Radio Newsbeat


Lovely sunshine and so warm for the past few days in the UK.  I hope you have been out and about listening to your radio, or stations on your mobile phone on the Internet

In one of the  radio forums that I visit someone recommended an Internet Station called “The Ferry”‘ I have listened and it features instrumental music, very Middle of the Road.  It comes from Norway and this is a link to its audio  

I have found a link on the Frontier Silicon Portal and have it saved as a favourite on my Roberts iStream radio.

They have announcements by Emperor Rosko and other broadcasters in English as well. It seems to finance itself by broadasting religious programmes in Norwegian.  Someo said it reminds them of Radio 390, it reminds me of some of the tests for Local Commercial Radio by the IBA in the 70s.

It also appears that it is a short wave station, or was, hence the appeals for reception reports.  Read the article on the link below, it has a lot about the radio station there

Of course we have our own sweet music station in the UK.  Angel Radio 

If you didn’t know they also run a sixties radio station as well, with some PAMs jingles reminiscent of Swinging Radio England in the 60s.

When United DJs first started I had it on every morning and occasionally during the day.  I don’t listen much any more but it is definitely better than De-Lux Radio presenter and music-wise

If you do not know what Radio 390 sounded like here are a few clips on You Tube

Radio News selected from the Radio Today Site

Please accept my apologies, this page has been formatted incorrectly but now it should display properly

Surrey and Hampshire’s Eagle Radio has launched a new digital station called Eagle 80s.

The new UKRD service started at 11am Monday and operates from Eagle Radio’s Guildford studios, broadcasting online and on local DAB.

Commenting on Eagle Radio’s latest arrival, Content Director, Peter Gordon said “Eagle Radio is growing fast – as well as running our broadcast area’s most successful full service commercial local radio station, we’ve had a phenomenal reaction to our 70s brand which launched last year. With the music from the 1980s continuing to have such a following, we thought Surrey & Hampshire should have its own 80s station operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“We envisage this addition to the Eagle family will further broaden choice for local listeners as well as give more opportunity for the many local, and national, businesses who will want to use this exciting new platform to promote and market their services.

“Whilst others in the media and press business locally continue to scale down or move on to other things, Eagle Radio – on all its platforms – continues to grow and serve the community it operates in which has always meant our business is the “go to” media marketing outlet in our part of the UK.”

Eagle 80s joins a number of ‘extra’ services from UKRD including Eagle 70s and 2BR 70s.

It is the first time BBC Radio 5 live’s Test Match Special programme has lost the rights for an England away tour to a commercial broadcaster since 2005.

The free to air rights cover England’s tours of Sri Lanka and the West Indies including all the Test matches, ODIs and T20 internationals from each tour.

>Every ball will be broadcast across a mixture of talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2 with a dedicated team of pundits at the ground to bring listeners all the drama as it unfolds.

talkSPORT last broadcast live England overseas cricket rights in 2005, with exclusive commentary for the past two years of the IPL plus every match of the World Twenty20 in 2016 and Champions Trophy last summer.
Wireless Group CEO Scott Taunton told RadioToday: “Winning these prestigious rights is a great victory for talkSPORT and its first-class coverage. England’s overseas tours are sure to lure large audiences of fans as we cement talkSPORT’s position as the fans’ favourite for sporting news, analysis and live coverage. I’m delighted that we will be with England fans for every ball of the day throughout these winter tours, with our own expert line-up of cricketing stars.”

talkSPORT Drive presenter Darren Gough, who also hosts Cricket Week on talkSPORT2, adds: “England’s supporters are the best in the world and loyally follow the team around the cricketing globe. Come day or night and rain or shine, we’ll be there with the fans as all the drama unfolds and with a full analysis of the day’s play.”

The first England game to be broadcast on talkSPORT will be England’s ODI series against Sri Lanka, starting on October 10, 2018

Surrey and Hampshire’s Eagle Radio has launched a new digital station called Eagle 80s.

The new UKRD service started at 11am Monday and operates from Eagle Radio’s Guildford studios, broadcasting online and on local DAB.

Commenting on Eagle Radio’s latest arrival, Content Director, Peter Gordon said “Eagle Radio is growing fast – as well as running our broadcast area’s most successful full service commercial local radio station, we’ve had a phenomenal reaction to our 70s brand which launched last year. With the music from the 1980s continuing to have such a following, we thought Surrey & Hampshire should have its own 80s station operating 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

“We envisage this addition to the Eagle family will further broaden choice for local listeners as well as give more opportunity for the many local, and national, businesses who will want to use this exciting new platform to promote and market their services.

“Whilst others in the media and press business locally continue to scale down or move on to other things, Eagle Radio – on all its platforms – continues to grow and serve the community it operates in which has always meant our business is the “go to” media marketing outlet in our part of the UK.”

Eagle 80s joins a number of ‘extra’ services from UKRD including Eagle 70s and 2BR 70s.

OJ Borg’s new overnight show on BBC Radio 2 will be broadcast live from MediaCityUK by Audio Always and produced by Jordan Hemingway and Dan Markham.

Jordan Hemingway is currently the Heart North West breakfast producer, who has been with Global/GMG for the last nine years, whilst Dan Markham produces the soon-to-end BBC Local Radio networked evening show with Georgey Spanswick.

The results of six new commissions were announced last week by the BBC, and show Salford-based indie Audio Always won the tender to produce the brand new midnight to 3am show when it starts on May 14th. The Radio 2 commissioning brief stated that this show was aimed at ‘those working in offices and factories through the night, those driving up and down the country or for insomniacs everywhere’.

Six shows were put up for tender under the BBC’s new Radio Commissioning Framework, part of the ‘Compete or Compare’ initiative to create more competition to make BBC content. Independent production companies Wisebuddah and Somethin’ Else both won two shows, with the former to produce Gary Davies’ Sounds of the 80s and Johnnie Walker’s Rock Show, and Somethin’ Else making Ana Matronix’s Dance Devotion show and the new Late Show presented by Sara Cox. Folded Wing also picked up a commission to make the Clare Teal Show.

Will Jackson, Managing Director of the Radio Independents Group, told RadioToday: “These latest results show that the new commissioning process is shaking up the schedules and bringing a wider range of ideas to the Licence Fee payer.

With commissioning outside London a key topic at the moment, we are particularly pleased that an out-of-London company gained a long-term show – these types of commissions can really help companies build their businesses, adding creative jobs in locations outside London, and we hope to see more in future commissioning rounds.”

Hosted each week by a Jazz FM presenter, Deezer’s Jazz Stories discusses the history of five iconic jazz labels, within different playlists of hand-picked jazz hits.

The first Jazz Stories playlist, available this week, kicks off with Jazz FM’s Helen Mayhew discussing Universal’s record label ‘Impulse!’. In between every track, Helen’s minute-long commentary includes facts on the label’s inception, the track’s history and the artist. Music includes pieces from legendary John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins and Michael Brecker.

In the coming weeks, each hour-long playlist focuses on the stories behind Colombia (Sony), Atlantic (Warner) and ECM (Universal) and is presented by a different Jazz FM presenter. The second episode will follow the history of Blue Note (Universal) and is hosted by Chris Philips, with more coming from Jez Nelson and David Freeman.

Chris Baughen, VP of Content & Formats at Deezer commented: “We’re delighted to partner with Jazz FM to take users on a journey of musical discovery. Every week, fans can learn about the labels behind some of the most renowned artists, while enjoying a hand-picked selection of huge jazz cuts. Combining Jazz FM audio commentary with music also means users can enjoy the discussion format of radio but with the ability to pause, pick up and listen whenever they want on Deezer.”

Nick Pitts, Content Director at Jazz FM commented: “As the world’s leading Jazz broadcaster, Jazz FM is home to many of the world’s most knowledgeable presenters. With a truly innovative blend of expert curation, fascinating commentary and outstanding music we are proud to be partnering with Deezer to produce and present exclusive playlists on the legendary jazz music labels.”

Jazz Stories with Jazz FM will be released each week on Deezer and available worldwide. Listen to this week’s Jazz Stories here.

Chris Evans left Wogan House moments before he was due to start his BBC Radio 2 breakfast show today as he learned that his mother just passed away at the age of 92.

Sports presenter Vassos Alexander stepped in at the last minute to host the show, lasting until 8.30 when Ken Bruce started his show an hour early.

In his first link, he explained the situation and read out a statement prepared by Chris. He said: “…But Chris isn’t here, this is Vassos. Chris has been here in fact but he had to go just before we came on air and he’s left me a little note to read out to you. Bear with me, this is a little bit difficult for me because we are talking about one of my best friends here.

He went on to read: “Good morning everyone. The reason I’m not with you today is because just before we came on air my mum passed away and I needed to go straight back home to be with the family. But it’s all OK, in fact, it’s very OK, mum needed to be at peace. Moreover, she deserved to be at peace, we’ve been ready for this for some time now and as she has throughout her life in death she’s brought us together.

“She was an incredible woman. Anyone who has ever met her will tell you that and ultimately there was no battle lost only a life won. Every single day. I’ll be back tomorrow. If mum had the first idea I might not have shown up today because of her she’d have been furious. I hope you have a lovely Thursday. See you tomorrow.”

London medium-wave and DAB station Love Sport has asked Ofcom for permission to change its format – and remove the requirement to specifically cover business, finance and entertainment news.

Ahead of its sale, the previous licensee of the 558 AM frequency – Spectrum Radio – got approval last October to change the character of service of the licence to remove focus on ethnic minority communities in London.

Now, the regulator has begun a consultation to seek views from interested parties as to whether Love Sport should be allowed to change its format. Ofcom says the change could substantially alter the character of the service.

Spectrum was required to be “A special speech, news and music station aimed at a minimum of six different, varied ethnic minority communities in London, whose family origins lie outside Britain.”

This was changed in October 2017 so that the station could be “A broad-based 24-hour speech service for Londoners of all backgrounds and origins, focussing on business and finance, sport, entertainment, current affairs and essential information.”

Now, Love Sport’s licence holder, A Spokesman Said Ltd, wants to change the character of service to say: “A 24-hour speech service for Londoners focussing on sports plus some topical content and local information.”

You can take part in the consultation, which runs to 1st June 2018, via the Ofcom website.

All of the BBC’s network radio stations are pulling out the stops to cover the wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle on 19th May, with special shows – including live OBs from Windsor.

Chris Evans will be in the town for a live Saturday morning show 8am-11.30am on Radio 2, followed by Alan Carr and Mel Sykes 11.30am-1pm from the studio. Paul Gambaccini has a special Pick of the Pops featuring hits from the birth years of Meghan and Harry – 1981 and 1984. Zoe Ball takes over at 3pm with Royal Wedding party tunes.

Radio 1 will have Scarlett Moffatt as its royal correspondent, reporting into the station live from Windsor Castle every hour of the day, while Radio 3has a wedding-theme to its Saturday breakfast show and Words and Music the following day.

Asian Network will feature updates throughout the day on Asian Network News as well as live reports from Anisa Kadri on the Raj and Pablo show.

On the speech networks, Radio 4‘s Today Programme will have Mishal Husain live in Windsor, while weekday 5 live Breakfast presenter Rachel Burden will be on air for Saturday’s breakfast programme on the station from the town too. There’s no Danny Baker on 5 live on 19th May – instead Nihal Arthanayake will be on from 10am.

From 11.30am across both Radio 4 and 5 live, Claire Balding will be anchoring live commentary of the wedding procession. Radio 4 opts out at 1pm, while 5 live continues to 2pm. The news and sport station will also have Eleanor Oldroyd and Gemma Cairney at the service at St George’s Castle. Other BBC presenters out reporting on the procession include Jane Garvey, Paddy O’Connell, Aasmah Mir, Rachel Burden, Alistair Bruce-Ball and Julian Worricker.

Radio 1’s Tina Daheley and Radio 2 Saturday breakfast presenter Dermot O’Leary are among the presenters hosting the TV coverage of the Royal Wedding on BBC One.

UKRD’s Local Radio Day has attracted the support of all 39 BBC Local Radio stations this year.

They’ll all be taking part in the initiative on May 25th, celebrating what local radio means to the communities it serves.

Now in its third year, Local Radio Day has established itself as a platform for local radio stations across the sector to come together and celebrate local radio itself and the engagement it has with the people, communities and areas it broadcasts to. Last year, more than 80 local radio stations took part and many more are expected to participate this year.

David Holdsworth, Controller of BBC English Regions, said: “We are proud to be working with industry colleagues at UKRD and beyond to celebrate local radio’s unique relationship with listeners and its valued place in the community. Last year, we marked the 50th anniversary of BBC Local Radio and set out some ambitious plans for the future.

“It makes complete sense for us to come together to promote what is so special about local radio and how its ability to connect with its local audience is unrivaled. I know how passionate and dedicated our teams working in BBC Local Radio are and I look forward to hearing what creative content will be broadcast on 25 May.”

William Rogers, UKRD’s Chief Executive, commented: “It’s fantastic to hear that all of BBC Local Radio is now supporting Local Radio Day. Together with stations from across local commercial radio, as well as those in the Community, Hospital and Charitable sectors, adding the BBC’s 39 local stations to the mix represents a huge endorsement of the importance of local radio, so effectively summed up by David Holdsworth in this announcement.

“Local Radio Day is now one of the most significant and important events in the radio industry’s calendar and this, its third year, is set to be the best yet by some considerable margin.”


Pictorial Musings

It occurs to me that the Cormorant is a very strange looking bird – here is one I took a picture of on the Thames with its wings spread out to dry. Below is a picture of one swimming, it looks quite strange.

Spring is here and wildfowl is beginning to nest – when we went on a cruise on the Thames at Oxford recently we saw this Goose sitting on its nest.

Below is a slide show of the things we saw during the cruise during a cloudy day last week. The University boat houses and views seen along the course of the University Boat Course there.

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Below is a lovely old, sadly non-working radio I saw on a recent holiday trip – thought that the Radio Anoraks would like to see this beauty!

When is a bird not a bird? – Answer – when it is a plant – this is a Bird of Paradise Plant I have seen growing in a warm climate.

The strange looking birds above are male Hoopoe Birds, seen abroad but apparently can be seen in the UK.  I got some close ups of these birds but am only sharing the first distant shot I got of these birds.

