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Actual Radio goes on DAB in Colchester

Mon, 2020-09-28 15:31

Colchester’s local station Actual Radio is now available to listeners across Essex on DAB Digital Radio.

The service has been streaming online since 2017 but has decided to make the move to a terrestrial platform to better serve local listeners.

Pete Chapman, founder of Actual Radio and its breakfast show host, told RadioToday: “This is real coup for Colchester, as it’s a big town which is underserved by local radio. It has been a hard slog to get us in this position, but we are really excited by our launch on DAB – and about giving Colchester a wider voice than it has ever had.

“The return of local radio to Colchester gives our businesses the opportunity to be heard countywide and the chance to drive footfall to the town.

“For me, radio is the ultimate medium with the amount of time people spend listening in their cars and now they can be hearing about all things Colchester. There is a real appetite for local radio in the town, especially since many stations were taken national.

“The level of interest from local businesses in Actual Radio since the start has been astonishing and we can’t wait to see how far that can go now that people can tune in on DAB.”

Five day virtual event planned for Radio Academy Festival

Mon, 2020-09-28 14:13

The Radio Academy Festival will be a five day online event this year with Nile Rodgers, Lorna Clarke and Jordan & Perri confirmed as some of the first guests.

It’s happening from November 9th to 13th each afternoon in venues across the UK, with a mixture of presentations, interviews and panels.

Jordan and Perri told The Radio Academy: “Since launching the new KISS Breakfast Show earlier this Summer we have been on such an incredible journey, and the Festival is going to be such a sick opportunity for us to reflect on the last mad couple of months. We can’t wait to fill everyone in!”

As well as lead sponsor In:Quality, The Radio Academy Festival will also be supported by RCS, PRS for Music, PPL and Radiocentre helping to keep ticket prices down, and 20% of all ticket revenues will go to support the Audio & Radio Emergency Fund.

See more and book tickets here.

Apprenticeship scheme launched at talkSPORT HQ

Mon, 2020-09-28 14:05

talkSPORT is launching a new apprenticeship scheme to find three young people to become part of the production team.

The apprentices will undergo training in multiple journalism and radio skills at PA Training, part of PA Media.

They will then complete a rotation in three different departments across the talkSPORT network. At the end of the eighteen month apprenticeship they will have a NCTJ qualification and the right skills for a career in sports broadcasting.

Applications open on September 28, with the successful applicants starting in December 2020.

Head of talkSPORT Lee Clayton said: “These apprenticeships are a fantastic opportunity for anyone who loves sport and wants to consider a career in sports media. We want to find and develop young talent to better inform talkSPORT’s editorial decisions, increase diversity of opinion in talkSPORT’s production teams and develop a pathway which will hopefully see the candidates stay to develop a career at the network. By specifically focussing on social mobility, we are looking for talent rather than experience.

“I joined News UK at the age of 17. I was raw and without any formal training, but I had a hunger and passion to succeed. I was lucky to meet some amazing people who encouraged and nurtured my desire and helped me on my journey. I will never forget that. This is a company that encourages young talent from different backgrounds. Come and join the fun at talkSPORT.”

The key skills talkSPORT is looking for in the potential apprentices are creativity, storytelling, conscientiousness and drive. talkSPORT aims to offer full employment to the three apprentices at the end of the programme.

talkSPORT presenter and scheme champion Jordan Jarrett-Bryan explained: “After an initial couple of weeks at talkSPORT getting to know the place, the first few months of the programme will be mainly based at PA Training in the City of London, learning the key radio and journalism skills they will need to thrive at talkSPORT.

“The apprentices will have a contact session with talkSPORT every two weeks to maintain communication with their line manager. After this period they will embark on a three stop rotation between live programming, social media and audio production.”

Each rotation will last for four months. The apprentices will then get to assess their skills base and decide in consultation with their mentors and line manager, which department they should spend the final two months in. During this period they will also complete their end point assessment.

Throughout the programme each apprentice will have a buddy who will be their go to with any questions or concerns they may have. On each rotation they will be mentored by the head of that department to make sure that they are acquiring the skills and experience they need.

talkSPORT Breakfast Presenter Laura Woods said: “I can’t wait to meet our new apprentices and for them to see all the exciting opportunities ahead for the three young people who walk through the door. talkSPORT is such a fun place to work and these three apprentices will become valued members of the team.”

