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

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

Sources

*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

Sources

*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.

Launch

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

1960s

  • 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

1970s

  • 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

1980s

  • 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

1990s

  • 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

Sources

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

September 30, 1967: BBC Radio 4 goes on air

BBC Radio 4 is a radio station owned and operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) that broadcasts a wide variety of spoken-word programmes including news, drama, comedy, science and history. It replaced the BBC Home Service at 6.35am on September 30, 1967.

It is notable for its news bulletins and programmes such as Today and The World at One, heralded on air by the Greenwich Time Signal “pips” or the chimes of Big Ben. Radio 4 broadcasts the Shipping Forecast.

Programme Highlights on BBC Radio 4

  • September 30, 1967 at 6.35am – Farming Today
  • September 30, 1967 at 8.15am – From Our Own Correspondent
  • October 1, 1967 at 12.05pm – Any Questions?
  • October 1, 1967 at 1.00pm – The World This Weekend
  • October 2, 1967 at 1.00pm – The World at One
  • October 6, 1967 at 3.30pm – Any Answers?
  • October 24, 1967 at 8.45am – Yesterday in Parliament
  • April 6, 1970 at 9.05am – Start the Week
  • April 6, 1970 at 5.00pm – PM
  • April 6, 1970 at 10.00pm – The World Tonight
  • April 10, 1970 at 9.15pm – Analysis
  • June 10, 1970 at 12.00pm – You and Yours
  • April 11, 1972 at 12.25pm – I’m Sorry, I Haven’t a Clue
  • October 5, 1972 at 8.00pm – The Last Goon Show of All
  • May 11, 1974 at 11.30am – Science Now
  • September 28, 1974 at 6.15pm – Stop the Week
  • January 1, 1975 at 1.00pm – The World at One
  • January 3, 1975 – Letter from America
  • June 9, 1975 at 2.25pm – Experimental broadcasts from The House of Commons
  • January 4, 1975 at 7.02pm – Quote…Unquote
  • January 5, 1975 at 1.00pm – The World This weekend
  • September 3, 1976 at 4.05pm – A Good Read
  • April 30, 1977 at 8.10am – Sport on 4
  • July 8, 1977 at 6.30pm – Going Places
  • September 6, 1977 at 6.30pm – The News Quiz
  • October 1, 1977 at 5.05pm – Does He Take Sugar?
  • October 2, 1977 at 11.30pm – Money Box
  • October 26, 1977 at 7.20pm – File on 4/File on Four
  • March 8, 1978 at 10.30pm – The Hitch-hiker’s Guide to the Galaxy
  • April 3, 1978 at 2.25pm – Following the experimental broadcasts in 1975, BBC Radio 4 began full broadcasts of Parliament.
  • November 23, 1978 at 12.15am – Shipping Forecast
  • April 1, 1979 at 10.15am – Feedback
  • September 29, 1979 at 9.05am – Breakaway
  • September 30, 1979 at 12.30pm – The Food Programme
  • April 1, 1980 at 10.05am – Medicine Now
  • March 8, 1981 at 12.00pm – The Lord of the Rings
  • February 1, 1983 at 8.35pm – In Business
  • January 4, 1986 at 10.30am – Loose Ends
  • June 25, 1986 at 7.20pm – Face the Facts
  • February 21, 1994 at 3.00pm – Anderson Country

Sources

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

September 30, 1967: BBC Radio 2 goes on air

BBC Radio 2 is one of the BBC’s national radio stations and the most popular station in the United Kingdom with over 15 million weekly listeners. Much of its daytime playlist-based programming is adult contemporary or AOR, although the station also broadcasts other specialist musical genres.

The station was launched on September 30, 1967 at 5.30am, and evolved from the Light Programme, with some of the Light Programme’s music shows transferring to the newly launched BBC Radio 1. At 5.30am (on the Light Programme) there was a News Summary but continued at Radio 2 with Breakfast Special from Paul Hollingdale broadcast simultaneously on Radio 1. Radio 1 did not officially begin until 7.00pm with Tony Blackburn and his Daily Disc Delivery.

Launch

This is BBC Radio 2, the Light Programme on 1500 metres Long Wave and VHF and Radio 1 on 247 metres. Good morning, this is Paul Hollingdale on this opening day of Radio 1 and Radio 2 welcoming you to Breakfast Special.

Paul Hollingdale’s opening message on Radio 2

Hollingdale then played a jingle called “Wake Up Easy”, followed by “The Sound of Music” by Julie Andrews.