Wikipedia says:

Hoopoes are widespread in Europe, Asia, and North Africa, Sub-Saharan Africa and Madagascar. Most European and north Asian birds migrate to the tropics in winter. In contrast, the African populations are sedentary all year. The species has been a vagrant in Alaska; U. e. saturata was recorded there in 1975 in the Yukon Delta. Hoopoes have been known to breed north of their European range, and in southern England during warm, dry summers that provide plenty of grasshoppers and similar insects,[ although as of the early 1980s northern European populations were reported to be in the decline, possibly due to changes in climate.

Finally I also got a picture of two, not one, Storks nesting on a platform on a mast recently

More next time………………………………

Radio Newsbeat


United DJs has been on the Internet for a while now.  The Mike Read breakfast show is excellent. Mike covers a wide range of topics in between music. He is a very intelligent broadcaster, and I have enjoyed his choice of music an chat.  Tony Prince follows him, and is excellent as well and also has some interesting comments to make. He seems to mention the Myriad broadcasting system a lot, it seems to be taking some getting used to..  So far I have not had much time to tune into other shows.  I did enjoy the Kenny Tosh Pirate show on Saturday.  I do miss news at the top of the hour, and tend to re-tune to my BBC Local Station – BBC Berkshire for that, as this was, and still is my main choice for breakfast listening.

Delux Radio seems to have a dreadful choice of music  when I tune in, and so far I have not really enjoyed one show that they have put out.

Overall, as nice as it is to hear these new stations. There are other Internet stations that either play back to back music, or have occasional DJ shows, that are as good if not better.  I wonder if these stations will last a year or more.  We will see.

I have been informed of a site which contains 78 specially re-recorded offshore and other free radio stations. More to come no doubt!  They have the original announcements, and then the man who runs the site makes these unique recordings and edits in the original disc. The levels are slightly different in some cases, as the voice tracks are lifted from archive recordings of the pirates in the 60s and 70s.  Visit the site.  You can listen to the tracks and stream them.  If you click the the download button on the menu on the left, for each page you visit, there are download  links from dropbox.  Enjoy

I went to a local sale recently, and spotted some valve and transistorised goodies.

My friend collects old radios, and reckons the valve set would be worth around £80 in good condition. He also fancied the Champion “suitcase” radio.  I like the look of all of them but do not have the space or cash to amass a collecton.  I prefer to photograph and share photos of radios and other curios.

A few offshore items from You Tube:

First a unique tape from Radio Caroline North, used to warm up the transmitters each early morning. Posted by Kenny Tosh on United DJs, he plays pirate radio music etc every Saturday.

I couldn’t resist including this one. The reel of of tape featured reminds me of the tapes I recorded on in 1965. Also the sort of professional tape machines I used when I worked in the BBC Archives.

The only offshore TV station in Europe was broadcast by the Dutch on the REM Island. The speech in this video is in Dutch, which I find an attractive language to listen to (only comprehend a few words!)

Below is a lot of news, including the incredible news that Radio Caroline is now on a London Mulitiplex!  No good to me though, but I can hear her loud and clear on the Internet and also in hissy 648 am.  The reason for so much selected news is the fact that I have not had a chance to post much recently.

News selected from the Radio Today Site

Radio 1
Weekends to start on a Friday at BBC Radio 1
Fridays will be part of the weekend schedule at BBC Radio 1, as Nick Grimshaw goes four days a week and Scott Mills takes over the Official Chart Show from June.

The weekday line-up will end on a Thursday, whilst “Weekend Breakfast” with Dev and Alice will run Friday to Sunday. Maya Jama will host Friday 10am till 1pm, Mollie King will be partnering up with Matt Edmondson on Friday afternoons 1-4pm and Scott Mills fulfils his life-long dream by presenting The Official Chart at 4pm on Friday afternoons 4-7pm.

Nick Grimshaw getting Fridays off is a significant move as former breakfast show host Chris Evans famously left the station after being refused to work a four-day week.

Talking about all the changes, Ben Cooper, Controller, BBC Radio 1, 1Xtra and Asian Network, says: “The weekend will start here at Radio 1 on a Friday morning giving our young audience that feel good factor a day early. It’s our job at Radio 1 to reinvent the way young people listen to the radio, to disrupt traditional thinking and to look for new ways in which to grow audiences.”

Radio 1’s new Friday schedule

6.30am-10am – Radio 1’s Weekend Breakfast with Dev and Alice
10am-1pm – Radio 1’s Greatest Hits with Maya Jama
1-4pm – Matt and Mollie
4-7pm – The Official Chart with Scott Mills

Dev & Alice say: “We cannot wait to get the weekend started for everyone – Fridays will never be the same again!”

Maya Jama says: “I’m so excited to continue the Greatest Hits on a Friday and get all our listeners ready for the weekend vibes! More bangers to come :)”

Mollie King says: “I’ve grown up listening to Radio 1 and I can’t wait to be one of the team. This is an absolute dream for me! The only person more excited than me is my mum – who is delighted I finally have a proper job! I’ve had so much fun working with Matt over the past few weeks, and I’m so glad I’m no longer just ‘Mollie From The Saturdays’ but Mollie from the ‘Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays’!”

Matt Edmondson says: “Radio 1 is known for its Big Weekends, but I never imagined the weekend would get THIS big. Mollie popped in to be a co-host a few weeks ago and was so bloody brilliant we couldn’t let her go! I can’t wait to get started, but I have warned Mollie that there’s only room for one fashion icon on the show, and it’s me.”

Scott Mills says: “I was sat with my Mum when I got this news, and she actually cried because I’ve been pretending to do the chart show on Radio 1 since I was 8 years old. I’ve filled in on the show so much over the years, and I can’t believe it’s actually mine. I’m beyond excited!”

BBC Radio 4 gets first BBC Ofcom code breach

Ofcom has issued its first Broadcasting Code breach warning to the BBC after taking over as regulator for the corporation.

The breach goes to BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme after two complaints were received about aspects of the content broadcast in an edition of the programme on 10 August 2017.

Both complainants had previously raised their concerns with the BBC in accordance with Ofcom’s published procedures.

The BBC had partially upheld the complaints at the final stage of its own complaints process and published a finding. However, the complainants were not satisfied with the BBC’s response and took their complaints to Ofcom.

The complainants objected to the handling of an interview in the programme with Lord Lawson, former Chancellor of the Exchequer and head of the Global Warming Policy Foundation. The complainants said Lord Lawson was not sufficiently challenged on his views about the science and economics of climate change.

One complainant disputed the BBC’s reasoning for inviting Lord Lawson onto the programme. They also objected to the BBC’s conclusion, in its response to the complaint, that some of the statements he made on the science of climate change were “at the least contestable”, when the complainant viewed them as “lies”.

The second complainant provided evidence to dispute four of the specific statements Lord Lawson made: two on the science of climate change and two on the economics of the government’s energy policy.

As a result, Ofcom said the content was in breach of Rule 5.1 of the Broadcasting Code.

BBC Somerset celebrates turning 30 years old

BBC Somerset is marking 30 years of broadcasting with extra programmes and all 80s music today, Wednesday 11 April.