Applications open on September 28 for two weeks closing on October 12. The successful candidates will start on December 7 for an 18 month programme. Any one aged over 18 can apply here. The scheme is being run in conjunction with PA Training.

Classic FM signs up Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE

Mon, 2020-09-28 12:30

Classic FM is launching a new Sunday night series with Chi-chi Nwanoku OBE, the double-bass player and founder of the Chineke! Foundation.

Starting on Sunday 4th October at 9pm, Chi-chi’s Classical Champions will shine the spotlight on Black, Asian & ethnically diverse composers and performers who have enjoyed success, as well as those yet to receive recognition.

Across six weeks, Chi-chi will champion brilliant music; tell the stories behind the works and performances, and play a varied range of recordings – all personally chosen by her – by artists from diverse backgrounds from the 16th century up to the present day.

The series is focused on classical compositions that haven’t always had a platform – with the central aim that music featured will be broadcast on other programmes across Classic FM’s schedule.

A second series of Chi-chi’s Classical Champions has already been commissioned by Classic FM for broadcast in 2021.

Chi-chi Nwanoku said: “I’m thrilled to be presenting this new series on Classic FM and to have this wonderful opportunity to shine a light on many unknown, outstanding pieces of music – and musicians – who I hope you’ll enjoy. My own discovery of many of the pieces has been inspiring and often mind-blowing, and I believe they deserve to be enjoyed and shared in many more playlists up and down the country and join the favourites played on Classic FM.”

Phil Noyce, Classic FM’s managing editor, said: “Chi-chi Nwanoku is a trailblazing talent who shares our passion in breaking down the barriers to classical music, so it’s an honour that she’s agreed not only to present this series on Classic FM, but to programme it too.

Throughout Chi-chi’s Classical Champions and beyond, we’re looking forward to further supporting diverse classical composers and musicians, by introducing their music to our 5.5 million weekly listeners.”

Chi-chi’s Classical Champions will be broadcast on Sunday night from 9pm to 10pm, starting on Sunday 4th October.

Keith Skues says goodbye to BBC Local Radio show

Mon, 2020-09-28 10:09

BBC Radio presenter Keith Skues has hosted his last radio show after 61 years of broadcasting.

Keith is retiring from his BBC Local Radio show in the East, after a career including BFBS, Pirate Radio, Radio Luxembourg, Radio Hallam, Radio 1 and Radio 2.

Keith’s last words on the Skues Me show on Sunday included a message to listeners saying it was up to the BBC if he ever appears on the station again, and thanked everyone for listening.

He said: “To all of you listening to this programme I wish you happiness and great success for whatever you do in the future.

“Maybe we will meet again over these airwaves – I hope so – that decision rests firmly with BBC management.”

He was the second presenter on BBC Radio 1 in 1967, hosting Saturday Club straight after Tony Blackburn opened the station.

After leaving the BBC he was appointed Programme Controller of Radio Hallam in 1974 and went on to control Classic Gold in Yorkshire in the late 80s.

A move to the BBC in Sheffield was next along with a stint on BBC Radio 2. Later, he moved to Norfolk and has spent the last 25 years on local radio in the area. He was known as Pirate Radio Skues after using an hour of his weekend late show to air archive recordings of pirate radio.

Now, at the age of 81, he has said goodbye to his regular listeners ahead of his show becoming networked in the future.

During his last show on Sunday evening, Keith spent the three hours looking back at his career in radio and talked about working at lots of different radio stations, along with his work in the Royal Air Force.

You can hear his last show on BBC Sounds for the next 29 days.

We’ll be adding more to this article when we receive requested comments and information from the BBC.

Bauer invests in podcasting with new Podplay platform

Fri, 2020-09-25 16:38

Bauer Media Audio has created a new platform to create and publish podcasts.

The launch of PodPlay comes ahead of International Podcast Day on the 30th of September, as Bauer says it has seen a big rise in demand for its in house podcasts during the pandemic.

The new platform includes Podplay Studio for creators to enable the publishing, distribution, listening and monetisation of content.

It will offer exclusive, free content to signed-in users including exclusive episodes of podcasts. Non-exclusive podcasts will also continue to be available on all other podcast players.

