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Updated: 7 hours 35 min ago

Free demo advice available for presenters and VOs

Tue, 2020-06-30 14:19

A recently launched free to use consultancy service for radio presenters is expanding to offer advice for voice-overs too.

Demoji, operated by Steve Simms, offers free advice to radio presenters who wish to compile a demo to submit for job applications.

Steve has had a varied career spanning 20 years in commercial radio including 13 years as a radio presenter and 15 years in station management.

Users can upload up to five clips of audio and send them off for some confidential guidance towards a final demo.

Now there’s an extra service thanks to Sarah Casserley who will be offering advice on compiling voiceover demos.

Sarah Casserley is a professional voiceover, voice director and voiceover coach with over 10 years’ experience both freelance and working directly as a writer and producer for a radio company across several platforms.

“I’ve been helping and mentoring people who wish to get into the voiceover industry for many years and when I saw Steve’s Demoji website I was really impressed with his idea and wanted to offer my services as well. This is a great way of breaking down the barriers and giving one-to-one advice. I’m really pleased Steve’s got me on board.”

Steve set up the service because he wanted to give something back to the industry that he loves working in.

He says: “After only a couple of months, we’ve had some great comments and useful feedback from users which have already resulted in some changes to the website. At a time when more people are competing for fewer positions, it’s even more important to make sure you have the best demo and more options. I’m delighted that Sarah is joining me and very grateful for the insight that she brings.”

Demoji works on most PCs, Macs, tablets and phones at demoji.co.uk.

Here’s how Times Radio sounded on Day One

Tue, 2020-06-30 12:15

News UK’s new national radio station Times Radio launched on schedule at 6am on Monday 29th June 2020.

Radio professionals have given the service a mostly warm welcome, with executive David Lloyd blogging about a successful first day.

He said: “You should never judge a station on the first day, but it’s probably fine to congratulate Times Radio on a thoroughly decent debut. Were I in charge, I would be smiling broadly and shaking hands or kicking toes or whatever we’re supposed to do these days.

“It’s a thoroughly listenable offering, with a friendly, authentic, human approach – one of the toughest things to get right. Well done.”

However, Peter Walker, political correspondent from rival The Guardian said the station’s policy of avoiding hard hitting interviews led to giving the Prime Minister, who was one of the first guests, an easy time.

He tweeted: “Yes, it’s day one, but listening to Boris Johnson on Times Radio, their decision to avoid overly-hostile interviews seems to be giving the PM a really, really easy ride. You can tell why he would prefer this to an outing on Today. We’ve discovered nothing so far.”

Another review by journalist Mic Wright said it was a cowardly option for Boris Johnson to be on the new station instead of other services.

Times Radio Programme Director Tim Levell will be our guest on the RadioToday Programme podcast this week, out tomorrow.

Have a listen below to how it sounded:

Chris Country starts new show playing UK artists

Tue, 2020-06-30 11:21

Chris Country is launching a new weekly show that plays nothing but UK country artists, presented by artist, writer and producer Tim Prottey-Jones.

CountryLine Homegrown contains an hour of hand-picked UK talent, from established artists to brand new performers.

Tim will be playing established, new and future artists and the first show this Wednesday at 8pm features a new track from UK artist Twinnie.

As the founder of The Wandering Hearts band, Tim Prottey-Jones has performed in venues around the world, from Country To Country in London through to Nashville’s Grand Ole Opry. Now, as a solo artist and music producer, he is working with new UK artists.

Tim says: “This is such an incredible time for the UK scene, and I’m so excited to be able to share the cream of our homegrown country artists with Chris Country’s listeners. There are so many artists that deserve to be heard; and I’m encouraging them to send me their music for possible inclusion in the show.”

So, I've got some news…I've got my own radio show! Starting this week, I will be hosting a brand new show called @CountryLineTV "Homegrown" on @ChrisCountry! Every Wednesday night from 8 – 9pm. I will be showcasing the very best that the UK Country scene has to offer. Tune in! pic.twitter.com/IVw5QcUjRL

— Tim Prottey-Jones (@TimProtteyJones) June 30, 2020

Chris Country is part of the CountryLine family, and other presenters include Bobby Bones and Kix Brooks in Nashville, plus John Collins, Mikey Faulkner and founder Chris Stevens in the UK.

ReelWorld Radio Academy 30 Under 30 for 2020 launched

Mon, 2020-06-29 09:00

The 2020 ReelWorld Radio Academy 30 Under 30 has officially launched today with an easier way to enter.

Steve Parkinson from the Radio Academy explains: “The ReelWorld Radio Academy 30 Under 30 is new and improved this year! Having listened to members of our alumni, we have made the submission process easier, to encourage everyone to enter, from a runner or production assistant through to a presenter or journalist.”

Anthony Gay from ReelWorld says: “This is the 7th year that we have supported the ReelWorld Radio Academy 30 Under 30 and I don’t think it’s an exaggeration to say there’s never been a more important time to acknowledge, encourage, and champion the future of the UK’s audio and radio industry.

“The way audiences and brands have rediscovered the power of audio has been inspiring but the enormous challenges of 2020 have also forced all of us to adapt and revaluate how we work with sound. Some of the results have taken us to places we could never have imagined 6 months ago, never mind years past.

“The people on 2020’s 30 Under 30 list will be shaping a future for sound that now goes far beyond traditional radio with on demand, data driven and interactive experiences becoming the norm. The more ‘radio’ embraces these opportunities and looks outside of where we’ve been, the stronger the future will become.

“I’m proud of the part ReelWorld play in helping craft the sound of the UK’s biggest radio brands but we’ve also launched a new business, Reel2Media, to focus on audio experiences on emerging platforms and as a company we remain optimistic, committed and excited about the future of sound.

“But wherever the technology takes us I still believe it boils down to sharing powerful stories and making strong emotional connections. I look forward to welcoming the class of 2020 to the ReelWorld Radio Academy 30 Under 30 and seeing what stories they have to tell.”

See more and enter at radioacademy.awardsplatform.com.

Driven Chat motoring show launched by talkRADIO

Sun, 2020-06-28 22:28

Andy Jaye is back with a new motoring show on talkRADIO called Driven Chat.

The programme, every Saturday at 4pm and Sunday at 7pm, explores what drives celebrities and achievers, and what they drive.

Host Andy Jaye, who previously hosted talkRADIO’s The Motorshow, will be joined by John Quirk, the former Editor-in-Chief of Auto Trader, automotive photographer Amy Shore and industry expert John Marcar.

The line up of celebrities includes racing driver Nico Rosberg, TV host Judge Rinder and singer Beverly Knight.

Driven Chat will include a podcast and video, which talkRADIO says will capture celebrity interviews and adventures with an automotive twist.

It will not just be limited to the talkRADIO studio. Taking the show on the road, The Driven Truck will travel up and down the country recording the show and podcast.

The station says: “Designed and created with a world-famous design team, The Driven Supercar is the second part of the show’s fleet. A feat of engineering, the electric vehicle unfolds in one fluid movement to reveal a chat show studio, complete with chairs, cameras, lights and sound, and is reserved for celebrity interviews.”

Andy said: “Driven Chat is the show that comes to the guest. Our supercar is as crazy as it sounds! We can’t wait to unleash it to the world.”

Driven is sponsored by Paramex Digital, a subsidiary of a CGI company behind website-based car configuration technology and software for companies like Bentley Motors.

Rudi Reel joins Delite Radio for weekend breakfast

Sun, 2020-06-28 18:47

Rudi Reel has joined the Delite Radio family to host the weekend breakfast show.

Rudi’s been on-air for 15 years and has hosted live shows and festivals in venues such as Wembley Arena, London Olympia and The Hippodrome.

Speaking before his first show He says: “I can’t wait to get started on Delite Weekend Breakfast – finding out what’s going on in our listeners’ lives, keeping an eye over everything that’s going on and of course with loads of the best music to start the day.”