The station launched after a temporary radio station called Radio Taunton was created in 1978 because of heavy snow in the county. A decade later when Somerset Sound (as it was then known) first started in 1988 the station acted as an opt-out service from its sister station BBC Radio Bristol. Today however, the radio station broadcasts local programmes most of the day from its new studios in Taunton.

And a bunch of Alfasound jingles have been resung to match the launch package in 1988.

Earlier this morning Claire Carter started the celebrations, presenting her Breakfast Show live from The Bishop’s Palace in Wells.

Mid-Morning presenter Simon Parkin hosted an on-air birthday party from 9am – 12pm at the Palace where guests were treated to a birthday cake which celebrates life in Somerset, and there was live musical entertainment from Claire Carter. Plus special guest Eddie The Eagle stopped by to have a chat.

The day’s celebrations finish with Clinton Rogers, who presented the very first Breakfast Show and is now BBC Point West’s Somerset Correspondent, hosting a special evening show between 7pm-10pm – where he’s catching up with some of the voices heard on BBC Somerset over the years.

Editor of BBC Somerset, Nick Bull, said: “It’s been amazing being the eyes and ears of the county for 30 years – covering major news events and showcasing the great people who call Somerset their home. We hope our listeners enjoy celebrating BBC Somerset’s 30th birthday with us and we can’t wait to spend the next 30 years with them!”

And for radio lovers – the retro feel was topped off with re-sings done of the station’s original JAM package which was originally produced by Alfasound.

More speakers announced for Radio Festival 18
Gillian Reynolds and Cerys Matthews will join former Labour Party leader Ed Miliband and Geoff Lloyd on the line-up for the 2018 Radio Festival in London.

This year’s event, being held once again at the British Library, will he hosted by BBC 6 Music presenter Lauren Laverne and will explore the theme of ‘Radio – What’s The Future?’

Gillian Reynolds MBE, former radio critic for The Sunday Times, will share with us what we can learn from radio’s past that might help inform its future.

Cerys Matthews MBE will talk about her love of record collecting, and the delights and differences of programming for radio and live shows such as her festival: The Good Life Experience.

Christian O’Connell is also on the line-up. He’ll be interviewed by fellow Absolute Radio presenter, Claire Sturgess.

Other sessions at #RADFEST18 will take a look at the future of voice-activated-listening with experts on the subject from Amazon, the BBC and research company, Sparkler, whilst Radio Academy’s 30 Under 30 initiative, now in its seventh year, will allow some of the industry’s future stars to take centre stage.

The Radio Academy has also secured the support of Arqiva for the event as headline sponsor. Arqiva will also sponsor the welcome reception and after party space at the Audio and Radio Industry Awards later this year.

Roger Cutsforth, CEO of The Radio Academy said: “We’re delighted to formalise our relationship with Arqiva into a holistic, strategic partnership. Arqiva has been committed supporters of the Academy for a number of years and in particular, since our re-birth in 2015. This partnership is a wonderful vote of confidence in everything we are doing.”

Steve Holebrook, Managing Director, Terrestrial Broadcast at Arqiva added: “Arqiva and The Radio Academy share common goals of supporting the development of the audio and radio sector and helping to connect audiences to the amazing talent that exists across the industry. This partnership therefore represents the perfect opportunity to deliver those shared goals and we look forward to celebrating the industry at #RADFEST18 and at this year’s ARIAS.”

Info and tickets at

Community Radio Awards return for third year

The Community Radio Awards are to return for a third year, celebrating the best of the community radio sector.

Volunteers and stations from around the country are being encouraged to begin collating the best of their output from the past year, and consider those team members deserving of special recognition.

The certificates will be awarded at an evening event at Sheffield Hallam University, at a venue opposite the Community Media Association’s conference, on September 15.

Martin Steers, awards chair, said: “We had more than 350 entries from 70 stations last year, and I am constantly amazed by the breadth and depth of broadcasting from the UK’s community radio stations.

“The awards provide an opportunity for sharing of best practice, developing ideas, and most of all, recognising the great impact community radio has on its local communities.”

Philippa Sawyer, programme director at Wycombe Sound, last year’s station of the year, says the award has had a truly positive impact on the team. Six months on, I think the biggest impact has been on our own team. The award has made us realise what can be achieved by working together, rather than as individuals just coming in to do our own programmes.

“It has added value to our brand, both internally and out in the community. We are attracting high quality volunteers who really want to make a commitment – vital as anyone who runs a volunteer-led organisation knows. It also shows to stakeholders that we are serious about providing a quality

The submission process will take place online, and there is no limit to the number of entries a station or individual can submit.

Submissions will open in early May, and run until the end of June. The shortlist will be announced in mid-August.

2018 Categories:

 Community Development Project
 Station of the Year
 Digital or RSL Station Of The Year
 Male Presenter
 Female Presenter
 Community Show
 Live Event or Outside Broadcast
 Entertainment Show
 Speech & Journalism
 Arts & Creative Radio
 Specialist Music Show
 Sports Show
 Volunteer
 Young Person (Under 25)
 Sage Person (Over 60)
 Newcomer (new to radio in last 12 months)
 Innovation Award
 Podcast

JACKfm and Union JACK have spent two and a half days broadcasting live from Helen & Douglas House in a 31-hour Radiothon.

The aim was to tell the stories of the work that goes on inside as the team there support terminally ill children and their families, and to raise much-needed money to keep this work going.

The hospice is the first of its kind in the world and relies on donations to stay open; it costs £3 million a year to run, and 88% of this comes from charitable

JACKfm’s Trevor Marshall and Annabelle Buckland presented the Helen & Douglas House Radiothon 2018 from 7th – 9th March, bringing listeners the emotional stories of families who use the hospice for respite care, and those who’ve received end of life care for their children suffering from life-limiting conditions.

Union JACK’s Impressionist and Comedian Josh Berry also made regular appearances on air with Howard Taylor, bringing a whole host of celebrity guests who encouraged listeners to part with their cash for the charity.

The audience gave overwhelmingly, helping raise a massive £200,908.10.

Every penny of the money raised will be used solely to care for the terminally ill babies and children and their families who rely on Helen & Douglas House for a chance to spend time together a family, whilst the hospice staff take care of the children’s medical needs.

Tim Parker, JACKm Programming Director says: “What an amazing few days of broadcasting. So many people have put in so much time, effort and emotional energy into this year’s Radiothon. Those listening to JACKfm and Union JACK have responded to the stories we shared and have given an overwhelming amount of money. Thank you!”

Hazel Bedford, Helen & Douglas House Fundraising and Marketing Director: “We are thrilled that this year’s Radiothon raised over £200,000 which will pay for our Care Team to look after children and their families for 6 months at Helen House. A massive thank you to everyone who donated and to the JACK team for their compassion, hard work and dedication, broadcasting up to 12 hours a day. We were so pleased with the way they sensitively captured, edited and spoke about our charity and their insightful and poignant interviews with our families, volunteers and staff showing the listeners the realities of life for families with terminally ill children.”

Ceredigion FM radio licence to be advertised

Ofcom is to re-advertise the FM commercial radio licence for Ceredigion after the current owner decided not to utilise the fast track re-licensing process.

Nation Broadcasting, owner of Radio Ceredigion Limited, would need to comply with the current Format and DAB obligations if its licence was fast-tracked or renewed when it expires in May 2019.

