosted the breakfast show on Virgin Radio from 1997-2001.

Virgin currently has 413,000 listeners compared with BBC Radio 2’s 15 million – and the Wireless-owned station is only available on digital radio.

Chris announced on-air this morning that he is leaving BBC Radio 2 after 13 years, and eight years on breakfast.

He replaced Terry Wogan in January 2010 and his last show at the Beeb will be December 21st 2018.

Ofcom is now taking expressions of interest from people wanting to operate small-scale DAB multiplexes and radio stations wanting to broadcast on them in the future.

Groups and individuals have until 21st September to complete a form and send it back to the regulator, setting out the area they would like to cover. The expressions of interest aren’t binding, and also don’t mean that an area asked for will be licensed for a small-scale multiplex.

DCMS has been consulting on a new approach to licensing digital radio multiplexes to cover small areas, following trials in a number of areas of the UK. Ofcom says it is doing preparatory work by asking for expressions of interest, so that it can plan frequencies and be a position to “proceed promptly if and when the Government introduces the necessary secondary legislation.”

Ofcom says: “The expressions of interest are indicative only; they are non-binding and will not confer any rights to parties that respond. Submitting an expression of interest provides absolutely no guarantee that a proposed location, or the person submitting the proposal, will subsequently be offered a licence. It will help Ofcom to best match the available spectrum resources to the expressed pattern of demand, but the eventual licensing of the multiplexes will be an open competitive process in which the previous submission of an expression of interest will confer no advantage.”

The closing date for the submission of expressions of interest is 5pm on 21 September 2018. You can find out more on the Ofcom website.
< 1<

It was twenty years ago that Century 105 began broadcasting across Liverpool, Greater Manchester, Lancashire and beyond.

Derek Webster remembers:

It was a huge radio station with very big ambitions.

For me it felt like I was joining a band of pirates landing in what was a bland radio landscape, bringing a refreshing change to the airwaves and stirring things up a bit. It felt like I was in ‘Pirates Of The Caribbean’ at the start of another big adventure.

In fact the waters had already started making waves when John Myers, MD and breakfast presenter, put himself on air during test transmissions.

He asked new listeners stumbling across the new regional station’s powerful FM signal to ring in, encouraging them to give shout outs to radio stations they used to listen to.

One after another John would ask callers about rival stations they had heard, mischievously suggesting some of them had since closed down. Of course, none of this went down well with our competitors and before long the Radio Authority stepped in with a reprimand; to get a complaint like that was just the kind of reaction Century 105 was designed for.

But this was a taste of what was yet to come when controversial phone in hosts Scotty McClue and former Liverpool politician Derek Hatton kept the conversation buzzing and the government broadcasting regulator busy. John often said that if he didn’t get the odd complaint about his presenters he assumed they weren’t doing their job properly.

Meanwhile, as work on the Salford offices and studios was been completed, we took to the road handing out leaflets and car stickers. I remember standing with our team at 8am at the Wirral end of the Mersey Tunnel leaving queuing motorists in no doubt as to where they could find Century 105.4 on the radio dial.

And I will never forget the excitement when 105.4 FM from the mighty tower at Winter Hill was turned on for the very first time. The first song to break out from the static on was ‘The Power Of Love’ by Huey Lewis & The News’ – The Producers of a BBC TV documentary about the station had to dub in a different song due to copyright issues, which was a shame because a song about the power of love seemed appropriate.

As the big day arrived and Century began its first scheduled programming I heard someone compliment John on staging such a brilliant radio station launch. He replied: “That was the easy part, now we have to make it work”.

John Myers needn’t have worried because the station went on to become a big hit and it wasn’t long before the big corporate media companies formed a queue to buy the successful business from its owners, Border TV Holdings. Today the station is part of the Heart brand from Global.

The launch of Century 105 across North West England was an exciting time and a revolutionary idea for a commercial radio station with its emphasis on speech, not just music. It gave me the taste of how it must have felt to be part of that pirate radio revolution in the 1960s which broke the mould of British radio broadcasting.

