Friday 22 July 2011

Down Your Local - LBC

This is the first post in a series looking at the original nineteen ILR stations. This week LBC, the London Broadcasting Company.

Airdate: 8 October 1973
Still on air?: Yes, though after changes in format and ownership and losing the IRN contract. Provides a talk format on FM and a rolling news service on AM.

LBC was the first ILR station to go on-air providing a news and information service for London and an international and national news service, Independent Radio News, for the whole of the ILR network. It lost the IRN contract to ITN in 1992.

Originally planned as a 24-hour news station, financial difficulties in the first year of operation lead to schedule changes and and increase in the music output.

These are the Radio Guide programme listings published in December 1977:

The flagship programme was AM co-presented for many years by Douglas Cameron and Bob Holness (having taken over the co-presenting reins from Clive Roslin). Douglas had the news background having worked on Radio 4’s Today whilst Bob had a more entertainment background as one of the hosts of Late Night Extra on Radios 1 & 2. Bob had been with LBC as the AM traffic reporter in Helicopter 417 - named after LBC's medium wave length before it moved to 261m in February 1975 - and took over from Clive Roslin as co-presenter. He returned to the BBC in the 80s and 90s mainly on Radio 2 and, of course, is best known for Central TV’s Blockbusters.

Hosting the mid-morning phone-in was Brian Hayes who was at LBC for many years before turning up on Radio 2 on the breakfast show, being a regular stand-in for Jimmy Young and working on Radio 5 Live.

Part of the news team included Susannah Simons who would later go on to work at Radio 4 on PM and Classic FM. She is currently the Project Executive for the BBC 2012 Cultural Olympiad. Previous presenters had included Jon Snow and Carol Barnes - I wonder what happened to them!

Featured photos are of Monty Modlyn who had found fame in the 1960s as a roving reporter on the Today programme and George Gale the irascible columnist for the Daily Express.

David Bassett billed as “the non-nonsense man” was co-founder and programme controller of Plymouth Sound and was also broadcasting during the week on that station. He would later work at BBC Radio Devon.

Douglas Cameron was invariably the main IRN newsreader in the morning; others reading the lion’s share of the bulletins in 1977 were Susannah Simons, Alan Clark, Neil Landor (who later presented Enquire Within on Radio 4), Nick Page (who moved onto BBC Radio Wales and Radio 2), Vivian White (best known as a reporter on Panorama), Hugh Williams, David Geary (ex-BBC and who would return to Radio 2 as a newsreader), Tricia Ingrams (later on Thames News), Dickie Arbiter (who would go on to be Press Spokesperson for the Queen) and Peter Allen (long on Radio 5 Live).

Also reading IRN bulletins, mostly overnight or at weekends, you would’ve heard Terry Plane, Keith Howell, Andrew Carnegie, Rob Sims, Adrian Scott, John Bayliss, Noel Webster, Lyn Edgeson, Derek Mitchell, Patricia Rance, Hilda Bamber, John Armstrong, Colin Parkes, Ric Davies, Paul Ingrams, Mike Swindell and Ian Cross

This is the station information published in January 1978:
Thanks to Geoff Lumley for the audio extracts.

Web Links
LBC Radio
Tribute site from Geoff Lumley

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