By letting the licence expire, Nation can re-apply for the licence with a different Format. The current Format includes the requirement to broadcast “Regular and identifiable Welsh language programming”.

Some stations have previously reapplied for their own licence rather than apply for a major Format change.

The station currently broadcasts on 96.6, 97.4 and 103.3 MHz FM and Ofcom estimates that the licence could achieve coverage of an area with an adult (aged 15+) population of 72,088. It is based at Nation’s group headquarters near the St Hilary transmitter on the outskirts of Cowbridge.

Nation Broadcasting has confirmed to RadioToday that it will be reapplying for the licence once advertised.

Ofcom updates definition of new music for BBC

The regulator Ofcom has updated its definition of ‘new music’ as part of the operating licences which set out how much Radio 1 and Radio 2 have to play during daytime hours.

It follows a consultation on the subject over the last couple of months.

Previously, new music had been defined as “music which is either unreleased or it has been less than one month since release date (physical release, not download release)”.

Ofcom has now updated Radio 1 and Radio’2 operating licences to include the following definition:

“A music track is to be considered “New Music” for a period of either:
(a) 12 months from first release (whether by physical, radio, download or streaming means),
(b) 6 weeks from the date it first enters the Top 20 of the UK Official Singles Chart,
whichever is sooner.”

The regulator’s also changed the condition on Radio 1’s licence which said that at least 45% of music played in daytime should be New Music. That figure has been increased to 50% for Radio 1, while Radio 2’s figure remains at 25%.

The changes take effect from this weekend – on 1st April 2018.

As part of the consultation, Radiocentre and Global Radio had both argued that the proposed 12 month period from first release was too long, with Global saying its view was that a track couldn’t be considered ‘new’ for more than six months after initial release. The commercial radio trade body and the UK’s biggest radio group had also argued that tracks should be excluded from the definition of New Music four weeks after they’d entered the Top 40, rather than six weeks after entry to the Top 20.

You can see Ofcom’s full statement on the issue, and read the consultation responses on the Ofcom website here.     (This is big brother or are the Commercial Stations and Ofcom trying to “dampen” the BBC’s music output? – Waffler comment)

Jack 3 added to Sound Digital DAB multiplex

The new “Jack with a twist” national radio station promised by Oxis Media last year appears to be a new version of Jack 3.

The team in Oxfordshire said a new format, never heard before anywhere in the world, will launch before Easter at 32kbps using DAB+ on D2/SDL.

But today, an alternative version of the Oxford DAB station has appeared on the UK’s second national digital radio multiplex. Jack 3’s strapline is “Chilling when we want” and plays easy listening music similar to Smooth and Magic. The national output appears to be different from the Oxfordshire output at the moment.

Last year, Donnach O’Driscoll, CEO, of UNION JACK and Chairman of the JACK Group says: “A brand new national radio station for the UK set to launch in 2018, this will be our second national station broadcasting from Oxford and just like we did with Absolute Radio, we will be bringing something new, fresh, unique and sexy to the UK radio scene. We don’t ever play safe, it’s all about creating dynamic radio formats that attract new audiences. We will launch JACK (with a twist) before Easter 2018”.

Local DAB radio coverage expansion complete

The final two transmitters forming part of the historic local DAB coverage expansion programme have come into operation, with the launch of a new transmitter at Edinburgh Castle serving the Edinburgh multiplex and at Fishguard serving the Mid and West Wales multiplex.

The launch of the two new transmitters completes the transformative initiative to expand the UK’s local DAB transmission network towards FM equivalence, which was announced by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport in 2015 and jointly funded by the DCMS, BBC and local DAB multiplex operators.

The programme of work, which was delivered by Arqiva, has doubled the local DAB network, with new transmitters or modifications to 221 local DAB sites, boosting local DAB coverage from 72% to more than 90% of UK households. Across the UK, an additional 10 million listeners have been brought into coverage, and over 4,000 miles of roads previously not served by local DAB services are now also covered.

Margot James MP, Minister of State for Digital and the Creative Industries, said: “The completion of the local DAB expansion programme is a tremendous milestone for the UK radio industry’s transition to digital. This, along with the unprecedented choice of stations available on DAB, both nationally and locally, will see listeners continue to embrace the benefits of digital radio.”

Ford Ennals, CEO Digital Radio UK, said: “The local DAB coverage expansion has been a hugely significant step in the UK’s digital transition, transforming the availability of local stations on DAB digital radio across the county. Great credit is due to the broadcasters, multiplex operators, DCMS, Ofcom and Arqiva for making it happen.”

Richard Johnston, Head of Commercial Radio, Arqiva, said: “Arqiva has been extremely busy building hundreds of additional local DAB transmitters across the UK to bring DAB digital radio into millions more homes and thousands of miles of the road network. We are proud of our role in delivering the infrastructure needed for a vibrant digital radio market and are delighted to now complete the expansion of local DAB coverage.”

Upload Radio removed from two multiplexes
Upload Radio has removed itself from two of the three DAB digital radio multiplexes is was broadcasting on.

The station will now only be available on the MuxCo Wrexham, Chester and Liverpool multiplex and no longer in North Yorkshire and Surrey.

Upload Radio works by registered users uploading hour-long programmes and choosing a slot and an area to broadcast to. The station says it is working on a way to get the right economic model for it all to work.

An Upload Radio spokesperson told RadioToday about the changes: “We’re sad to have taken Upload Radio off the Surrey and North Yorkshire multiplexes over the weekend. Upload Radio is a unique type of radio station, one where all the slots are purchased by the broadcasters themselves. This creates both unique marketing and rights issues.

“Having run the service for nearly a year we know that the people who use it, love it, with super easy to use technology and good distribution on DAB and online meaning that our users buy multiple slots over weeks and months. Our challenge is to get more people onto the platform and to get the right economic model for it all to work. One of the great things about DAB is flexibility to try new things and we’re proud of what we’ve achieved so far.

“For now though, we’re retreating back to our Wrexham, Chester and Liverpool multiplex to think more about the best ways to continue with the project.”

Upload Radio launched on April 24th 2017 will continue to be available online and via Radioplayer.

Chelmsford to get new digital radio station

Chelmer Radio is planning to bring local radio back to the area with an online stream and DAB service.The original “Chelmer Radio” launched in 1998 as part of Mid Essex Radio group and was taken over by Tindle radio in 2002 and renamed Dream 107.7 and later amalgamated with Southend Radio to become Chelmsford Radio and then became Radio Essex.

Behind the return is David Baker, a former presenter and programmer with the station. He told RadioToday: “Out of all the projects I’ve ever been involved with this is the one that I’m most excited about. This station will not be set up to be flogged off at a later date to any group who think they can come in and just take a station and rebrand it to a national brand. Local radio for local people is how it’s going to stay.

“I am working closely with businesses, community groups and organisations who share the same beliefs. I’m taking this station back to basics, no networking, no shows from out of area and presenters who can connect with the area.”

Berkshire leads the way with digital radio

Berkshire has the highest percentage of digital listening in the country, according to this year’s Ofcom report on Digital Radio.

The Royal County has 60.4% digital listening, and 17 other places have over 50% of people listening via digital devices. In contrast, three areas have digital listening under 40% with Northern Ireland being the lowest, with 31.2% digital listening. These areas are typically where DAB coverage was built out and new DAB services were introduced later than the rest of the UK.

DRUK has welcomed the report, which highlights that there are 337 services operating on DAB in the UK, and that the majority of listening in the home is to a digital platform (54.7%) whereas in cars digital listening still represents the minority at 30.9%. The report highlights that this is increasing as more new cars with digital radio come onto the road and includes CAP/SMMT data on digital radio in new cars which has increased to 87.5%.

Exploring the features of digital radio that listeners have experienced, the research highlights ‘clear high quality sound’ followed by ‘a wider choice of stations’ as the two most popular answers.

Ford Ennals, CEO, Digital Radio UK, said: “We welcome the Ofcom Digital Radio Report which highlights the increasing popularity of digital radio across the UK. The report shows the growth of digital listening, the increases in the numbers of digital stations and the expansion of DAB coverage but it also shines a light on the key areas of development required, specifically digital listening in cars and in a number of local areas that are behind the national averages. Fundamentally the UK radio sector is stronger due to the expansion of station choice and the growth of digital listening to almost 50%.”

Of the 337 DAB services, 31 are UK-wide commercial services and 11 are BBC UK-wide stations. The total number of DAB stations ranges from 264 broadcasting in England, to 76 in Scotland, 62 in Wales and 53 in Northern Ireland.6 There are 595 radio stations broadcasting on analogue, including three UK-wide commercial stations and five UK-wide BBC stations.


Radio Caroline now available on London DAB

Radio Caroline has been added to the Small Scale DAB multiplex in London.

The station, which is now broadcasting via 648 AM in East Anglia, is available in the capital at 64 kbit/s in stereo using DAB+.

News of the extra coverage was tweeted over the weekend, saying “From Sunday 1st April (honestly) Radio Caroline can be heard on DAB+ throughout the London area. If you are located within the M25, the nearer to central London the better, simply give your DAB+ radio a full scan and then you may find us.”


View image on Twitter

From Sunday 1st April (honestly) Radio Caroline can be heard on DAB+ throughout the London area. If you are located within the M25, the nearer to central London the better, simply give your DAB+ radio a full scan and then you may find us. Details on 

United DJs are go!

The tests and website are off and running today.  Heard about 5 really duff tunes and now some oldies on the test so far.  If you want to input the station into your Internet Radio portal please use this link which I obtained easily from their player html

The website is worth a read at

There is a player on the site if you want to listen on your phone, laptop, or desktop pc

Founder of Dread Broadcasting in 80s dies

From the Voice online

Dread Broadcasting was an excellent reggae station

British Radio Legend Lepke Passes Away

ICON: Leroy ‘Lepke’ Anderson on the ones & twos. (Photo credit:

RADIO BROADCASTING legend Leroy ‘Lepke’ Anderson passed away last Wednesday (14 March) aged 63 years-old, following a reported battle with heart disease.

After acquiring a medium wave transmitter, Lepke formed DBC radio (Dread Broadcasting Corporation) from Ladbroke Grove in 1981. From its inaugural broadcast, DBC made history as Europe’s first black-owned pirate radio station, dedicated to playing a wide range of black music including reggae, soul, Afrikan, Jazz and Soca.

Initially referred to as Rebel Radio, Lepke’s friend Mike Williams suggested the name DBC as a pun of the BBC. The rest, as they say, is history.

BACK IN THE DAY: Lepke looks on

Williams, Lepke, Dr Watts, Chucky (aka Douglas Wright) and later, Lepke’s sister Rankin’ Miss P, were the dream team behind the station.

At the time Miss P, who went on to present a show on DBC, said: “There’s never been a station run like DBC. Our format allows us to play music that would otherwise never be heard publicly. We create movement within the industry.”

She later hosted BBC Radio 1’s first reggae show, becoming one of the platform’s first black presenters.

At the time of DBC’s inception, black music was not being widely played across mainstream radio. During a 2007 interview with Ishmahil Blagrove Jr for Rice & Peas, Lepke outlined the reason behind DBC’s establishment.

“I started the station because at the time there was a need for black music to get more exposure. I.e. basically reggae music then later on we moved on to broader black music. Earlier in the 70s, I used to live in New York and I used to tune my radio in and hear pure black stations, Spanish etc. So from them times I was thinking, maybe that can gwan in England still.”

The station’s aim was to champion the best of black sounds to a universal audience. It is a little-known fact that many of the shows were pre-recorded.

DBC grew in popularity, upset naysayers and became the blueprint for the many other community based stations that were to follow such as JBC, Time Radio, Traffic Jam and Choice FM. Through the platform, Lepke is credited with helping to kick-start the careers of artists such as Lloyd Bradley, Neneh Cherry and of course, Ranking Miss P.

CHAMPIONS: (Middle – Right) Rankin Miss P & Lepke

Following a series of raids, DBC folded in 1984. However, Lepke remained a staple on the UK black music scene – though he never received due mainstream recognition for his pioneering role in black broadcasting.

Leroy was born in Jamaica, grew up in west London and is the younger brother of Rita Marley, Bob Marley’s widow. He is survived by three children and grandchildren.

A celebration of Lepke’s life will be taking place on Sunday 25 March at Maxilla Social Club – 2 Maxilla Walk, london, W10 6SW from 5 – 11pm.

Read every story in our hardcopy newspaper for free by downloading the app.


Pathos in Cyprus

I went to Paphos recently, the third visit since 2011.

Here are some pictures of the sea front there


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Some background from Wikipedia


New Paphos[edit]

Mosaic from the House of Dionysos, god of wine, 3rd c. AD

Nea Paphos was founded on the sea near a good natural harbour. It lay about 60 stadia or 12 km northwest of the old city.It, too, had a founding myth: it was said to have been founded by Agapenor, chief of the Arcadians at the siege of Troy, ]who, after the capture of that town, was driven by the storm that separated the Greek fleet, onto the coast of Cyprus. (Pausanias viii. 5. § 2.) An Agapenor was mentioned as king of the Paphians in a Greek distich preserved in the Analecta;[20]and Herodotus (vii. 90) alludes to an Arcadian “colony” in Cyprus.

In reality it was probably founded by Nicocles, the last king of Palaepaphos, based on an inscription recording his founding of the temple of Artemis Agrotera at Nea Paphos. The inhabitants of Marion were probably also transferred to this new city after its destruction in 312 BC by Ptolemy.[21] A hoard of unused silver coins (in the Cyprus museum) found under the Hellenistic House and dating to the end of the 4th c. BC are the earliest find at the site and indicate its founding date.

Palaepaphos always retained the pre-eminence in worship of Aphrodite, and Strabo tells that the road leading to it from Nea Paphos was annually crowded with male and female votaries resorting to the ancient shrine, and coming not only from the latter place itself, but also from the other towns of Cyprus. When Seneca says (N. Q. vi. 26, Epistle 91) that Paphos was nearly destroyed by an earthquake, it is difficult to say to which of the towns he refers. Dio Cassius (liv. 23) relates that it was restored by Augustus, and called “Augusta” in his honour; but though this name has been preserved in inscriptions, it never supplanted the ancient one in popular use.