But it never would have happened without John Myers, a radio executive who couldn’t keep out of the studio. He would be there in the morning presenting the breakfast show before spending the day successfully coping with the daily stress and strains of management. Then at half past five in the evening, when most people were heading home, you would find him in the studio recording a new promo.

To the legend that is John Myers, and I am sure I speak for many others when I raise a glass on the anniversary of Century 105, thank you for letting me be part of your team in what was an unforgettable radio adventure twenty years ago this week.

Derek Webster


Bauer has requested a format change for its West Midlands regional FM licence, currently broadcasting national programmes from Absolute Radio.

Instead of “A rock-orientated station combining new music with classic album tracks aimed at 25-44 year-olds,” Bauer wants the new Character of Service to be “A classic pop hits service with local news and information aimed primarily at the over-30s in the West Midlands.”

This new service would become part of Bauer’s Greatest Hits network, also known as Bauer City 2 Network, but no on-air name has been disclosed at this stage. Bauer operates Free Radio in the region already, so Free 2 could be one option.

In addition, Bauer has asked Ofcom to change its Birmingham AM licence, and its Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury & Telford AM licence from “A classic pop hits station, with local information and occasional local sports coverage, targeted primarily at 35-54 year-olds, to “A classic rock music station.”

Again, no name has been announced should the request be approved, but one station matching the description is Absolute Classic Rock.

This West Midlands FM licence was launched in 2004 as rock service Kerrang! Radio. In 2013 Kerrang was replaced on 105.2 FM by a simulcast of the national rock station Planet Rock, taking advantage of a clause in the 2010 Digital Economy Act which allows regional FM licences to broadcast a national service on a local frequency, without any local content or production, provided that the service is also being broadcast nationally on DAB.

In 2015 Bauer decided to replace Planet Rock with the ‘rock-orientated’ Absolute Radio on 105.2 FM. It remained a national service with no requirement for local content or production.

The Birmingham AM licence was launched in 1974, as BRMB (which was also broadcast on the FM band). In 1989 BRMB ‘split’ its frequencies, and the AM frequency became Xtra AM, a ‘classic hits’ service, with BRMB (now Free Radio) majoring on more contemporary hits on FM. Xtra AM was rebranded in 1998 as Capital Gold and, since 2012, the licence has focused on playing music from the 1980s as ‘Free Radio 80s’.

The Wolverhampton, Shrewsbury & Telford AM licence launched in 1976 as Beacon Radio, later becoming WABC, Classic Gold, then Free Radio 80s.

Speaking about the licence changes, Group Managing Director of the Hits Radio Network Graham Bryce told RadioToday: “These licence requests follows the successful introduction of a classic hits format by Radio City 2 on FM in Liverpool as part of the Greatest Hits Network. We see an opportunity to further build this format on FM in the West Midlands, and for our colleagues at Absolute Radio for a classic rock format.”

The consultation for the changes is now open with a closing date of 5pm on 5 October 2018.


Mark Goodier is returning to Absolute Radio to host a series of classic album playbacks in September.

The man who’s got the best music will present five albums over the five Saturdays in September, starting 8th September, as part of the station’s 10th birthday celebrations.

Meanwhile, Danielle Perry will be celebrating live music, replaying exclusive Absolute Radio gigs from Coldplay, Liam Gallagher, Stereophonics and more. Performances from the last ten years will be played on Live Music Thursday, every Thursday at 9pm throughout September.

In addition, the station is running a poll to select the ‘Song of Our Decade’, for the greatest track since Absolute Radio launched in 2008. With the likes of Arctic Monkeys, Muse, Coldplay and Florence + the Machine all shortlisted, listeners can vote for their favourite online at absoluteradio.co.uk. The Top 100 ‘Songs of Our Decade’, will be revealed by Leona Graham as part of her No Repeat Guarantee programme.

The ultimate favourite will be announced on Friday 28th September.

As previously reported by RadioToday, Absolute Radio will also host a birthday gig at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire in London, with Manic Street Preachers, George Ezra and Blossoms all performing.