It also carries podcasts by rival broadcasters including Global and UK community radio stations.

Commenting on the launch, Mattias Björkman, Head of Podcast Business, Bauer Media Audio said: “Podplay is a significant investment in the development of the distribution and listening platforms available within the audio on demand market.

“Podcast listening has grown by almost 20% over the last two years across the Nordics, and this launch will enable growth in Bauer Media Audio’s audiences through a combination of original content and partnerships.

“This will not only extend our reach but offers complementary opportunities for advertisers alongside our leading radio business of 26 million daily listeners across Europe.”

Richard Dawkins, COO Bauer Media Audio, “This launch will add further reach to our digital audio advertising offering which offers premium, engaged audio audiences at scale, in a transparent and brand safe environment which are now offered via programmatic audio across connected radio and podcasts”.

New company comes forward for Bradford DAB multiplex

Fri, 2020-09-25 14:52

Bradford Digital Media has announced its intention to apply for a Small Scale DAB digital radio multiplex in the city.

The city is in the first round of areas to be advertised for the new technology, with a closing date in November.

Raj Parmar, director of Bradford Digital Media and local radio station, Sunrise Radio explains: “Bradford will become one of the first local areas in the UK to be licensed to broadcast for SSDAB. With this platform we will see some amazing opportunities for truly hyper local community and commercial stations.

“We plan to bring a variety of radio formats catering for a wide range of tastes, interests, communities and age groups.”

The award will take place early 2021 with deadlines for the application on 23rd November 2020.

Just up the road, Leeds DAB Radio Ltd has announced it will be applying for a Leeds Small Scale Multiplex. Leeds DAB has been created by Dee Radio Group, Leeds community radio station Fever FM and small-scale Trial operator, Niocast Digital.

BBC Archive and Radio 3 launch Experience Classical

Fri, 2020-09-25 12:23

BBC Young Musician winner Sheku Kanneh-Mason, his sister and pianist Isata, and Radio 3 broadcaster and composer Hannah Peel, are today launching a new digital experience with BBC Archive and Radio 3.

Experience Classical is a digital experience providing a new way to discover classical music through audio performances, programmes and podcasts.

It will have over 600 audio recordings all performed by the BBC Orchestras, Choirs and New Generation Artists and feature works by over 150 composers from 20 nationalities.

Eight categories will help new listeners explore, from Composers and Instruments to Discovery, Mood and Cutting Edge.

There will also be over 400 radio programmes and podcasts – from Composer Of The Week to The Listening Service, all playing in BBC Sounds.

BBC Young Composer has also created a specially curated collection of BBC commissions written by alumni of the BBC Young Composer competition for Experience Classical.

Every year, hundreds of 12-18 year olds enter the competition for the chance to have their new music broadcast by the BBC Orchestras and Choirs. BBC Young Composer exists to celebrate and nurture new music and the creativity of young people across the UK.

Additionally, in the coming weeks Experience Classical will be home to a new immersive 3D sound experience. Performances will be available for listening in binaural sound as part of the BBC Philharmonic partnering with BBC Research and Development to produce binaural recordings of concerts at the Bridgewater Hall and at the BBC Proms.

Bauer seeks permission to move Northallerton

Fri, 2020-09-25 11:52

Bauer is asking Ofcom for permission to create its own Approved Areas to move Northallerton and Shaftesbury.

If approved, a new area named Yorkshire & Lincolnshire (Bauer) would enable Bauer to move the Northallerton licence out of the North East Approved Area, where it currently sits.

Ofcom published a document two years ago showing a map with Northallerton in the Yorkshire and Lincolnshire region, although a table later in the same document put Northallerton within the North East region.

Bauer is already operating the Northallerton licence as part of its Yorkshire and Lincolnshire region, broadcasting the regional Drive show from Leeds. This means it is currently breaking its own Format.

Ofcom said today: “We acknowledge that the map Ofcom published in Annex A2 of our October 2018 Statement on ‘Localness on commercial radio’ to illustrate the new approved areas (and reproduced by Bauer in its submission) was inaccurate in that it erroneously shows the Northallerton licence as sitting within the Yorkshire & Lincolnshire approved area.