St Paul’s Pillar in Paphos

According to the biblical Acts of the Apostles, after landing at Salamis and proclaiming the Word of God in the synagogues,[22] the prophets and teachers, Barnabas and Saul of Tarsus, traveled along the entire southern coast of the island of Cyprus until they reached Paphos.[23] There, Sergius Paulus, the Roman proconsul, was converted after Saul rebuked the Sorcerer Elymas.[24] In Paphos, Acts first identifies Saul as Paul.[25]

Tacitus (Hist. ii. 2, 3) records a visit of the youthful Titus to Paphos before he acceded to the empire, who inquired with much curiosity into its history and antiquities. (Cf. Suetonius Titus c. 5.) Under this name the historian doubtless included the ancient as well as the more modern city: and among other traits of the worship of the temple he records, with something like surprise, that the only image of the goddess was a pyramidal stone.


Paphos Archaeological Park covers most of the important ancient Greek and Roman City and is a UNESCO World Heritage site for its outstanding ancient remains.

The most significant remains so far discovered are four large and elaborate Roman villas: the House of Dionysos, the House of Orpheus, the House of Aion and the House of Theseus, all with superb preserved mosaic floors. In addition, excavations have uncovered an Agora, Asklepion, the Basilica of Panagia Limeniotissa, an Odeon, a Theatre and a necropolis known as the Tombs of the Kings.

Near the seafront in Pathos is a new large shopping centre. Well worth as visit  as it has a lot of restaurants and places like McDonald’s etc   on the top floor.


Please click on a thumbnail if you wish to see the pictures larger, and use the arrows to see all the pictures larger, thank you


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You can get some splendid sunshine and sunsets even in March. Unfortunately these pictures all feature clouds, and the clouds prevented me seeing the sun sinking down below he horizon, but all the same they are very pretty scenes. Well at least I think so!


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We have visited the Archaeological Park there before, so walked around the outside of the park.   You will also see pictures of the fort and lighthouse there. You will also see pictures of what we believe is a Skylark, that was perched on a fence and also by the cliff edge.  Cats are not a nuisance there, well they weren’t when we were there this time. This is a solitary cat we encountered.


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We stayed in the Old Town, and enjoyed ourselves. The shops are in need of a refit and there are empty shops as well.  Overall though the town is interesting. As you will notice I was interested in the wall paintings which were done for last year’s City of Culture event, and for me enhanced the shopping experience.


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Above are mostly of the Tomb of Kings Archaeological Park which is a just as short distance away from the main town.

Information from Wikipedia

The Tombs of the Kings (GreekΤάφοι των Βασιλέων [ˈtafi ton vasiˈleon]TurkishKral Mezarları) is a large necropolislying about two kilometres north of Paphos harbour in Cyprus. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The underground tombs, many of which date back to the 4th century BC, are carved out of solid rock, and are thought to have been the burial sites of Paphitic aristocrats and high officials up to the third century AD (the name comes from the magnificence of the tombs; no kings were in fact buried here). Some of the tombs feature Doric columns and frescoedwalls. Archaeological excavations are still being carried out at the site. The tombs are cut into the native rock, and at times imitated the houses of the living.

Although the tombs have been known and casually explored for centuries, they were first subjected to systematic excavation in the later 1970s and the 1980s under the direction of Dr Sophocles Hadjisavvas, former Director of Antiquities of the Republic of Cyprus.

Dr Hadjisavvas is preparating the finds for publication with assistance from the Australian archaeological mission to Paphos.

Part of the importance of the tombs lies in the Paphian habit of including Rhodian amphorae among the offerings in a burial. Through the manufacturing stamps placed on the handles of these amphorae, it is possible to give them a date and, through them, the other material from the same burial.

Thus, it is hoped to develop a more secure chronology for archaeological material in the Eastern Mediterranean of the Hellenistic and early Roman periods.

Finally a ship ran aground on the treacherous rocks in 2011 and has been left there to rust..  Here are some pictures of ship taken on a very long  telephoto lens. Please click on the thumbnail to see a full size picture


Finally I  spotted these wall paintings on another walk around the Old Town


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I hope this post has brought you some information on Cyprus as a winter centre for holidays, and also in the season, but very much hotter than this pas month gone by.

There are many good music stations in the area

FM Frequencies MHz Website Native Name Transcription On air since Description
90.8 [43] Sunshine FM 2014 Music, News, Talk and Entertainment in English
92.4, 105.6, 87.9 [44] Ράδιο Πύργος Radio Pyrgos 2010 Traditional – Greek folk music; located from Paphos
95.2, 91.4 [45] Radio Cosmos 1994 Diverse, associated with local newspaper Adesmevtos
96.1 Ράδιο Λυσός Radio Lysos 2011 Low-power news and music station; located from Lysos
98.5, 106.7 [46] Rock FM Paphos 2002 Playing today’s best mix in Pop and Rock plus an entertaining program in English.
100.3 [47] Русское Радио Russian Radio 1995 24hr Russian Music (ex. Gialousa 71 & Epilogi)
104.3 Point Cyprus 2001 Greek music; located from Paphos


The pictures here are copyright KK and the Wireless Waffle site



Just returned from a break in Cyprus, and enjoyed listening to the radio stations there. There are two which play music back to back, on is Sunshine Radio, and ex Caroline jock Dave Asher does the breakfast show there. The rest of the day is automated.  Good oldies on that station,  

The other station is called My Radio and has automated music and announcements on it.

Technology has made my job easier.  I can now give links for radio stations I mention, and you can actually listen to them.  When I first started the Wireless Waffle it was a newsletter, and I could only comment and list the programme schedules of stations out of my reception area.

News selected from Radio Today Site

Stephanie Hirst goes full time at Radio Leeds

Former Capital Yorkshire breakfast show presenter Stephanie Hirst is joining BBC Radio Leeds to host the weekday mid-morning show.

In addition, Richard Stead moves from mid-mornings to Breakfast, replacing Liz Green who will move to present the afternoon phone-in show from 12pm until 3pm. Current afternoon show presenter Andrew Edwards will move to weekend breakfast from April 21st.

Stephanie will present her first regular daytime radio programme in four years after leaving Hirsty’s Daily Dose on Capital. She told RadioToday: “I’m beyond excited to be on air again in Yorkshire. I feel like I’m going back to where I belong.”

Richard, who currently presents mid-morning on Radio Leeds, says: “I’ll have to set the alarm clock even earlier now! I can’t wait to get cracking and I’m looking forward to waking up West Yorkshire.”

Sanjiv Buttoo, Editor of BBC Radio Leeds, said: “Richard Stead is one of the nicest guys I’ve had the pleasure to work with and I know listeners will enjoy his quick-witted humour at breakfast. I’m really looking forward to him waking up our listeners with a smile as well as bringing you everything you would expect from your BBC local radio station.”

“Stephanie is back – and she’s on Radio Leeds. She’s one of the biggest names in the radio industry and I’m really thrilled that she’s joining my team of talented producers, reporters and presenters. We know she’s popular with our listeners from the fantastic feedback we’ve already received when she stood in on the mid-morning show last year and we can’t wait for her to join us.”

“Stephanie added: “I’m really looking forward to joining the team at BBC Radio Leeds. I’ve loved radio ever since I first stepped into a studio aged 12 and I’m incredibly grateful that I’ve been able to build a career doing what I adore. After four exciting years of change I can’t wait to get back to doing what I love the most, talking to the people of Yorkshire on the radio.”

