Leicester Sound - launch

Feb 04, 2012, 05:34 PM

1983 was an interesting time in commercial radio. Leicester's orange Centre Radio was the first commercial station to fall completely owing to financial difficulties. Nearby Trent offered a rescue package but it was turned down; and the transmitters fell silent. Not before a package of pre-emptive Leicester Sound jingles had been recorded. The franchise was then re-advertised by the then regulator, the IBA. Meanwhile, in advance of that decision, Trent invested in the luxurious Centre radio premises either to broadcast from, or sell on to any alternative franchisee. I recall getting the keys and exploring: the last weather forecast lay on the mixing panel alongside a half-drunk cup of tea. A veritable Marie Celeste.

The IBA did award the franchise to Leicester Sound, and the new station began in September 1984 from its stately home, with the best fireplaces in Leicester and subterranean generators to die for. Hear here the test transmission, voiced by Programme Controller, Chris Hughes; part of the impressive launch package from Guy Morris; the first news bulletin with Heather Purdey; and the first official words from breakfast presenter Nick Murden. And the first use of the jingles recorded almost a year before. #radio