Mark Kirby, Delite Radio’s Head of Programming, told RadioToday: “Rudi joins Delite Radio at a very exciting time and we are thrilled to have someone with his experience and enthusiasm driving us forward for Weekend Breakfast.

“Delite Radio continues to live and breathe for the music that people want to hear and we are looking forward to furthering the success story that is Delite Radio.”

Delite Radio is available on DAB+ Digital Radio in Birmingham, London and Manchester.

Community station Radio Scilly rebrands to Islands FM

Thu, 2020-06-25 18:31

The most recently appointed board of Radio Scilly has changed the name of the station to Islands FM after a decade on-air.

New directors including Bob Bate and Tony Kaye are heading the station. They told RadioToday their priority was to improve the quality of programming, remedy various technical issues and restore the finances.

A new logo, new S2Blue jingles, new music playlist and a new website all launched when the service rebranded in January 2020.

Islands FM has been keeping people informed during the pandemic, and recently broadcast a live three-hour virtual council meeting for the islands. The meeting was of particular interest to locals as it discussed the opening up of the Islands to holidaymakers in the near future.

Given the fact that the Islands have not had any reported COVID-19 cases, there are concerns about how any future cases might be managed.

Tony Kaye, co-director, said: “The decision was made to radically change the station by re-branding. At the end of January this year, Radio Scilly became Islands FM 107.9 with a music policy that reflects the audience demographic, new logo and new plans for long term survival of the station.”

6 Music manager Paul Rodgers to leave BBC after 28 years

Thu, 2020-06-25 16:24

The boss of BBC 6 Music Paul Rodgers has announced he’s leaving the corporation after almost three decades.

Paul was Editor of the station 2008-2012, Head of Programmes 2013-16 and then Head of 6 Music. More recently his job title was changed to Senior Head of Commissioning and a recruitment process has been ongoing to appoint a new Head of Station for 6 Music.

His BBC career has spanned both radio and television.

In a note to staff, Paul said: “After much thought I have decided to leave 6 Music and the BBC. This decision is one that I have been considering for many months, and while it is never easy to leave behind something you truly love, after almost 28 years at the BBC and 12 spent with 6 Music, I do feel that now is the right moment for me to say goodbye and make some time to consider new challenges.

“We know 6 Music is a unique and wonderful radio station which holds deep value for our listeners and for the music community. It has become one of the BBC’s authentic jewels. I’m proud to have been able to make a contribution to 6 Music, and I’m grateful to have worked alongside all the extraordinary music-loving individuals who I have met here during my career.”

In her reply to the team, Lorna Clarke, Controller, Pop Music said: “During Paul’s time at 6 Music, he’s taken the network from a weekly reach of 500,000 to 2.5 million and launched the 6 Music Festival, turning it into one of the best loved music festivals in the UK. What fantastic achievements. I’d like to thank Paul for his enthusiasm and love for all things 6 Music whilst inspiring his team to reach new heights of success. Paul’s given me a sneak preview on his exciting plans and I want to wish him the very best of luck in the future and look forward to joining you all in celebrating his success with a decent glass of red wine when we can.”

Almost £2m raised by Global’s Make Some Noise

Thu, 2020-06-25 12:23

Global’s Make Some Noise has so far raised £1,711,241 for those hit hardest by coronavirus in our communities.

An Emergency Appeal to raise money for small charities helping those experiencing grief, poverty, domestic abuse, loneliness, illness and mental health problems, as well as carers and care workers took place last week featuring a range of special fundraising activities.

Stormzy gave listeners the chance to attend and meet him at his next UK tour date, as did Ed Sheeran and Robbie Williams. Whilst Little Mix gave Capital listeners the chance to join them for an exclusive video chat.

Katy Perry, Sam Smith, Dua Lipa, Craig David, Noel Gallagher, Chris Martin, Olly Murs, Tom Walker and Gary Barlow were just some of the artists who backed the Appeal and donated prizes to Global’s Make Some Noise charity auction.

