Friday, 19 August 2011

Down You Local - Piccadilly Radio

This is the fifth post in a series looking at the original nineteen ILR stations. This week Piccadilly Radio.

Airdate: 2 April 1974
Still on air?: No. Piccadilly split in 1988 into Key 103 on FM and Piccadilly Gold on AM but this eventually became Magic 1152 that is on air today.

This YouTube audio features clips from the launch day with Roger Day and Andy Peebles. News readers are Jeff Cooper (later on Radio 2, Trent, Clyde and many others) and Bob Kilbey (later on Radio 2 and BBC London).

Here’s the Radio Guide programme listings published in December 1977:

The featured DJs are two ex-pirate radios jocks Ray Teret and Roger Day. Roger “Twiggy” Day had launched Piccadilly Radio in 1974. His radio experience was by then extensive, taking in Radio England (working with his old mate Johnnie Walker), Caroline, Nordsee, Luxembourg and the United Biscuits Network (UBN). Later Roger did the rounds of various commercial radio stations and these days is heard each weekday evening on BBC Radio Kent.

Ray Teret (aka “Ugli” Ray Teret his mother’s nickname for him) was also at Radio Caroline. Later at Signal Radio you can now hear Ray on The Voice of Peace.
Back in 1977 Phil Wood was the breakfast host. Phil is now on 96.2 FM Revolution Radio in Oldham owned by another ex-Piccadilly jock Steve Penk.

A Piccadilly DJ who was to make national radio was Andy Peebles. A former club DJ he championed soul music whilst at Piccadilly as well as presenting Rokzac. Andy would of course join Radio 1 the following year and also broadcast on Radio 2. He’s currently on Smooth Radio with his Soul Train show. Other Radio 1 DJs to come via Piccadilly were Gary Davies, Mark Radcliffe and Chris Evans.

Two other DJs came to Piccadilly from UBN. First Pete Reeves who hosted the mid-morning show; he would later work at Jazz FM. Second Tony Emmerson who was on overnights. Tony had been runner-up in BBC Radio London’s new DJ contest in 1970. He then broadcast at Radio Brighton, Radio Mallorca as well as UBN before joining Piccadilly in 1974.

Like many ILR stations at the time Piccadilly still had jazz and big band music programmes. Hosting Swingtime was Carl Sheppard who a few years later would turn up on Radio 2 with the Radio Orchestra show Sentimental Journey.

This is the station information published in January 1978:

A couple of names worth picking out here are firstly P.T. Birch the Managing Director and Chief Executive. Philip Birch was the manager of the pirate station Radio London back in the mid-60s. Here’s Philip and Roger Day  talking about their pirate days: 

The other name is that of Steve England, in charge of Commercial Production. Real name Steven Prentice he had also started on the pirates – Caroline, Mi Amigo and Atlantis – before moving to Manchester. Steve went on to form Alfasound, one of the country’s leading jingle producers, as well as being  the UK representative for PAMS and JAM Creative Productions.

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Chrissy Brand said...

Fascinating- I wasn't in Manchester in those days but this was another good read- and lots of well known names of radio.

Michael Bolton said...

Just to correct the facts when Piccadilly Split in 1989 it launched Key 103 on FM and Piccadilly 1152 on AM. The AM station was not a gold station as most other ILR’s had launched but a mix of classic hits and chart music. Pretty much a relaunch of the existing Piccadilly Radio albeit with a new schedule. Key 103 was all FM music and hi-brow art / specialist shows! It was only in 1990 that it relaunched again as Piccadilly Gold. Aire FM had split in the Summer of 1990 with Magic 828 on AM and they both had resings of the same TM Century package.

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