BBC Radio London
BBC radio London is London’s BBC neighborhood radio station and part of the broader BBC London community. the station publicizes across extra London and past, at the 94.nine FM frequency, dab, virgin media channel 937, sky channel 0152 (within the London place handiest), free view channel 721 and on-line.
the station’s output is usually just like that of other bbc nearby radio stations and goals a broad, mainstream target market. whilst previous incarnations of the station provided a more diverse range of programmes for london’s numerous ethnic, non secular, social and cultural groups, professional programming now stays in a smaller form and is frequently broadcast for the duration of weekends.
1970–1981: BBC Radio London
Local radio arrived in London as part of the second wave of BBC local stations, following a successful pilot project headed by Frank Gillard, who on visiting the United States discovered local radio stations of varying formats and was to bring this concept to Britain.
Test transmissions for the new local radio station were carried out from Wrotham, Kent, on 95.3 MHz in FM mono, relaying BBC Radio 1 (at the time broadcast only on medium wave), with several announcements informing listeners of the new service. On 6 October 1970 BBC Radio London was launched, three years before commercial radio for Greater London in the guise of LBC. An additional medium wave frequency was allocated on 1457 kHz (206 metres) from Brookman’s Park. 95.3 soon changed to 94.9.
BBC Radio London was the local station for the capital, although in the early days it relied heavily on news reports from other stations in the BBC network and often shared programming with BBC Radio 2. It took on a fairly lively sound and featured (as it does to this day) extensive traffic reports, phone-in programmes — it pioneered the daily phone-in in the UK — and much contemporary and middle-of-the-road music. For several months after launch the station was not able to play commercial records as no agreement had been reached over so-called needle time, which led to London listeners becoming acquainted with broadcast library music from outside the UK (notably the Canadian Talent Library) and music from film soundtracks. A phone-in programme, Sounding Brass, was pioneered, devised and first presented by Owen Spencer-Thomas in 1977. Listeners were invited to choose a Christmas carol or hymn while a Salvation Army brass band stood by in the studio to play their request live. It later moved to BBC Radio 2 and was presented by Gloria Hunniford.
As soon as Independent Local Radio stations LBC and Capital Radio went on air, public attention to Radio London declined, with the station attempting to copy both.
BBC Radio London started regular broadcasts from Harewood House, Hanover Square, near Oxford Circus, later moving to 35 Marylebone High Street – the former Radio Times warehouse, famously without windows and providing an enormous sub-basement studio.
Tests for FM stereo began in 1981 with Music on the Move, a programme featuring non-stop music, prior to full launch on 11 February. The FM transmitter was shortly moved to Crystal Palace. This coincided with the planned relaunch in 1981, which saw the station take on a style that was softer than BBC Radio 2 – a station predominantly playing “easy listening” music. Music ranged from softer contemporary pop, such as The Carpenters, to light classical music. This move was unpopular with employed staff, who thought it very un-hip, and politicians who would question the need for a local radio station to sound like the two music-based BBC national networks. However, the relaunch led to improved audience figures and a string of awards and accolades.