Global’s radio presenters also donated a range of prizes; Heart Breakfast Showbiz presenter and Pussycat Doll Ashley Roberts gave away the chance to win a virtual dance tutorial; Heart Breakfast’s Amanda Holden donated her iconic ‘Heart Make Me a Millionaire’ bespoke money ballgown dress. A virtual cookery class courtesy of Heart’s Kelly Brook was on offer, as was a virtual cocktail making class with Spencer Matthews and Heart’s Vogue Williams, a virtual fitness class with Heart’s Mark Wright and even a virtual gardening tutorial from Classic FM’s Alan Titchmarsh.

On Heart Breakfast, Jamie Theakston and Amanda Holden urged their listeners to get behind fundraising heroes from small charities around the country. Jamie & Amanda’s Charity Challengers took on walking, running, dancing, cycling, climbing and canoeing challenges throughout the Appeal week.

Elsewhere on Radio X, The Chris Moyles Show hosted their annual ‘Pubcast’ as a live video broadcast. Capital hosted a special charity edition of Roman Kemp’s Mega Hard Super Quiz co-hosted by Roman Kemp and his dad, Spandau Ballet legend Martin Kemp.

Ben Sheppard, Capital North West and North Wales Drivetime presenter, took on an epic endurance challenge, running for 24 hours straight around a 400 metre athletic track. In his toughest ever challenge, Ben ran over 100 miles all in aid of Global’s Make Some Noise.

Very.co.uk have created a limited edition charity T-shirt donating a proportion of the sales to Global’s Make Some Noise. The T-shirt slogan ‘Love and Hope – In this together’ reflects the sentiment of the Emergency Appeal. Kindred has created a rainbow collection of items from face masks to caps, tote bags and baby items, donating all NET proceeds. And ToyAid is running a campaign until the end of June asking people to “Buy Toys for Make Some Noise.”

Emma Bradley, Director of Global Goodness, said: “We’re so grateful to everyone who has come together with Global’s radio brands in recognition of small, local charities doing vital work in our communities. The work of these organisations has never been of higher importance since the outbreak of Coronavirus. Together, we have raised a phenomenal amount so far but these charities will continue to need our support in the months ahead as demand for their services grows further. The pandemic has had an unprecedented effect on our communities, but we can support those in need by helping small charties continue their critical work.”

Since its launch, Global’s Make Some Noise has raised over £20 million for charities and projects and is supported by HSBC UK.

Radiocentre tells MPs about commercial radio issues

Wed, 2020-06-24 14:23

Radiocentre has informed MPs how commercial radio is playing a vital role in keeping people informed and entertained throughout the COVID-19 crisis despite unprecedented falls in income and huge operational challenges.

The report from the industry body was in response to an inquiry by the Committee on the impact of COVID-19 on the various DCMS sectors. It notes that falls in advertising revenue have been substantial and higher than initial estimates, with year-on-year declines of around 50% estimated for Q2 2020. Many local stations are reporting even greater drops of up to 80-90% due to their reliance on small local advertisers that have been unable to trade during the crisis.

The submission adds that the Government’s business support schemes have been very welcome and acknowledges the importance of the recent deal with Arqiva to waive or reduce transmissions fees for a fixed period. However the scale of the collapse in advertising revenues means these measures alone will be insufficient to secure ‘the future viability of the current range of commercial radio stations’.

Radiocentre’s submission praised Ofcom’s sensible approach to enforcement of programming and production requirements, and DCMS’ early confirmation that commercial radio staff are key workers. It also notes that a further significant increase in Government investment in radio advertising would enable effective public service messages to get out quickly to large audiences across a wide range of the population, while supporting the valuable output of the radio sector including local news and information.

More than 36 million people listen to commercial radio’s mix of music, news, travel and local information every week, according to the latest RAJAR figures for Q1 2020. There is evidence of a boost to online listening during lockdown, as habits change and more people are working from home.