Radio 2 Firsts

  • November 23, 1978 – All night broadcasting
  • August 27, 1990 – Radio 2 becomes the first national radio station in the UK to broadcast only on FM

Programme Highlights on BBC Radio 2

1960s

  • October 1, 1967 at 10.00am – Melodies for You
  • October 1, 1967 at 9.00pm – Sunday Half Hour
  • October 2, 1967 at 1.31pm – Listen to the Band, with John Dunn
  • October 2, 1967 at 2.00pm – Woman’s Hour
  • October 2, 1967 at 4.32pm – Roundabout, with Brian Matthew
  • October 2, 1967 at 6.40pm – Alan Dell
  • October 5, 1967 at 8.45pm – Any Answers?
  • October 6, 1967 at 8.15pm – Any Questions?
  • October 9, 1967 at 5.33am – Breakfast Special, with John Dunn
  • November 19, 1967 at 2.00pm – The Ken Dodd Show
  • November 20, 1967 at 5.33am – Breakfast Special, with Ray Moore
  • January 1, 1968 at 6.40pm – Brian Matthew
  • March 24, 1968 at 12.00pm – Family Favourites
  • March 24, 1968 at 5.00pm – Pick of the Pops, with Alan Freeman
  • December 30, 1968 at 10.00am – The Alan Freeman Show
  • July 8, 1968 at 10.00am – The David Hamilton Show
  • September 30, 1968 at 12.00pm – Sam Costa
  • December 30, 1968 at 6.40pm – Desmond Carrington
  • April 28, 1969 at 4.15pm – Waggoner’s Walk
  • May 26, 1969 at 9.00am – Charlie Chester
  • June 11, 1969 at 7.45pm – The Organist Entertains. A single edition of the programme had been heard on April 5, 1969 on BBC Radio 4.
  • June 16, 1969 at 9.00am – David Jacobs, with Family Choice
  • June 30, 1969 at 10.00am – The Terry Wogan Show
  • July 22, 1969 at 9.00am – Pete Murray
  • November 11, 1969 at 10.00pm – Sport on 2

1970s

  • April 5, 1970 at 9.01pm – Your Hundred Best Tunes
  • March 4, 1972 at 8.30pm – The Interval, with Simon Bates. Later called “Sounds Easy”.
  • April 3, 1972 at 7.03am – Terry Wogan
  • June 1, 1972 at 7.03pm – After Seven, with Simon Bates
  • July 2, 1972 at 10.02pm – Sweet ‘n’ Swing, with Simon Bates.
  • July 29, 1972 at 5.02am – The Early Show, with Simon Bates
  • August 5, 1973 at 3.30pm – The Dance Band Days
  • February 4, 1974 at 1.30pm – Simon Bates
  • January 5, 1975 at 11.02pm – Sounds of Jazz
  • October 1, 1975 at 7.02pm – The News Huddlines
  • July 12, 1976 at 7.02am – The Breakfast Show, presented by Terry Wogan
  • June 24, 1977 at 11.02pm – Sarah Kennedy
  • April 3, 1978 at 11.02pm – Round Midnight, with Brian Matthew
  • February 12, 1979 at 5.02am – Steve Jones

1980s

  • January 21, 1980 at 2.03pm – Ed Stewart’s Request Show
  • July 13, 1981 at 10.00am – Gloria Hunniford
  • October 4, 1981 at 11.00am – All Time Greats, with Desmond Carrington. David Hamilton presented an edition of the show in May 1980.
  • September 6, 1982 at 5.00am – Ken Bruce
  • October 4, 1982 at 3.30pm – Music While You Work
  • February 12, 1983 at 10.00am – Sounds of the 60s
  • March 28, 1983 at 12.30pm – Judith Chalmers
  • April 21, 1984 at 4.00am – Martin Kelner
  • April 7, 1985 at 7.30am – Good Morning Sunday, with Roger Royle
  • October 27, 1985 at 7.30am – Good Morning Sunday, with Chris Stuart
  • November 25, 1985 at 10.30am – Derek Jameson
  • April 13, 1986 at 9.05am – Richard Baker takes over on Melodies for You
  • July 18, 1987 at 6.00am – Graham Knight
  • September 21, 1987 at 5.30am – Chris Stuart
  • March 14, 1988 at 5.05pm – Debbie Thrower
  • August 27, 1988 at 6.00am – Barbara Sturgeon
  • October 3, 1988 at 1.00am – Alex Lester, with Nightride