“The list of Approved Areas by licence at Annex 4 of that document confirms that the Northallerton licence was in fact allocated to the North East of England approved area. We apologise for any confusion this error may have caused.”

Ofcom says it is minded to approve the change but is asking for feedback to be submitted by 5pm on 23 October 2020.

Bauer has also today asked to move the Shaftesbury local FM licence from the existing ‘South West England (Bauer)’ approved area into the ‘South of England (Bauer)’ approved area.

This would result in a new approved area for each of 24 FM local radio licences owned by Bauer in the south and west of England.

Bauer told Ofcom that moving the Shaftesbury licence into the South of England (Bauer) approved area would link it with other stations owned by Bauer in the county of Dorset which are likely to have common listener affinities.

Radio Exe launches funding campaign to survive

Fri, 2020-09-25 10:23

A fall in advertising revenue during the coronavirus pandemic has prompted Radio Exe to launch a crowdfunding campaign.

The Devon-based station is asking listeners and businesses to donate money to see it through the current crisis.

Radio Exe points out that it is the last remaining commercial radio station operating in the area, having recently seen Radio Plymouth bought by Bauer Media and Torbay’s The Breeze regionalised as part of GHR.

Managing director Paul Nero says: “We feel honoured and privileged to hold an FM commercial radio licence and we’ve been committed to producing high-quality programmes since acquiring the licence from a national broadcaster in 2011.

“However, most of our advertisers are in the tourism, hospitality and retail sectors; the ones hardest hit by the crisis. In turn, that’s had a knock-on effect on us.

“We’ve created a series of rewards for both consumers and businesses that can be bought during the period of the crowdfunding campaign, which we’ve put together with the help of Devon-based company, the eponymous Crowdfunder. The target we’ve set will see us through to around Easter, by which time we hope the advertising market will have recovered somewhat.”

The last pre-lockdown audience figures show that Radio Exe has 32,000 weekly listeners.

Free radio drama available for HBA & CMA members

Thu, 2020-09-24 16:26

Jenny Wren Productions has created a drama and is making it available free of charge for hospital and community radio stations.

The production is based on the untold true story of two female codebreakers at Bletchley Park at the height of World War II.

Bletchley Girls is a stage play that was due to be performed in May and June 2020 at a number of Gloucestershire venues. The coronavirus pandemic put a stop to that for now, and so the creative team adapted the play for the radio.

The finished product was broadcast as part of the Gloucester History Festival last weekend.

The radio play will be distributed via the Community Media Association and the Hospital Broadcast Association and will also be available on Jenny Wren Productions’ YouTube channel.

The audio files are now available. Go to and complete the registration/licence form to be able to download them.

BBC Radio 4 pays tribute to Nicholas Parsons

Thu, 2020-09-24 15:51

BBC Radio 4 is to pay tribute to Nicholas Parsons CBE with an evening of programmes to mark what would have been his 97th birthday.

A new documentary and specially chosen highlights from the archive covering Nicholas’ career will let listeners learn more about his life, on Saturday 10 October.

Actor and comedian Paul Merton – who appeared alongside Nicholas on panel show Just a Minute for over 30 years – joins Clive Anderson on Loose Ends at 6.15pm to introduce the evening ahead.

Nicholas’ widow Annie Parsons, speaking on behalf of his family, said: “Nicholas loved the BBC and he would consider this evening an unbelievable honour and be immensely flattered.”

Radio 4’s Commissioning Editor for Comedy, Sioned Wiliam adds: “There is so much love and respect amongst us all at Radio 4 and our listeners for Nicholas, we miss him so much. He leaves behind one of the finest comedy and broadcasting legacies spanning over 50 years. We’re delighted to be able to remember him through a selection of that brilliance on this evening.”

See details of the evening of programmes here.

New Spotify playlist includes talkSPORT and Times Radio bulletins

Thu, 2020-09-24 13:18

Wireless Studios has agreed a deal with Spotify which will see audio bulletins from talkSPORT and Times Radio included as part of the streaming platform’s ‘Your Daily Drive’ playlist.

‘The Times news briefing’ and ‘talkSPORT HIT’ are each three minutes long and will be updated three times a day on weekdays to bring the latest news and sport to Spotify listeners alongside their personalised music selections.

Wireless says the podcasts will also receive at least one update over the weekend.

The two branded bulletins will also be made available via other podcast platforms and on smart speakers as flash briefings from Times Radio and talkSPORT.

Wireless Director of Strategy and MD of Wireless Studios, Jimmy Buckland said: “The Times news briefing and talkSPORT HIT respond to growing audience demand for short-form audio, providing a perfect complement to our popular live radio and podcast offerings. We are excited to be working with Spotify to introduce audiences to the high quality journalism and sports coverage offered by The Times and talkSPORT, whilst offering listeners a new way to keep up to date with the latest headlines.”

Spotify’s ‘Your Daily Drive’ picks music that the platform thinks you will like, alongside content from providers that also include the Evening Standard, the Economist and the FT.

Your music. Your news. Your playlist. Will you be taking a dive into Your Daily Drive?

— Spotify UK & Ireland (@SpotifyUK) September 23, 2020

No Ofcom public interest test for Radio 1 Dance

Thu, 2020-09-24 12:18

Ofcom will not instruct the BBC to conduct a public interest test in relation to Radio 1 Dance, but will consider the market position of BBC Sounds in general.

The announcement comes after the commercial radio body and All-Party Parliamentary Group on Commercial Radio said they find it hard to believe the new service is offering something distinctive from the commercial sector.

In reaction, Ofcom has written to the BBC to explain that it does not require a public interest test, because it considers the impact of the new stream on the market is likely to be small – particularly as it will be online only and contain no new or exclusive content.

The regulator went on to say: “However, there have been a number of incremental changes to BBC Sounds, and some stakeholders in the commercial radio sector have concerns about its development.

“Ofcom therefore intends to consider the market position of BBC Sounds through a public process, seeking evidence from stakeholders and the BBC. We expect to complete this by the end of 2020.”

Ofcom’s annual report last year said the BBC needs to do “much more” to attract younger audiences to its services to which the BBC replied saying it had a “clear plan to meet the needs of younger and diverse audiences”.

Following Ofcom’s decision, a BBC spokesperson said: “We have always been open about our plans for BBC Sounds. We’ve had relevant approvals from Ofcom for all key developments, including Radio 1 Dance, and we’ll continue to liaise with them and our colleagues in commercial radio.

“As listening habits change and global players like Spotify and Apple look to dominate the market, we want BBC Sounds to be the best place for audiences to enjoy our outstanding content and a key way we champion and invest in the UK audio and music industry now and in the future.”

Radio 1 Dance launches via BBC Sounds on 9th October.

MistaJam is leaving BBC Radio 1 and Radio 1Xtra

Wed, 2020-09-23 16:01

BBC Radio 1Xtra Drivetime presenter MistaJam is leaving the BBC after 15 years on-air.

He’ll be replaced by Reece Parkinson on weekday Drive whilst Charlie Hedges will take over Radio 1’s Dance Anthems on a Saturday afternoon.

MistaJam first joined Radio 1Xtra in 2005 to present an overnight Thursday night show before moving on to the evening show and covering at Radio 1. He’s also presented Radio 1’s Dance Anthems for the past three years.

He says: “After 15 amazing years at the BBC, I feel the time has come for me to move on to the next challenge. From joining in 2005 to host an overnight HipHop show on 1Xtra to turning Radio 1’s Dance Anthems into the most listened to show on BBC Sounds for under 35’s, it’s been an amazing journey filled with moments I’ll never forget.

After 15 amazing years at the BBC, I feel the time has come for me to move on to the next challenge.

— mistajam (@mistajam) September 23, 2020

“A couple of Radio Academy Gold awards, giving some of the biggest artists in the world their first ever national radio play, THAT 60 Minutes Live and being able to soundtrack lockdown with uplifting Dance music have been some of the most special memories I’ll cherish and am so grateful to have been a part of.

“I want to thank the entire team both past and present at 1Xtra & Radio 1 for allowing this Black kid from Nottingham a chance to be a broadcaster but most of all, I’d like to thank every single person who’s ever given me their ears. Here’s to the future.”