A recent survey from research company DRG for Radiocentre found that a significant proportion of commercial radio listeners (38%) are tuning in for an extra 1 hour and 45 minutes per week on average. According to the research, the reasons people gave for listening longer as they spend more time at home include: staying in touch with the outside world (90%), keeping informed (89%), companionship (84%), making them feel happy (77%) and delivering trusted news (64%).

Siobhan Kenny, Radiocentre CEO, said: “Commercial radio stations have done an amazing job over the last few months, informing and entertaining people during a really difficult time. As we start to move out of lockdown these valuable services face an uncertain future, so continuing support from Government, Ofcom and our friends in Parliament will be essential.”

The full submission can be read on the Radiocentre website. A wider report on the public service role commercial radio has played during the coronavirus crisis will be released later this month.

Stig Abell named Executive Editor at Wireless

Wed, 2020-06-24 12:13

Former Times Radio launch director Stig Abell is to stand down from his role as Editor of the Times Literary Supplement to become Executive Editor for radio and podcast division, Wireless.

Former Sunday Times Editor Martin Ivens will be the new Editor of the TLS.

Stig has been working with Wireless CEO Scott Taunton and Programme Director Tim Levell to develop the brand and tone of Times Radio, which launches next week. In April, he was named co-host of the Times Radio breakfast show (Monday to Thursday) alongside broadcaster Aasmah Mir.

In his new role as Executive Editor at Wireless, he will report to Scott Taunton and work with programme directors advising on editorial tone of voice. Stig will continue to be responsible for the TLS Books imprint, a partnership with William Collins, and remains a columnist for The Sunday Times.

He said: “To have been custodian of a thing as precious as the TLS for four years, and to have been involved in developing its potential in print, online, podcast and book form has been a real privilege. I will miss everyone who works there terribly, but leave full of confidence that they will continue to do a great job. Meanwhile, I get to concentrate my energies on radio, which is a huge and invigorating challenge.”

Sadly, I am leaving @TheTLS. Over the last four and a bit years, I have edited more than 200 issues, read more than 10 million words, written more than 5000 headlines and recorded 185 podcasts. We launched a new book imprint, a new website and shop, and a new-look print product. pic.twitter.com/E1NNixmLxf

— Stig Abell (@StigAbell) June 24, 2020

Wireless CEO Scott Taunton said: “Stig has been a key asset in developing Times Radio. He is a charismatic broadcaster with a keen editorial vision, and I’m glad to have his talent and experience joining Wireless at such an exciting time for our business and brands.”

News UK Chief Operating Officer David Dinsmore said: “I want to thank Stig for his contribution in reinvigorating the TLS. He has brought renewed energy to the brand and I’m delighted he will remain connected via TLS Books – one of his many creations.

“In a distinguished journalistic career which saw him spend 30 years working across The Times and The Sunday Times, Martin has edited with rigour and intellect, making a major contribution to international journalism. He is the ideal editor to lead the TLS through its next chapter.”

Martin added: “I’m delighted to have been invited to edit the Times Literary Supplement. Without a doubt it is peerless in its role leading the nation’s cultural debate and I look forward to working with the team – and the universe of contributors – to build on the excellent work Stig has done.”

Times Radio launches on Monday 29 June with presenters including John Pienaar, Mariella Frostrup, Carole Walker, Matt Chorley, Michael Portillo, Tom Newton Dunn and Gloria De Piero.

Radio stations get behind new bereavement helpline

Tue, 2020-06-23 12:12

Commercial radio stations across the UK are supporting a new charity with airtime and help in kind.

The National Bereavement Partnership COVID-19 Hub has been set up to support frontline NHS & care workers who have been working under exceptionally stressful conditions and bereaved families who have been unable to grieve properly because of the dislocation of normal processes caused by the crisis.

The Board of Trustees includes Sam Phillips of Omnicom, and Steve Orchard, Chief Executive of Quidem.

Radio and TV broadcasters and Outdoor companies have donated inventory to support the new charity and a campaign of TV and Radio commercials voiced by Classic FM’s Alexander Armstrong and 5 Live’s Nihal Arthanayake launched last week. The TV commercial can be viewed here.

