This is the fourteenth post in a series looking at the original nineteen ILR stations. This week Pennine Radio.
Airdate: 16 September 1975
Still on air?: No, rebranded as The Pulse in 1991.
There’s a bit of friendly rivalry between the cities of Leeds and Bradford but it was the latter that got the first ILR station when Pennine went on air in 1975, probably because the BBC already had studios in Leeds. Radio Aire did launch in 1981.
Here’s the Radio Guide programme listings published in December 1977:
Viewers of Look North from Hull will recognise the photo bottom right of a young Peter Levy. Peter is still broadcasting on the radio every day in almost the same time slot as 34 years ago between noon and 2 p.m. on Radio Humberside.
In fact Peter Levy started his career as an actor appearing in programmes such as Dixon of Dock Green, Comedy Playhouse and The Mike Yarwood Show. Pennine was his first radio job but he has been on air in the North ever since, presenting City Extra at Liverpool’s Radio City and then moving to Radio Aire and BBC Radio Leeds. Whilst at Leeds he started doing the odd bulletin for Look North, eventually becoming a full-time presenter.
Presenting Pennine’s Breakfast Show Early with Hurley was Mike Hurley. Mike joined the station form a Leeds advertising agency. But he became best known for his show Hurley Burley, first on Radio Aire and then for many years on BBC Radio Humberside. His most famous invention was Bill Bore, “the archetypal, flat capped, opinionated Yorkshireman.” Mike went on to win a Sony Award for his show and combined his broadcasting with advertising voiceover work. He died in 2008.
Stewart Francis was a club DJ who took a turn on pirate radio and at Radio 1 before moving to LBC to host Nightline. He recalls how, whilst covering the University Boat Race for IRN, his boat was rammed by a BBC TV launch and Stewart dropped his microphone into the Thames. He was a presenter and programme supervisor at Pennine and later was managing director at KL.FM 96.7 in Kings Lynn.
Roger Kirk had been a technical operator at Radio 1 and did get one of the many try-out slots they had in the early 70s but didn’t get a regular programme. Moving to Radio Nordsee International he managed just one show before sea sickness forced him to work back on the mainland over in Holland. He joined Capital Radio as an engineer when it started in 1973 before moving up to Bradford. Later he was on Hallam, Viking, Classic Gold, Stray FM and Magic 828. Roger died in 2001.
Further information about four Pennine broadcasters has so far eluded me. I can find out nothing about Julius K Scragg other than his real name was Jack Maher and nothing too about Dorothy Box, Paul Needle and John Drake. If you know anything about these presenters please contact me.
The Fraser Hines Request Show was a Sunday lunchtime fixture. Fraser had been playing Joe Sugden on YTV’s Emmerdale Farm since ’72 and was well-known prior to that as Doctor Who’s sidekick Jamie.
Sunday evenings brought Tops and Noils with Austin Mitchell and Keith Marsden, a programme of “Yorkshire humour, poetry and music”. Austin was well known to Yorkshire folk as one of the presenters on the ITV regional news magazine Calendar and from 1977 he became the MP for Great Grimsby. Incidentally ‘tops’ and ‘noils’ are terms used in the spinning industry, so important to Bradford’s industrial growth.
This is the station information published in January 1978: