February 12, 1979: Steve Jones joins BBC Radio 2

TV presenter and voiceover artist, Steve Jones, joined BBC Radio 2 this day in 1979. He had previously been a disc jockey on BBC Radio 1 between 1972 and 1973.

Between 1979 and 1985 he made over 600 appearances on the station, starting out on the Early Show at 5am on weekday mornings (1979-1980).

He then hosted 14 episodes of the Steve Jones Request Show at 2pm between 1980 and 1981. During this time he also provided commentary for the Eurovision Song Contest.

In 1980, he presented nine Saturday and Sunday Shows, which include Family Favourites. In 1981 he hosted five Steve Jones’ Open House shows, two editions of Saturday Night is Gala Night from the Golders Green Hippodrome, and introduced the New Year’s Eve Special.

In 1983 he presented two Steve Jones’s Late Shows before returning in 1984 with a midday programme. The following year, he moved to the 4pm weekday slot and 10pm on Saturdays. His last full show was on July 5, 1985.

In 1986 and 1987 he guested on editions of general knowledge quiz On Cue, and Shaw Taylor’s The Law Game.

In 1994, he sat in for Ed Stewart and, in 1995, for Ken Bruce. On Christmas Day 1994 he hosted Steve Jones’s Christmas Night.

In August 2009, he broadcast five shows at midnight.

Source: BBC Genome*

*The 20th Century in Sound & Vision is not responsible for the content of other websites

December 10, 1933: Radio Luxembourg transmits English programmes

Radio Luxembourg was a multilingual commercial broadcaster in Luxembourg.

The English-language service of Radio Luxembourg began on December 10, 1933 as one of the earliest commercial radio stations broadcasting to the UK and Ireland. It was an important forerunner of pirate radio and modern commercial radio in the United Kingdom. It was an effective way to advertise products by circumventing British legislation which until 1973 gave the BBC a monopoly of radio broadcasting on UK territory and prohibited all forms of advertising over the domestic radio spectrum. In the late 1930s, and again in the 1950s and 1960s, it captured very large audiences in Britain and Ireland with its programmes of popular entertainment.

In the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg during 1924, François Anen built a 100-watt transmitter to broadcast military music concerts and plays to listeners in Luxembourg. Because the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg is centrally located in western Europe, it was an ideal location for transmitters aimed at reaching audiences in many nations, including the United Kingdom. On May 11, 1929, he brought together a group of mainly French entrepreneurs and formed the Luxembourg Society for Radio Studies (La Société Luxembourgeoise d’Etudes Radiophoniques) as a pressure group to force the Luxembourg government to issue them a commercial broadcasting licence.

On December 29, 1929, the government of Luxembourg’s monopoly licence to operate a commercial radio broadcasting franchise was awarded to the Society, which in turn created the Luxembourg Broadcasting Company (Compagnie Luxembourgeoise de Radiodiffusion) to be identified on the air as Radio Luxembourg.

In May 1932, Radio Luxembourg began high powered test transmissions aimed directly at Britain and Ireland (which proved, inadvertently, to be the first radio modification of the ionosphere). The reaction of the British government was hostile, as the long-wave band used for these tests radiated a signal far superior to anything previously received from outside the country. The British government accused Radio Luxembourg of “pirating” the various wavelengths it was testing. The station had planned to commence regular broadcasts on June 4, 1933, but the complaints caused Radio Luxembourg to keep shifting its wavelength. On January 1, 1934, a new international agreement, the “Lucerne Convention (European Wavelength Plan)” (which the Luxembourg government refused to sign), came into effect, and shortly afterwards Radio Luxembourg started a regular schedule of English-language radio transmissions from 8.15am until midnight on Sundays, and at various times during the rest of the week.

In the years from 1933 to 1939, the English language service of Radio Luxembourg gained a large audience in Britain, Ireland and many other European countries with sponsored programming aired from noon until midnight on Sundays and at various times during the rest of the week. 11% of Britons listened to it during the week, preferring Luxembourg’s light music and variety programmes to the BBC.