Steve Orchard comments: “Radio has been developing a crucial role in encouraging initiatives to support positive mental health. Radiocentre’s recent research shows the importance of radio in providing company and keeping listeners “in the loop”. A consequence of the pandemic is a burgeoning mental health crisis and I am deeply appreciative of the support my colleagues at Commercial Radio stations across the UK are giving to the Covid-19 Hub.”

The commercials are available for any radio stations to use:

NBP Radio ALT 30 (June 2020)
NBP Radio V6 (Nihal) 30

Alex James moves from Hits Radio to XS Manchester

Tue, 2020-06-23 11:11

Hits Radio presenter Alex James is joining XS Manchester to host the breakfast show from July 6th.

Alex has been on-air in the North West for 15 years, with stints at Key 103, Radio City, Real and Century. He’s also presented on Kerrang! Radio and hosted Bauer’s networked evening show In Demand.

He says: “I can’t wait to get started on XS Manchester Breakfast – finding out what’s going on in our listeners’ lives, keeping an eye over everything that’s going on in and around Manchester and of course with loads of the best music to start the day in the world’s greatest city.”

James Wilson, XS Manchester Content Manager, said: “Alex joins XS Manchester at a very exciting time and we are thrilled to have someone with his experience and enthusiasm driving us forward at Breakfast.

“XS Manchester continues to live and breathe this amazing city’s music & culture and with Alex at the helm, we are looking forward to furthering the success story that is XS Manchester.”

XS Manchester owner Communicorp UK asked Ofcom for a Format change to enable it to rebrand as Capital Xtra last year but was refused. The latest RAJAR figures for the station gave it more listening hours than Hits Radio on 103FM.

Alex, who is also the imaging voice of BBC Local Radio, replaces Adam Brown who has joined Radio X.

Diversity duo replace Tom & Daisy on KISS Breakfast

Tue, 2020-06-23 08:01

Jordan Banjo and Perri Kiely, two original members of the dance group Diversity, are taking over the breakfast show on KISS.

Tom Green is leaving the station whilst Daisy Maskell moves to breakfast on KISS Fresh from July 13th.

Jordan recently co-hosted The Greatest Dancer’, while Perri placed as runner-up on this year’s ‘Dancing on Ice’. They are both presenters together on Nickelodeon too.

Jordan and Perri said “This is major!! The minute we stepped into KISS last year, it felt like coming home. We grew up listening to the station, vibing off the playlist and we feel it just ‘gets’ us. We couldn’t be anymore gassed to get to host the Breakfast show in an exciting new era for KISS.”

Tom said: “Hosting the KISS FM Breakfast Show for the last 18 months has been an absolute blast! We’ve had highs and lows and it is, without question, my greatest career achievement to date! However, it has come to an end! I will also be leaving KISS FM, the station which brought me to London and changed my life. For now, though – what’s next? Probably a lot of golf and cider. However, radio has always been my dream and will continue to be my dream! I’m nowhere near done yet… more on that later.”

Daisy Maskell said: “I cannot wait to launch the brand new Breakfast Show on KISS Fresh and for us to grow this space together! There is so much passion and excitement surrounding its future so it’s such an honour to be a part of the driving force that will turn it into the UK’s biggest and best station for new music.”

Rebecca Frank, Content Director for the KISS Network said: “Jordan and Perri have the sort of authentic chemistry that only two best mates can create. Bringing their positive, energetic spirit to everything they do, together they concoct the perfect formula for breakfast radio and we can’t wait for our KISS audience to hear them in action every morning.”

KISS Breakfast with Jordan Banjo & Perri Kiely will launch on August 3rd.

Nation to offer free DAB+ slots for community radio

Tue, 2020-06-23 07:00

Nation Broadcasting is planning to offer a free place for community radio stations on any future small scale multiplexes it might own.

The company is planning to apply for a number of licences when they start being advertised later this year.

It is also offering a service to provide multiplex management and technical services to those wanting to operate their own multiplex.