Reece Parkinson says: “What an incredible honour to be the new host of the 1Xtra Drivetime Show. I really can’t explain how excited & grateful I am to take this show forward. I use to work as an intern when Charlie Sloth was host, it’s really come full circle for me. I cannot wait to bring my energy, passion & love to drive with the music I truly love. Mostly importantly thank you to the 1Xtra listeners who have been nothing but kind whenever I have covered a show on the network, your texts/tweets mean the world. Salute to my big brother MistaJam whom I wish all the luck on his exciting next adventure.”

Former KISS Breakfast presenter Charlie Hedges joined Radio 1 in 2019 and will continue to present the Radio 1’s late night entertainment show with co-hosts Rickie Haywood-Williams and Melvin Odoom.

Charlie says: “I am absolutely buzzing to be taking on Radio 1’s Dance Anthems! It’s such a huge show that has been hosted by MistaJam, someone I have always looked up to, so it’s an honour to be able to get behind the mic every Saturday bringing the biggest dance tunes to your ears each week. I’m excited to go on this new journey with you all and let’s face it…day raves are so 2020 ;).”

Faron McKenzie, Head of 1Xtra, says: “I am so excited about signing Reece to the Drive Show, he brings a youthful positive passion and energy to 1Xtra coupled with his love of music and culture, he’s an amazing broadcaster with so much unlocked potential. As I continue to forge a path to evolve 1Xtra into the preeminent destination for young black music and culture this is an important step.

“Salute to MistaJam for all his love and dedication over the years for 1Xtra – I wish him all the best with his next chapter.”

Aled Haydn Jones, Head of Radio 1, says: “Radio 1’s Dance Anthems is one of our most loved shows, via both live listening and on-demand in BBC Sounds, and we know our listeners are going to love hearing Charlie make it her own. Charlie is naturally brilliant at understanding what the audience wants; her energy and enthusiasm, coupled with her dance expertise, make her a brilliant fit for the show.

“I’d also like to extend my thanks to MistaJam, who has been a hugely valued part of the Radio 1 family for many years, and we wish him all the very best for the future.”

Reece Parkinson begins on 1Xtra’s Drivetime Show on Monday 28 September, and Charlie Hedges starts on Radio 1’s Dance Anthems on Saturday 3 October. MistaJam will have his last 1Xtra show on Thursday 24th September and last Radio 1 show on Saturday 26th September.

Decadance Radio introduces Wellbeing Week

Wed, 2020-09-23 13:43

New Brighton and Hove DAB station Decadance Radio is broadcasting a week of special programmes to support local students.

Wellbeing Week will feature interviews, advice and guidance during a slightly different Freshers Week.

Regular Breakfast host Roxy Roberts is joined every day at 10am by Mental Wellbeing Coach Donna Churchman to chat with students and professionals alike about the challenges faced when studying in Brighton in the current climate.

Guests include Gemma Doherty, Project Manager for YMCA in Brighton; Financial Advisor, James McCreath; as well as a number of representatives from the three local universities.

Decadance Radio launched on 7th August this year broadcasting across the city of Brighton and Hove with a focus on local content and support for local artists.

It's finally here! Join us at Decadance Radio from 10am tomorrow for Wellbeing Week. Featuring the freshest tunes along with advice and guidance on how to stay happy and healthy through the best years of your life! Full line up at

— DECADANCE (@clubindecadance) September 20, 2020

Frank Skinner’s podcast returns with Absolute Radio

Wed, 2020-09-23 12:54

Absolute Radio is bringing back Frank Skinner’s Poetry Podcast for a second series on Monday 28th September.

The series will see the presenter, comedian and writer dive into even more of his favourite contemporary and classic works.

Series two will hear Frank continue introducing, reading out and analysing poems from poets both past and present, including William Wordsworth, Alexander Pope, Rita Dove and Liz Berry.

Frank Skinner: “The second series is, once again, me talking about poetry I love. I really feel the need to share this stuff. If it wasn’t for this podcast, I’d just be stopping people in the street and reading out loud to them – from at least one metre away, obviously.

“In this series, there is a real mix of poets: there’s a one-hour special about an 18th Century poet, with loads of juicy historical context, but I also cover plenty of poets who are alive and well and still writing.”

BBC Radio 2 to celebrate John Lennon At 80

Wed, 2020-09-23 12:23

BBC Radio 2 has secured an exclusive interview with Julian Lennon, Paul McCartney and Elton John chatting to Sean Ono Lennon.