The BBC and successive British governments continued to oppose the competition, citing Radio Luxembourg’s use of an unauthorised frequency. As the station could not use General Post Office telephone lines to broadcast from London, many English-language programmes were recorded there on one-sided 16-inch discs running at 33 revolutions per minute and flown to Luxembourg. Despite the opposition, by 1938, many British companies advertised on Radio Luxembourg and fellow European broadcaster Radio Normandy. The stations thus exposed millions of Britons and British companies to commercial broadcasting, which contributed to the creation of the commercial ITV during the 1950s.

Programme Highlights on Radio Luxembourg


  • Littlewoods Broadcast, sponsored by the football pools coupon company in Liverpool
  • Vernon’s All-Star Variety Concert, sponsored by the football pools coupon company
  • League of Ovaltineys, sponsored by the makers of Ovaltine


  • Ovaltiney’s Concert Party, sponsored by the makers of Ovaltine
  • Leslie Welch – The Memory Man
  • Top Twenty, introduced by Pete Murray
  • The Adventures of Dan Dare (from July 2, 1951 at 7.15pm), featuring Noel Johnson who played Dick Barton on BBC radio
  • Perry Mason
  • The Story of Doctor Kildare
  • Chance of a Lifetime, a quiz presented by Dick Emery
  • At Two-O-Eight, compared by Pete Murray
  • Much-Binding-in-the-Marsh


  • Butlin’s Beaver Club, with “Uncle” Eric Winstone
  • Take Your Pick, with Michael Miles
  • Double Your Money, with Hughie Green
  • Lucky Couple, with David Jacobs
  • Jamboree, with Alan Freed


Radio Luxembourg had enjoyed its own commercial radio monopoly of English-language programming heard in the UK but, in March 1964, Radio Caroline began daytime commercial radio transmissions. Following the success of this first offshore station, others soon followed. As a result of this competition, Radio Luxembourg gradually abandoned pre-recorded sponsored programmes for a more flexible continuity. Its new format featured mainly spot advertising within record programmes presented live by resident disc jockeys in Luxembourg, some of them recruited from the offshore stations.

  • Pete Brady, Radio London
  • Paul Burnett, Radio 270
  • Dave Cash, Radio London
  • Simon Dee, Radio Caroline and BBC TV
  • Noel Edmonds, BBC
  • Kenny Everett, Radio London
  • Tommy Vance, Radio London and Radio Caroline South
  • Johnnie Walker, Swinging Radio England and Radio Caroline South


  • Neil Fox
  • Peter Powell
  • Mike Read
  • Emperor Rosko, Radio Caroline South
  • Paul Burnett, Radio 270
  • David “Kid” Jensen, BBC Radio 1
  • Stuart Henry, Radio Scotland
  • Keith Fordyce


  • Chris Moyles (Chris Holmes)
  • Mark Page

Radio Luxembourg finally ceased transmitting at midnight on December 30, 1992.

1992 onwards

In 1989, Radio Luxembourg’s parent company RTL Group teamed up with Raidió Teilifís Éireann to create Atlantic 252, an English-language pop music station on longwave, based in Ireland and with advertising content aimed at a UK audience. Atlantic 252 switched to 24-hour broadcasts around the time that Radio Luxembourg shut down its medium wave broadcasts. Atlantic 252 closed down in 2002.


*The 20th Century in Sound & Vision is not responsible for the content of these websites

October 31, 1988: Viking Radio splits in two – Viking FM and Viking Gold

Viking FM is a British Independent Local Radio station which has broadcast music and local information to the East Riding of Yorkshire, North Lincolnshire and North East Lincolnshire since 1984. It is based in Kingston upon Hull.

Viking Radio

On April 17, 1984, Viking Radio was launched.

Viking FM/Viking Gold

On October 31, 1988, Viking Radio split frequencies on a permanent basis and was transformed into Viking FM on 96.9 FM and Viking Gold on 1161 (said “Double-One Six-One”) medium wave. The AM station later became Classic Gold, Classic Gold Radio, Great Yorkshire Gold, Great Yorkshire Radio, Magic 1161 (pronounced “Eleven-Sixty-One”) and from 2015, Viking 2.

Find out more

*The 20th Century in Sound and Vision is not responsible for the content of external websites.

September 30, 1957: Network Three begins broadcasting on the BBC Third Programme

The BBC Third Programme (1946-1970) originally broadcast for six hours each evening, but its output was cut to just 24 hours a week from September 30, 1957 at 6.15pm, with the early part of weekday evenings being given over to educational programming (known as “Network Three”).