Nation Broadcasting’s DAB Platform Manager Ash Elford tells RadioToday: “Under our stewardship, we’ve already seen the transformation of the Glasgow small scale DAB multiplex, and we want to replicate that success throughout the sector.

“We’re at the forefront of local DAB digital radio and have a great track record of getting community radio service and small commercial services on to the platform. Our reputation speaks for itself, and we look forward to helping as many smaller community stations transition to DAB as we know that this is a sector where every penny counts, particularly given the current UK national emergency situation.”

Alex Jenkins, Chairman of Celtic Music Radio, says “Since Nation Broadcasting started operating the Glasgow small scale DAB multiplex in autumn 2018 they have shown a huge commitment to community radio stations like ours. We are looking forward to being on Nation’s application to operate the Glasgow small scale DAB multiplex this autumn.”

Bob McWilliam, director of Paisley FM 107.5 commented: “Everyone at Paisley FM is delighted that Nation Broadcasting will be applying to Ofcom to operate the Glasgow DAB digital radio multiplex on a full licence basis. We have been delighted by the service provided by Nation Broadcasting to date which brings Paisley FM an incremental audience and a service to the people that travel between Paisley and Glasgow on the M8 every day.”

All licenced Ofcom community radio stations and small, independent commercial stations are encouraged to contact ash.elford@nationbroadcasting.com to register their interest and discuss how they can benefit from the offer.

BBC local radio Makes a Difference for a million people

Mon, 2020-06-22 22:06

The BBC is reporting that over a million people have either called or messaged their local BBC radio station during Lockdown.

The 39-station network set up the Make a Difference campaign – a virtual notice board for those offering help and those needing support – back in March.

All local stations are also still operating a revised schedule of mostly four-hour blocks of programmes, meaning some presenters are either leaving the network or being furloughed.

The standardised coronavirus schedule is expected to be in place until at least April 2021, RadioToday understands.

Here are some of the highlights of the MAD project:

It was the BBC Three Counties Radio Make A Difference team who first shared the story of Captain Tom Moore. He captured listeners’ hearts when he set out to do 100 laps of his garden before his 100th birthday to raise money for the NHS. Soon the rest of the world was cheering him on too helping him to raise over £33million.

In Essex a couple and their five pets were left camping out in the garden after their house caught fire, after a call to their local BBC station they moved into a house that evening.

On Radio Devon a key worker named Bob phoned in and said he was down to his last pair of decent shoes after walking five miles a day to work. With no internet access or shops open, he couldn’t find a new pair but a listener soon called in with a pair of size 12s to drop off for Bob.

Radio Solent helped listener Hannah set up a virtual 70th wedding anniversary party for her great grandparents. An appeal on BBC Radio Tees resulted in two tablets being donated to James Cook Hospital so patients in palliative care can safely be in touch with their loved ones from their hospital beds.

BBC Radio Leicester tracked down Grace the nurse who helped an elderly widower in hospital with Covid-19 have much-needed Facetime chats with his family. The station got Grace on air so the family could thank her for everything.

Chris Burns, Head of BBC Audio and Digital says: “Radio has the power to bring people together and while COVID-19 is a global pandemic, its impacts had been very localised and local radio has been uniquely placed to respond. The number of calls we continue to receive shows the power of community and the contribution local radio can make by getting closer to its listeners. We maybe emerging from lockdown but I want MAD to stay.”

Uckfield FM celebrates landmark anniversary

Mon, 2020-06-22 21:04

Community radio station Uckfield FM is celebrating ten years of full-time broadcasting.

To welcome the landmark, one of its founder members and former chairman Mike Skinner will present a special programme on the 1st of July.

The station has also been granted another five year extension to its licence.

Mike said, “The 1st July will be a very proud day for me, its 18 years now since the comment was made, ‘what this town needs is a radio station’. I would never have guessed that after all this time and following 10 years of full-time radio I would be in the studio presenting breakfast.

“I would like to thank all the people who have made what Uckfield FM is today and a special mention to the town businesses who have made it possible with support.”