John Lennon would have turned 80 years old on Friday 9 October and in these special shows, John Lennon At 80, his youngest son Sean will present a celebratory, musical, family portrait of the legendary musician.

Sean and Julian talk personally about their father and how he taught them about music. Julian recalls his dad buying him a guitar when he was around 11 years old and how it helped him get into music.

Paul McCartney shares his memories of meeting John, talking about the combination of him and John, saying: “I look back on it now like a fan, how lucky was I to meet this strange teddy boy off the bus, who played music like I did and we get together and boy, we complemented each other!”

Helen Thomas, Head of Station, Radio 2, says: “John Lennon is one of the Radio 2 audience’s most popular and best loved musicians, so we’re thrilled and honoured that Sean’s first ever radio programme in which he talks at length about his father, alongside his brother Julian, Paul McCartney and Elton John, will be broadcast on our network.”

John Lennon at 80 can be heard on BBC Radio 2 on Saturday 3 and Sunday 4 October, 9pm – 10pm. Also, on Sunday 4 October 7pm – 9pm, John Lennon at the BBC will include some classic performances and interviews from the BBC’s archive.

Simon Phillips joins Jazz FM for weekend breakfast

Wed, 2020-09-23 11:20

Broadcaster Simon Phillips is joining Jazz FM to present the Weekend Breakfast.

Simon, who already hosts a daily show on Magic Soul, will present both the Saturday and Sunday breakfast show from Saturday 26th September following some cover shifts.

Previously, Simon has worked at Choice FM, Capital FM, Galaxy and Magic, but says he has always longed to be a Jazz FM presenter.

He says: “Joining Jazz FM is a dream come true and a coming of age for me. I’m a huge fan of the station, listening religiously, and now to be a part of the team with broadcasters who were early influences such Chris Philips, Tony Minvielle and Jeff Young is amazing.

“In terms of my personal journey, this is THE most important stage. I really look forward to being a part of this incredible team into the next 30 years.”

The show will broadcast from 6am – 10am. The final hour on his Sunday show (from 9am) will focus on Simon’s passion of Nu, Neo and Luxury Soul music before he hands over to Jeff Young at 10am. He added “We are at an incredible time for British music and I’m honoured to finally be able to contribute and once again, fly the flag for home grown music and the latest new sounds in an ever-changing musical landscape.”

Jazz FM’s Content Director Nick Pitts said: “As the sun sets on our 30th anniversary year of some amazing content on Jazz FM, it’s great to have such a safe pair of hands take over our Weekend Breakfast show. Simon’s experience in broadcasting and his total passion for our music will mean that our listeners will receive a unique start to their weekends.

“Current Weekend Breakfast show host Chris Gilvear – also our Head of Programmes – will concentrate on a new slot showcasing the new music at midnight on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday called “The Playlist”, alongside his ever growing role in helping me run our truly tremendous radio station.”

Rick Astley to sing a song for BBC Unsung Hero Awards

Mon, 2020-09-21 22:30

Rick Astley will front a new single, Every One of Us, to celebrate the Unsung Hero awards for 2020.

The 2019 regional winners of the Unsung Hero award, Captain Tom Moore and a host of sporting names including Ben Stokes, Geraint Thomas and Dame Jessica Ennis Hill also lend their support to the campaign and there are a number of special cameos in the music video.

Olympic and Paralympic stars Tanni Grey-Thompson, Will Bailey, Kare Adenegan, Ellie and Beckie Downie, Sam Quek and Ellie Simmonds also appear in the video to show off their dancing and singing, along with Alex Scott, Gabby Logan and Gareth Thomas.

The single will raise funds and be the anthem for the awards.

Rick Astley said: “When I was asked to launch a single in honour of Unsung Hero and to raise money for BBC Children in Need I didn’t hesitate. Both are brilliant causes and I hope the song can bring a bit of joy and solidarity during what has been a strange and unprecedented year.”

The awards have also teamed up with BBC Local Radio’s Make a Difference campaign to shout about those who are helping their community during Covid 19.

Alongside the single launch on the 22nd September, nominations for the Unsung Hero 2020 awards will open from 6am.