The special gig hosted by Dave Berry and Danielle Perry, sold out in just five minutes when tickets went on sale on Friday 3rd August. The station will air the performances live with exclusive interviews from the artists, hosted by Pete Donaldson on Tuesday 25th September from 7pm.

digital radio uk

Digital Radio Hall of Fame members announced


The first nine inductees into the new Digital Radio Hall of Fame have been announced.

The announcement was made by David Lloyd following nominations from digital radio stakeholders and judging by a panel of radio experts. The nine individuals were judged to have made an outstanding contribution to the success of digital radio over the last 20 years as digital radio pioneers and innovators.

Reinforcing that the establishment of digital radio as the majority of radio listening in the UK has been a collaborative and cross-industry effort, the Digital Radio Hall of Fame will include individuals from all sectors and areas that have contributed to digital radio progress, with representatives from broadcasters, retailers, manufacturers, automotive, Ofcom and Government.

The Digital Radio Hall of Fame Inductees are:

Dame Jenny Abramsky
Former Director of Audio and Music, BBC

Grae Allan
DAB Radio Director, Bauer Media

Ralph Bernard
Former CEO GCap Media

Michael Hill
Founder and Managing Director, Radioplayer

Quentin Howard
Former CEO Digital One, and Managing Director, GWR

John Kempner
Buyer, John Lewis

Rashid Mustapha
Engineer, Ofcom

Ian O’Neill OBE
Head of Television; Programme Director Radio, DCMS

Sir Hossein Yassaie
Chairman, Pure, and Former Chief Executive Officer of Imagination Technologies

The inductees will receive their Digital Radio Hall of Fame award at a special ceremony to be held at the Drive to Digital Conference at the British Museum on 25 September.

The Digital Radio Hall of Fame judges were: Dee Ford, Bauer Media; Helen Boaden, formerly-BBC: William Rogers, UKRD; Will Harding, Global; Jimmy Buckland, Wireless Group; Lindsey Mack; BBC; David Lloyd, Radio Consultant and Historian; Bernie O’Neill, WorldDAB; Emma Hill, Radioworks; Peter Davies, formerly-Ofcom; Glyn Jones, Arqiva; Diane Fuller, Roberts Radio; and Sophie Spooner, Pure.

Michael, Grae, Quentin, Ian

Ford Ennals, CEO Digital Radio UK, said: “We congratulate the first ever nine inductees into the Digital Radio Hall of Fames on their recognition and their achievement. It has taken over 20 years to get to a point where digital radio represents the majority of radio listening in the UK and this simply couldn’t have happened without the outstanding contributions of these nine individuals and the organisations they represent. There has been a tremendous response to the announcement of the Digital Radio Hall of Fame and our thanks go to all the stakeholders who provided nominations and to the eminent panel of judges.”

David Lloyd, Radio Consultant and Historian, said: “As a radio historian I have watched with interest the rise of digital radio over the last 20 years from the early days of excitement and optimism through a period of uncertainty and on to the launch of a series of successful digital stations and the achievement of 50% digital listening. Clearly, the success of digital radio has been a real team effort across the wider radio industry and this is reflected in the nine outstanding individuals who the judges agreed should be recognised by inducting them into the Digital Radio Hall of Fame.”

Top photo: Michael Hill, Grae Allan, Sir Hossein Yassaie.



Branson suggested Virgin move to Evans last October


Sir Richard Branson has revealed that he had a conversation with Chris Evans about joining Virgin Radio nearly a year ago while making an appearance on his Radio 2 breakfast show.

Speaking on ITV’s Good Morning Britain earlier this week, the Virgin founder admitted it was “maybe a slight discourtesy to the Beeb to steal one of their people”, but says he suggested that a change of scenery “would be good for him” while in the Radio 2 studios for an interview in October 2017.