Richard Stead has worked in broadcasting for over 20 years. He has presented the mid-morning show on BBC Radio Leeds for four years and is also a rugby league commentator.

Both Richard and Stephanie will present their first shows on Tuesday April 3rd.

Liz Green said: “I’ve had a fantastic five years on the breakfast show, winning awards including a Bronze Award at the ARIAs in 2017. But I’m really happy to be returning to the phone-in show, it’s a show I have presented before and I love chatting to the people of West Yorkshire. I’m also really looking forward to having a lie-in!”

The ten small-scale DAB triallists operating multiplexes around the UK will continue their service till 31 March 2020.

By extending the trial period, around 150 radio services will continue to be available to listeners in the test areas. The trial extension will also allow Ofcom to continue gathering useful information to help inform a new, formal framework for licensing small-scale DAB multiplexes across the UK, which is currently in development.

Ofcom expects that interested parties, including the current trial licensees as well as those not taking part, will have the opportunity to apply for such licences under the new framework in 2019.

Multiplexes are on-air in Bristol, Manchester, Portsmouth, London, Cambridge, Aldershot, Brighton & Hove, Norfolk, Glasgow and Birmingham.

David Duffy from Niocast, who runs the small-scale DAB/DAB+ trial in Manchester, told RadioToday: “Niocast welcomes Ofcom’s extension of the small scale DAB/DAB+ trial to March 2020 which provides our service providers in Manchester and their loyal audiences with a level of continuity. At the same time, we understand the frustration of the many stations around the country eager to pursue a digital pathway and those who, like us, want to facilitate that by operating small-scale multiplexes.

“Hopefully it won’t be too long before there is a licensing process in place that will allow for a wide scale rollout of small-scale DAB/DAB+ across the country.”

Ten trial licences were awarded in 2015 to parties in different areas who wanted to operate a small-scale DAB multiplex. The trial multiplexes cover a relatively small geographical area compared to local and national DAB multiplexes. The small-scale DAB trials keep costs low by making use of relatively inexpensive transmission equipment and the freely available ‘open-source’ software.

They were extended for a further two years after the initial nine month trial.

Ofcom has started the licence variation process with the individual trial multiplex licensees. Their current licences will expire between 30 April and 29 August 2018 if they are not extended. There is no new funding from Government or Ofcom to support trial licensees with on-going running costs.

Absolute Radio is commissioning a series of programmes which will be made by in-house talent from around One Golden Square.

For the first time, staff members were asked to submit ideas and pitch for budget for the documentaries which will air across the Absolute Radio Network.

The programmes will be made by team members whose day jobs include sales, marketing, station imaging and social media production, mentored by senior radio programmers.

The successful commissions and their broadcast dates are as follows:

  • Saturday 21st April at 10pm – Vinyl Revival – A celebration of the resurgence of vinyl to celebrate Record Store Day, produced by Rachael Devine and Adem Waterman.
  • Sat 9th June at 10pm – Pitch Perfect – How music soundtracks our love of football produced by Dave Masterman, and Adem Waterman.
  • Sat 16th June at 10pm – 50 years of the Isle of Wight Festival – A look a half a century of one of the UK’s most iconic live music events, produced by Nick Harris and James Street.
  • Sat 29th September at 10pm – Algorhythm – The future of AI in music produced by Lizzie Horgan and Dane Smith.

Claire Sturgess, Pete Donaldson, Andy Bush and Rob Beckett are among the presenters who will lend their voices to the programmes with wider contributors including Muse.

Paul Sylvester, Absolute Radio Content Director said: “At the heart of all radio is storytelling and it’s crucial that commercial radio invests in quality documentary-making. More importantly, it’s essential that we invest in our teams and give them the opportunity to learn new skills, collaborate and showcase their creative talents. I’m proud that Absolute Radio is leading the way.”.


Love Sport Radio gets ready to launch on DAB

Love Sport Radio has been tweeting details of its upcoming launch, including details of the new schedule.

Love Sport, which started life as CitiSport along with its pending sister station, CitiTalk, has changed its name. It will broadcast on Spectrum’s old 558AM frequency and DAB.

The tweets so far say the station unofficially launched on Monday 5th March at 6am but will launch ‘for real’ on Monday 19th March.

The schedule will include Ian Stone on breakfast each weekday from 6am, and Brian Moore on the afternoon drive show from 4pm. Cristo Foufas is listed as host of the 10am till 1pm show whilst Kevin O’Sullivan is on from 1pm.

At 7pm, it’s The Fans Show with Aaron Paul, followed by the Love Sport Late Shift with Lembit Opik at 10pm.

The station’s website is also live, at, created by Aiir.

We are Love Sport. Here to take the radio rule-book & rip it apart piece by piece 💥

We’re gonna be unofficially spouting our nonsense in London on 558AM & on DAB from 6am on Mon 5th March 📻

Then we’ll launch for real on Mon 19th March. World domination will shortly follow 👀

Radio shines during the snow and icy weather

Radio stations across the UK have reported some of the highest ever spikes in online listening during the recent severe weather conditions.

School closures, blocked roads and travel disruption led the headlines, and the radio industry went into overdrive to keep listeners informed. Presenters, journalists and other station staff all went the extra mile to provide uninterrupted services.

Radiocentre’s members have reported some of the highest ever spikes in online listening, with record levels of social media traffic in some cases up by almost 10.000%. Huge numbers of stations extended their breakfast and drivetime shows to provide commuters and parents with the latest developments on schools, traffic, travel and weather.

Heroic tales are not limited to the emergency services, with radio stations staff working around the clock. Below are just a handful examples of the extraordinary work from the past week.

In Wales at Nation Broadcasting, local presenters Lee Juke, Mark Powell and Carl Hughes slept at the station rather than risk missing their shows and let their listeners down (see video from Carl below!)

Reporters from Heart, Capital and Radio Clyde have been camping out in hotels to be on hand with rolling bulletins, providing a lifeline to those stranded on blocked roads

Lincs FM have been running live 24 hours a day since Tuesday, with staff walking up to 6 miles through the snow to get to work. The station also recorded over a million hits during the bad weather

Touch FM are extending their local coverage into the weekend in order to cover canceled events, travel disruption and stories of local heroes

Rutland Radio’s Rob Persani presented his show from his car one morning as he couldn’t complete his journey to the studio

Stray FM reports almost 100,000 unique visitors to its website in one day during the height of the snow issues

Stray FM also borrowed a 4×4 to enable drivetime presenter Will Smith to be out in the community giving first-hand reports

In addition to news updates, KMFM provided some frozen related twitter relief with a parody video.

Bob Harris broadcast his Radio 2 Country show from his shed after he was unable to attend the studio in central London

Radiocentre research has also found that 8 out of 10 listeners believe they get helpful, concise updates on the news throughout the day.

Radiocentre CEO Siobhan Kenny commented: “Commercial radio really comes into its own in times of crisis. The recent snowstorms have highlighted that radio is the place to go to get vital up-to-the-minute trusted local information. We’ve heard some amazing stories from stations that have gone above and beyond in order to deliver the headlines, so I want to thank all those amazing radio people whose dedication makes commercial radio so special.”