Network Three continued to appear in the Radio Times until September 29, 1967. The following day, the BBC launched Radios 1, 2, 3, and 4 when The Third Programme/Network Three became BBC Radio 3. However, it was not until April 4, 1970 when all the elements of the BBC’s “third network” were finally absorbed into Radio 3 with rebranding.

Programme Highlights on Network Three

  • October 5, 1957 at 7.00pm – Record Review is revived and continues until September 1967 when it moves to the new Radio 3.
  • September 20, 1960 at 7.15pm – Farming Today
  • June 24, 1961 at 11.25am – Test Match Special switches from the Light Programme. However, it finishes there in July 1961. On Network Three it continues to August 1967.
  • October 8, 1961 at 2.40pm – In Touch


*The 20th Century in Sound & Vision is not responsible for the content of these websites

September 30, 1967: BBC Radio 3 goes on air

BBC Radio 3 is a British radio station operated by the BBC. Its output centres on classical music and opera, but jazz, world music, drama, culture and the arts also feature. The station describes itself as ‘the world’s most significant commissioner of new music’, and through its New Generation Artists scheme promotes young musicians of all nationalities. The station broadcasts the BBC Proms concerts, live and in full, each summer in addition to performances by the BBC Orchestras and Singers. There are regular productions of both classic plays and newly commissioned drama.

Radio 3 is the successor station to the BBC Third Programme and launched on September 30, 1967 at 8.00am after the BBC launched its rebranded national radio channels Radio 1, Radio 2 (formerly the Light Programme), and Radio 4 (formerly the Home Service).

Programme Highlights on BBC Radio 3

  • September 30, 1967 at 8.04am – Record Review switched from Network Three and continued until 1998 when it became CD Review.
  • June 12, 1969 at 11.15am – Test Match Special. Cricket was heard on Radio 3 from October 1967 but Test Match Special did not re-appear until 1969.
  • January 2, 1980 at 5.00pm – Mainly for Pleasure
  • April 15, 1995 at 12.00pm – Private Passions


*The 20th Century in Sound & Vision is not responsible for the content of these websites

September 30, 1967: BBC Radio 1 goes on air

BBC Radio 1 is a British radio station operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation which also broadcasts internationally, specialising in modern popular music and current chart hits throughout the day. Radio 1 provides alternative genres after 7 pm, including electronica, dance, hip hop, rock and indie. The choice of music and presenting style is entirely that of programme hosts, however those who present in the daytime have to rotate a number of songs a specific number of times (8, 13 or 15) per week. It was launched in 1967 to meet the demand for music generated by pirate radio stations, when the average age of the UK population was 27. The BBC claim that they target the 15–29 age group, and the average age of its UK audience since 2009 is 30. BBC Radio 1 started 24-hour broadcasting on May 1, 1991.

Radio 1 was established in 1967 (along with the more middle of the road BBC Radio 2) as a successor to the BBC Light Programme, which had broadcast popular music and other entertainment since 1945. Radio 1 was conceived as a direct response to the popularity of offshore pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline and Radio London, which had been outlawed by Act of Parliament. Radio 1 began broadcasting at 5.30am on September 30, 1967 with a News Summary. Following a simultaneous broadcast of Radio 2’s Breakfast Special, the station was launched at 6.55 am.


And, good morning everyone. Welcome to the exciting new sound of Radio 1.

BBC Radio 1 opening message

The first music to be heard on the station was “Theme One”, specially composed for the launch by George Martin. It was followed by an extract from “Beefeaters” by Johnny Dankworth. The first complete record played on Radio 1 was “Flowers in the Rain” by The Move, the number 2 record in that week’s Top 20 (the number 1 record by Englebert Humperdink would have been inappropriate for the station’s sound). The second single was “Massachusetts” by The Bee Gees.

Tony Blackburn (who had broadcast on both Caroline and London) was the first DJ to be heard on Radio 1, at 7.00am, with his Daily Disc Delivery show. The slot eventually became the “Radio 1 Breakfast Show”. The breakfast show remains the most prized slot in the Radio 1 schedule, with every change of breakfast show presenter exciting considerable media interest.