Asked about whether the BBC being forced to publish information about the salaries of top talent had an influence on Chris’ decision to leave the corporation, Sir Richard said: “I had no idea what he earned at the BBC or even what he’s earning at Virgin. I think he wanted a change. Virgin Radio gives him a lot more freedom I suspect than he would have at the BBC and Chris is someone who I think would value freedom over salary. I think it’s fantastic for Virgin Radio. Virgin Radio is back in Britain and I think that this will put it firmly on the map.”

Sir Richard was on the Radio 2 breakfast show on Thursday 12th October 2017 to talk about his autobiography,’Finding My Virginity’.

Chris announced on Monday that he was leaving Radio 2’s breakfast show after 8 years, and within a couple of hours it had been announced that he was joining Wireless DAB station Virgin Radio UK in the New Year. He’ll replace Sam and Amy, who only took over the breakfast show on 2nd October last year.

You can watch the interview with Good Morning Britain below

LV 18 – Jukebox memories

The East Anglian Times reports;

Where and when can I see the LV18 Lightship on the river today?

PUBLISHED: 09:00 03 September 2018 | UPDATED: 11:47 03 September 2018

Former Lightship the LV 18, at Harwich

Former Lightship the LV 18, at Harwich

The historic LV18 – the last working lightship, is set to be towed from Harwich and up the River Orwell to Ipswich today.

Preparations were underway over the weekend ready to lift the LV18 this afternoon, at high tide, and in a military-style operation two tugs will be involved in towing her to Ipswich and her temporary berth at Orwell Quay.

The LV18 has been berthed at Harwich for the past seven years, and as well as the history of light vessels it is also a link back to the days of the pop pirates on the North Sea, with exhibitions on board, and occasional nostalgia events.

It was also involved in the filming of the Richard Curtis movie, The Boat That Rocked about those pirate radio days.

The LV18 is now operated by a charitable trust and is coming to Ipswich for six weeks, during which it will be open to the public for events, there will be live music and radio broadcasts.

LV18 Lightship moored at Harwich QuayLV18 Lightship moored at Harwich Quay

Spokesman Tony O’Neil said: “We are very excited to be coming to Ipswich.

“The plan is to get underway at 3pm, with two barges helping.

“It will take two/two and a half hours to get to Ipswich, so we aim to be there at 5.30 – so she can be towed in through the dock gates at 6pm, free flow.

“We have got to be in Ipswich for 6pm, for the high water level,

“She will be towed in backwards to Orwell Quay.”

Good vantage points to see it happening would be at Pin Mill and from the Orwell Bridge, he said.

“I will be filming from the Orwell Bridge.”

Lightvessels, or lightships date back more than 250 years and were in use all round the UK.

The LV18 was the last Trinity House working lightvessel until automation in 1994.

It was built 60 years agao and now houses a collection of artifacts from the pirate radio era as well.

It served around the coastal waters protecting mariners on the seas.

Tony O’Neil, LV 18 founder trustee and curator said: “We are honoured to be allowed by Ipswich Port Authority to bring the LV18 into Ipswich as a visiting heritage vessel.

He added, “LV18 was involved in the filming of Richard Curtis film, ‘The Boat that Rocked’ in 2008 when she was towed down to Portland in Dorset for 5 weeks. LV18 has also been the base for several licenced radio broadcasts bringing back the sounds of Offshore pirate radio stations celebrating Radio Caroline, Radio London and others that appeared off the coast in the 1960’s bringing about a revolution in radio broadcasting.”

LV18 also houses the definitive collection of original artifacts from the offshore pirate radio era and a special pirate radio exhibition is to be set up when vessel comes alongside the Quayside.

Tony added: “There has been enormous interest already in our plans and Ipswich Maritime Trust and several other organisations have offered to assist with the project.

“We are very pleased with the support we are finding in Ipswich. The port authority is providing the berth for six weeks, the borough council are very supportive.

“We are also having a temporary broadcasting licence, from September 15, which will be entitled Juke Box Memories – playing the sounds of the 50s,60s,70s and 80s, on 106.8FM.

“We are also linking up with Ipswich Community Radio and hope to have some live music on the helicopter deck.”

The LV18 is set to stay berthed in Ipswich for six weeks.