The station first broadcast on a four-week restricted licence was in July 2003.

Original Founders, Mike Skinner and Gary King and other founding members including Phil Moon, Neil Walker, Martyn Grenfell and Tony Williams are still involved and present programmes on the station.

In March, the radio station had a new transmitter installed at their studios at Bird in Eye Farm following Ofcom’s decision to grant a power increase. This means that the signal on 105FM is now reaching out further into the community across Wealden.

Current chairman Ian Smith said: “Our station has a fantastic following because of the high quality and variety of our programmes. Our commitment to our listeners and the stations future is realised by the recent increase in the strength of our signal and we have plans to take the station to another level”

The station is asking listeners for their memories relating to the station and asked to email news@uckfieldfm.co.uk

Bauer extends online listening into Ireland

Mon, 2020-06-22 10:37

Bauer Media Northern Ireland has enabled online listening across the whole island.

For the first time, Republic of Ireland consumers will be able to listen live (or listen later) to Cool FM, Downtown Radio and Downtown Country through its branded mobile apps, on computer and on smart speaker.

Recently appointed Managing Director of Bauer Media NI, David Tighe, believes the move is a key development for the stations: “We’ve been clear that we are keen to explore opportunities across the Island-wide market and this marks another important step forward for our business,” said David.

Bauer Media NI Commercial Director, Simon Mann added, “Digital services, spin-offs and on-line listening opportunities are key to our growth strategy and this is as relevant here as it is in the international markets where the Bauer Group operates.”

“By capitalising on our local digital strengths, coupled with the success of our InStream advertising technology, we present the marketing sector with a fresh opportunity to engage directly with their audiences.”

Pirate Release Radio goes legal with DAB+ licence

Sun, 2020-06-21 22:02

Former pirate station Release FM has started broadcasting legally on DAB digital radio.

Release Radio, now holders of an Ofcom licence, can be heard in parts of London, Surrey and Berkshire.

The station says it is the best and most progressive radio station on the web. “Release believe in showcasing the very best upfront, forthcoming and classic dance music, tailored towards the clued up and musically intelligent listener, who crave something that isn’t being covered by mainstream stations.”

A spokesperson told RadioToday: “We have received lots of positive feedback over the past three months and we even launched during the COVID Lockdown.

“Can I also just stress that we were originally a pirate radio station and not only did we manage to turn it around but we managed to obtain a license from Ofcom.”

The studios are located in Bracknell and the station has a full schedule of programmes and presenters, also available online via its website since April 3rd.

Comedian Kiri Pritchard-McLean joins BBC Radio Wales

Sat, 2020-06-20 10:07

Welsh comedian Kiri Pritchard-McLean is hosting a new radio programme on BBC Radio Wales.

The station says Kiri will provide great music, entertainment and company for your Saturday afternoons for the next seven weeks.

Kiri said; “I cannot wait to start my show on BBC Radio Wales. It’s Saturday afternoon so perfect listening for people in the car off to do the big shop and people doing the walk of shame – my ideal audience!”

Joining Kiri will be an array of special guests across the seven weeks, kicking off with fellow comedians Stephen Bailey (Live at the Apollo) and Tez Ilyas (Man Like Mobeen).

“I’ve got some brilliant guests lined up including Tez Ilyas, Mari Ann-Rees, Stephen Bailey and Mark Watson. In honesty, it will be nice to talk to someone that isn’t my partner or dog!,” Keri adds.

Kero became the host of the BBC Radio 4 Extra satirical sketch show Newsjack last year and has appeared on a number of BBC Radio 4 programmes.

The show will broadcast between 2pm and 4pm every Saturday until 1st August.

Coming up on Saturday from 2pm

Don’t miss our brand new show with Kiri Pritchard-McLean

Great music and dazzling company with this week’s special guests @stephencomedy and @tezilyas! pic.twitter.com/Bu44ozytES

— BBC Radio Wales (@BBCRadioWales) June 19, 2020

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