Programme Highlights on BBC Radio 1


  • September 30, 1967 at 7.00am – Tony Blackburn’s Daily Disc Delivery show
  • September 30, 1967 at 8.32am – Junior Choice
  • September 30, 1967 at 12.00pm – Emperor Rosko with the first Midday Spin
  • September 30, 1967 at 2.00pm: Chris Denning with Where It’s At, featuring Kenny Everett
  • September 30, 1967 at 3.00pm – Pete Murray with “Newly Pressed”
  • September 30, 1967 at 10.00pm – Pete Murray returns with “Pete’s People”
  • October 1, 1967 at 10.00am – Ed Stewart with “Happening Sunday”
  • October 1, 1967 at 12.00pm – Family Favourites
  • October 1, 1967 at 2.00pm – Top Gear
  • October 1, 1967 at 5.00pm – Alan Freeman with “Pick of the Pops”
  • October 1, 1967 at 10.00pm – The David Jacobs Show
  • October 2, 1967 at 10.00am – The Jimmy Young show
  • October 2, 1967 at 10.00pm – Late Night Extra
  • November 2, 1967 at 1.00pm – Pop North with Dave Lee Travis
  • November 20, 1967 at 8.32am – David Hamilton
  • December 17, 1967 at 10.00am – Kenny Everett
  • June 2, 1968 at 2.00pm – Savile’s Travels
  • November 23, 1968 at 4.00pm – Dave Lee Travis
  • April 26, 1969 at 2.00pm – Johnnie Walker
  • June 2, 1969 at 5.15pm – TV on Radio 1, presented by Tommy Vance
  • June 30, 1969 at 10.00am – The Terry Wogan Show
  • October 5, 1969 at 8.45pm – Annie Nightingale (then billed as Anne Nightingale)
  • November 2, 1969 at 8.45pm – Noel Edmonds


  • April 6, 1970 at 6.00pm – Sounds of the 70s
  • October 30, 1971 at 2.00pm – Peter Powell
  • January 9, 1972 at 5.00pm – Radio 1’s first documentary: The Elvis Presley Story
  • April 8, 1973 at 10.02pm – Sounds of Jazz
  • June 4, 1973 at 7.00am – Noel Edmonds takes over from Tony Blackburn in the Breakfast Show slot
  • July 23, 1973 at 5.00pm – Radio 1 Road Show
  • September 10, 1973 at 12.30pm – Newsbeat
  • January 21, 1974 at 10.00pm – Bob Harris
  • March 24, 1974 at 10.00am – Paul Burnett
  • April 18, 1974 at 10.00pm – Paul Gambaccini
  • May 18, 1975 at 10.00am – Radio 1’s first Fun Day
  • November 17, 1975 at 2.02pm – Simon Bates
  • May 2, 1976 at 8.00am – Playground
  • September 25, 1976 at 10.00am – David “Kid” Jensen
  • April 22, 1978 at 10.00am – Adrian Juste
  • May 2, 1978 at 7.02am – Dave Lee Travis succeeds Noel Edmonds as presenter of the Breakfast Show
  • November 11, 1978 at 7.30pm – Mike Read
  • November 13, 1978 at 8.00pm – Andy Peebles
  • November 17, 1978 at 10.00pm – The Friday Rock Show
  • December 24, 1978 at 5.00pm – The Top 40