1990s

  • March 31, 1990 at 8.05am – Sounds of the 50s, with Ronnie Hilton
  • July 3, 1990 at 12.05am – Jazz Parade
  • April 22, 1991 at 11.00am – Brian Hayes
  • May 11, 12992 at 7.30pm – Dance Band Days, with Malcolm Laycock
  • January 4, 1993 at 7.00am – Wake Up to Wogan
  • July 1, 1995 at 6.00am – Mo Dutta, with the Saturday Show
  • July 2, 1995 at 4.00am – Mo Dutta, with the Sunday Show
  • July 10, 1995 at 6.00am – The Dawn Patrol (previously, The Early Show), with Sarah Kennedy
  • March 24, 1996 at 7.00pm – Melodies for You, presented by Hugh Scully
  • March 30, 1996 at 10.00am – Steve Wright’s Saturday Show
  • March 31, 1996 at 9.05am – Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs
  • October 6, 1996 at 10.00pm – The David Jacobs Collection
  • December 6, 1996 at 7.00pm – Wowfabgroovy, with Johnnie Walker
  • December 21, 1996 at 10.00pm – Bob Harris
  • April 7, 1997 at 10.30pm – Richard Allinson
  • April 22, 1998 at 10.00pm – Sounds of the 70s, with Johnnie Walker
  • April 25, 1998 at 3.30pm – Johnnie Walker
  • July 20, 1998 at 9.30pm – Shake, Rattle and Roll, with Mark Lamarr
  • October 14, 1998 at 9.00pm – All Singing, All Dancing, All Night, with Stuart Maconie
  • April 8, 1999 at 7.00pm – Bob Harris Country
  • July 19, 1999 at 2.00pm – Steve Wright in the Afternoon
  • September 8, 1999 at 12.00am – Janice Long

Sources

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

September 29, 1946: The BBC Third Programme goes on air

The BBC Third Programme was a national radio service produced and broadcast by the BBC between 1946 and 1970. It first went on the air on September 29, 1946 at 6.00pm and quickly became one of the leading cultural and intellectual forces in Britain, playing a crucial role in disseminating the arts. It was the BBC’s third national radio network, the other two being the Home Service (mainly speech-based) and the Light Programme, principally devoted to light entertainment and music.

The Third Programme 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”). This situation continued until the launch, on March 22, 1965, of the BBC Music Programme, which began regular daily broadcasts of classical music (with some interruptions for live sports coverage) on the Network Three/Third Programme frequencies.

The Third Programme appeared in the Radio Times until December 11, 1964 but continued as a distinct evening service, and this continued to be the case for a short while after the inception of Radio 3 in 1967, before all the elements of the BBC’s “third network” were finally absorbed into Radio 3 with rebranding effect from Saturday April 4, 1970.

Programme Highlights on the BBC Third Programme

  • October 4, 1946 at 7.45pm – From Our Own Correspondent
  • January 6, 1949 at 10.10pm – Record Review.
    A similar programme had been broadcast on the Light Programme 1945-1946. The programme finished in December 1952.
  • January 25, 1954 at 7.25pm – Under Milk Wood

Sources

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

September 1, 1939: The BBC Home Service goes on air

Between the 1920s and the outbreak of the Second World War, the BBC developed two nationwide radio services, the BBC National Programme and the BBC Regional Programme. On September 1, 1939, the BBC merged the two programmes into one national service from London. The reasons given included the need to prevent enemy aircraft from using differentiated output from the Regional Programme’s transmitters as navigational beacons. Regional broadcasting in its pre-war form was no longer feasible, but much of the programming was gradually decentralised to the former regional studios because of the risks from enemy attack/bombing/invasion in London, and broadcast nationally.

The new service was named the Home Service and, according to BBC Genome, programming appears to have begun on September 4, 1939 at 7.00am.

On July 29, 1945 at 8.00am, the BBC resumed its previous regional structure, though true regional radio stations would not return till the 1970s. Following the wartime success of the Forces and General Forces Programmes, light entertainment was transferred to the new BBC Light Programme, whilst “heavier” programming – news, drama, discussion, etc – remained on the regionalised Home Service.

On September 30 1967, the BBC split the Light Programme into a pop music service and an entertainment network. The Light Programme became BBC Radio 1 and BBC Radio 2. The BBC Third Programme became BBC Radio 3, with the Music Programme losing its separate identity (the Third Programme, Study Session, and Sports Service retained their identities under the banner of BBC Network Three until April 4, 1970). The Home Service was renamed BBC Radio 4.

Programme Highlights on the BBC Home Service

Programmes were reorganised across the three BBC networks on September 30, 1957, with much of the Service’s lighter content transferring to the Light Programme and the establishment of the BBC Third Network, which used the frequencies of the Third Programme to carry the Service’s adult education content (BBC Study Session) and the Home and Light’s sports coverage (BBC Sports Service) as well as the Third Programme itself.

During the day, the Service included programmes of classical music but in 1964 and the BBC Music Programme began broadcasting during the daytime on the frequencies of the (evening-only) Third Programme. The Service broadcast educational programmes for schools during the day, backed with booklets and support material.