  • January 5, 1980 at 7.30pm – Steve Wright
  • January 5, 1981 at 7.00am – Mike Read succeeds Dave Lee Travis as presenter of the Breakfast Show
  • March 6, 1982 at 7.00am – Wake Up to the Weekend with Adrian John
  • March 6, 1982 at 8.00am – Tony Blackburn’s Saturday Show, featuring Keith Chegwin, Maggie Philbin and Toni Arthur
  • March 7, 1982 at 8.00am – Tony Blackburn’s Sunday Show, featuring Keith Chegwin, Maggie Philbin and Toni Arthur
  • September 6, 1982 at 2.00pm – Pat Sharp
  • October 4, 1982 at 4.30pm – Mike Smith
  • December 4, 1982 at 7.30pm – Janice Long
  • December 4, 1982 at 10.00pm – Gary Davies
  • September 26, 1983 at 6.00am – Adrian John with the Early Show
  • October 1, 1983 at 6.00am – Mark Page
  • January 15, 1984 at 2.00pm – Bruno Brookes
  • March 31, 1985 at 11.00pm – The Ranking Miss P
  • July 6, 1985 at 6.30pm – Andy Kershaw
  • March 10, 1986 at 12.45pm – Simon Mayo
  • May 5, 1986 at 7.00am – Mike Smith takes over on the Breakfast Show
  • January 17, 1987 at 2.00pm – The Stereo Sequence
  • June 22, 1987 at 7.30pm – Jonathan Ross
  • October 3, 1987 at 10.00pm – Nicky Campbell
  • October 4, 1987 at 3.30pm – Backchat
  • December 26, 1987 at 10.00pm – Mark Goodier
  • May 23, 1988 at 7.00am – Simon Mayo succeeds Mike Smith as presenter of the Breakfast Show
  • September 1, 1988 at 7.00pm – Top of the Pops, simulcast with BBC 1.
  • October 7, 1988 at 7.00pm – Jeff Young’s Big Beat
  • April 1, 1989 at 5.00pm – Tim Smith
  • July 1, 1989 at 5.00am – Jakki Brambles
  • December 4, 1989 at 3.00pm – Steve Wright in the Afternoon


  • January 8, 1990 at 5.30pm – News 90
  • March 12, 1990 at 5.00pm – Gary King
  • April 15, 1990 at 7.00am – The Bruno (Brookes) and Liz (Kershaw) Breakfast Show
  • October 1, 1990 at 7.30pm – Mark Goodier’s Evening Session
  • January 6, 1991 at 4.30pm – The Complete UK Top 40
  • January 11, 1991 at 7.30pm – The Essential Collection, presented by Pete Tong
  • April 8, 1991 at 9.00pm – Out on Blue Six, with Mark Radcliffe
  • December 29, 1991 at 2.00pm – Lynn Parsons
  • March 15, 1992 at 2.30pm – Too Much Gravy, with Chris Evans
  • April 20, 1992 at 6.00pm – The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, simulcast with BBC 2.
  • February 22, 1993 at 7.00pm – Steve Lamacq’s Evening Session
  • March 15, 1993 at 7.00pm – Evening Session is presented by Jo Whiley
  • April 12, 1993 at 10.00pm – Emma Freud
  • April 18, 1993 at 7.00pm – The Official 1 FM Album Chart
  • April 19, 1993 at 1.00pm – Claire Sturgess
  • August 16, 1993 at 8.30pm – Loud and Proud
  • October 25, 1993 at 10.00pm – Mark Radcliffe
  • October 30, 1993 at 10.00am – Danny Baker
  • November 13, 1993 at 11.00pm – The Essential Mix Show
  • January 1, 1994 at 7.00am – Kevin Greening
  • January 10, 1994 at 7.00am – Steve Wright in the Morning
  • April 24, 1995 at 6.30am – Chris Evans takes over from Steve Wright in the breakfast slot
  • June 15, 1994 at 10.00pm – Marc Riley (Lard) joins Mark Radcliffe on his show
  • November 19, 1994 at 7.00am – Clive Warren
  • November 19, 1994 at 7.00pm – Danny Rampling
  • December 10, 1994 at 9.00pm – The 1 FM Rap Show with Tim Westwood
  • April 8, 1995 at 4.00pm – Dave Pearce
  • June 15, 1995 at 10.00pm – Mark (Radcliffe) and Lard (Marc Riley)
  • February 4, 1996 at 2.00pm – Trevor Nelson’s Rhythm Nation
  • February 17, 1997 at 7.00am – Mark and Lard become the Breakfast Show’s new presenters
  • July 26, 1997 at 6.00am – Radio 1’s Dance Anthems Weekend
  • July 27, 1997 at 7.00pm – Radio 1’s Dance Anthems, with Dave Pearce
  • July 28, 1997 at 4.00am – Chris Moyles
  • October 13, 1997 at 6.30am – Zoe Ball joins Kevin Greening for the Radio 1 Breakfast Show
  • April 25, 1998 at 4.00am – Emma B
  • September 28, 1998 at 6.30am – Zoe Ball
  • October 12, 1998 at 4.00am – Scott Mills


*The 20th Century in Sound & Vision is not responsible for the content of these websites