  • September 28, 1939 at 6.30pm – Farming Today
  • June 23, 1940 at 10.30amMusic While you Work first transmitted.
  • May 31, 1941 at 12.30pmWorker’s Playtime. Also streamed on BBC Forces Programme.
  • May 6, 1942 at 8.15am – First appearance of “The Radio Doctor” on The Kitchen Front.
  • November 14, 1943 at 9.30pm – The BBC celebrated its 21st birthday with “21 Years of the BBC”, telling of the beginning and growth of British broadcasting, and recalling memories of its first twenty-one years.
  • October 9, 1945 at 10.45pm – Today in Parliament.
  • February 28, 1947 at 8.30pm – Twenty Questions.
  • November 28, 1947 at 6.30pm – How Does Your Garden Grow? (later Gardeners’ Question Time). A similar programme with the same title debuted on the BBC Forces Programme in 1940.
  • September 30, 1949 at 9.15pm – Letter from America (previously American Letter) presented by Alistair Cooke.
  • October 12, 1948 at 7.45pm – Any Questions?
  • December 26, 1948 at 9.15pm – First Reith Lecture: “Authority and the Individual” by Bertrand Russell.
  • May 29, 1950 at 4.00pm – Pilot episodes of The Archers, which would begin properly in January 1951 on the BBC Light Programme.
  • May 28, 1951 at 6.45pm – Crazy People. The following year, the programme would be renamed The Goon Show.
  • January 22, 1952 9.30pm – The Goon Show
  • March 8, 1954 at 7.00pm – The Jimmy Young Show. Jimmy Young would resume his show on BBC Radio 1 in a morning slot in October 1967.
  • October 28, 1957 at 7.15am – Today
  • October 30, 1957 at 8.45am – Yesterday in Parliament
  • April 3, 1959 at 1.10pm – Pick of the Week
  • September 19, 1960 at 10.00pm – Ten O’Clock
  • June 3, 1961 at 2.10pm – Afternoon Theatre
  • April 3, 1964 at 9.30pm – Pilot episodes of I’m Sorry, I’ll Read That Again, which would begin properly in October 1965 on the BBC Light Programme.
  • January 6, 1965 at 1.10pm – Petticoat Line
  • October 4, 1965 at 1.00pm – The World at One
  • October 6, 1966 at 12.00pm – Call My Bluff
  • January 3, 1967 at 9.00pm – My Music!
  • September 17, 1967 at 1.00pm – The World This Weekend

Sources

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

August 27, 1990: BBC Radio 5 goes on air

BBC Radio 5, a BBC radio network, carried sport, children’s and educational programmes from 1990 to 1994.

The success of BBC Radio 4‘s coverage of the Gulf War of 1990-1991, on a service known as Scud FM, demonstrated the popularity of a 24-hour radio news service. A rolling-news and sport station, named BBC Radio 5 Live, replaced Radio 5 in March 1994.

Launch

Hello, good morning and welcome to Radio 5.

Five year old Andrew Kelly officially launched the station at 9.00am

Prior to this, the new station’s frequencies broadcast a long sequence of programming trails linked by Jon Briggs (one of the station’s launch presenting team) and pre-recorded sketches from comedians Trevor Neal and Simon Hickson (consisting of the two larking about in the studio amid the strains of “Sailing By”, and Trevor suddenly being cut off while he was reading his so-called “Ode to Radio 5”). The official first programme was Take Five, a pre-recorded programme by Bruno Brookes.

Closure

The “old” Radio 5 signed off at midnight on Sunday March 27, 1994 with a pre-recorded Nigel and Earl sketch at the end of one of the network’s Irish music magazine programme Across the Line. Ten minutes later, the frequencies closed down for the night following a generic BBC Radio News and Sport bulletin and the new Radio Five Live began its 24-hour service at 5.00am on Monday March 28, 1994.

Notable Presenters on BBC Radio 5

  • Danny Baker (1990-1993)
  • Tommy Boyd (1990-1994)
  • Jon Briggs (1990-1992)
  • Rob Brydon (1991-1994)
  • Garth Crooks (1990-1994)
  • Mark Curry (1990-1994)
  • Dominik Diamond (1993-1994, including Fantasy Football League, before it moved to TV)
  • Simon Fanshawe (1990-1994)
  • Nick Hancock (1992-1994, Room 101, before it moved to TV)
  • John Inverdale (1990-1994)
  • Caron Keating (1990-1993)
  • Mark Kermode (1991-1993)
  • Liz Kershaw (1991-1994)
  • Ross King (1990-1993)
  • Mark Lamarr (1991-1994)
  • Des Lynam (1991-1993, including They Think It’s All Over, before it moved to TV)
  • David Mellor (1992-1994)
  • Guy Michelmore (1990-1993)
  • Mark Radcliffe (1990-1993)
  • Marc Riley (1992-1994)
  • Angela Rippon (1990-1994)
  • Mark Steel (1992-1994)
  • Johnny Vaughan (1993-1994)
  • Johnnie Walker (1990-1994)

Sources

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