Sunday, 30 September 2012

Auntie Goes Ken Crazy

Cuddly Ken is all over the BBC this week as the drama Best Possible Taste: The Kenny Everett Story airs on BBC4 on Wednesday evening.

As well as the biopic we get the first ever repeat of a Top of the Pops show from 11 October 1973 which, I think I’m right in saying, is the only Kenny Everett fronted edition that hasn’t been wiped.  

Meanwhile Radio 4 Extra yesterday repeated Kenny Everett – Here’s Kenny and will also be broadcasting some of the Captain Kremmen sci-fi comedy episodes throughout the week. Next Saturday we also get another repeat of Kenny Everett: The BBC Local Radio Years.

Meanwhile how about this programme from the Radio 1 series Radio Radio first broadcast in 1986. Here Kenny talks about his early influences and his career.

Still can’t get enough Ken? Then try this website which includes his shows on Radio London, Capital and Radio Victory.

Happy Birthday Radio 1

Radio 1 is 45 today. Rarely does the BBC miss the opportunity to celebrate its own history so on the occasion of the station’s 20th anniversary comes this edition of the BBC1 chat show Wogan.

With Terry in the studio are Tony Blackburn, John Peel, Ed Stewart, Dave Cash, Pete Murray and David Symonds. Behind the scenes at Radio 1 we see Mike Smith, Janice Long and Bruno Brookes with those new-fangled CDs. Music is provided by Carl Wayne and Johnny Hates Jazz, well it is 1987.

Friday, 28 September 2012

The Viking Invasion – Part 3 – Vikings and Pirates Around the Clock

Eighteen months after launch Viking Radio had a schedule shake-up with some new names on the roster and was now broadcasting round the clock. Here’s how an advertising feature in one of the local papers sold the changes.

More star names, more music, more local personalities and am even faster and brighter news service are all part of the exciting 24 hours a day schedule for the winter months on the area’s number one station, Viking.

Goole Times 24 January 1985

Carl Kingston, who’d joined the station that January (see above), now hosted an afternoon show offering “a combination of star interviews, new quizzes and music from both the charts and his extensive selection of Golden Oldies.”
Tim Jibson
Local lad Carl had moved from rival BBC station Radio Humberside; he was not the only one as Tim Jibson  had also “crossed over” that year to present two shows each Saturday. Tim has the honour, along with Dave Fewster, of having worked Hull’s three main stations (Humberside, Viking and KCFM).

Steve Tong, who’d been with Viking from the off was given a permanent slot on the weekday teatime show at 6 p.m.

Carl Gresham
Carl Gresham (‘The Gresh’) had a new Sunday night show that brought “his nostalgic concoction of musical memories with the accent on melody”.

But it was three other features of this winter schedule that presaged the way that commercial radio would develop in the late 80s. Firstly the AM/FM split. Between 3 and 6 p.m. on Sundays listeners on 258 metres could hear Sunday Sport whilst over on 102.7 the music continued with Paul Massey.

Secondly we see the start of “gold” programming with former pirate DJ Jay Jackson (aka Crispian St Peters, real name Howard Rose) presenting the Sunday lunchtime Pirate Gold show complete with those classic PAMS jingles.

The third aspect was the sharing or networking of programmes across more than one station, in this case Viking and Pennine. Kicking off proceedings between 8 p.m. and midnight from 28 October was Andy Hollins.  Apparently on one show he did a great link saying that if you could get Pennine on 102.5 and Viking on 102.7 you’d get a wonderful phasing effect to blow your ears off!

Andy Hollins
I recall a teenage Andy Hollins from his time at Kingston Radio (Hull’s hospital radio service). He’d come into the studio on a Saturday, around midday I think, do a quick bit of prep and then go on air with a chart show, complete with a Pick of the Pops type countdown, extremely slick and professional. Then it was out of studio with ne’er a word to anyone.  

Hollins would make a tearful exit from Viking in the summer of 1986 (see newspaper cutting below) after, according to MD Roger Brooks, "repeatedly hinting on the air that he was leaving the station." Indeed he was going to join Radio Tees and would later work for BRMB.    

This is a clip of Andy on that first joint show. If only he could remember the name of the “other” station!

Hull Daily Mail 18 June 1986
Providing the programmes overnight between midnight and 6 a.m. were Pennine’s Dave Nixon and Graham King.  Here’s Dave in the early hours of 30 October, note the use of a Mezzoforte track, a particular DJ favourite at the time, for his weather bed.

In 1986 the pre-midnight show would revert back to being on Viking only, with Tony Fisher over on Pennine at the same time, and shared programming from midnight to 6 a.m.

This is the third in an occasional series of posts on the history of commercial radio in East Yorkshire and North Lincolnshire.

Thanks again to Paul Bromley.

Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Normal Stop

After 70 years the BBC’s External Services moved out of Bush House this summer. Equipment and furniture was auctioned off and the building will eventually be refurbished and let as office accommodation.
But for many that worked beyond that Aldwych portico – although not purpose built for the BBC the building’s dedication “to the Friendship of English Speaking Peoples” was apt – the warren of corridors, offices and studios will be sadly missed.
Well now you can revisit the old studios of Bush House courtesy of a new website Normal Stop. The site is written by Barry Warr and Jeremy Lowe who both worked at “Bush” for many years. It provides a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes at the technology that put the multitude of programme and languages on the air.
And why Normal Stop? As Barry told me it’s because “on BBC mixing desks there is an point on a fader scale at which the signal travelling through the desk is at its optimum – that’s called the normal stop (usually 20 or 23 on the fader scale)”.

Monday, 17 September 2012

Channel Travel Radio

On occasional forays back to the UK (when we “allez to Calais”) taking the autoroute north roadside signs encourage us tune in to Autoroute Info 107.7, a bilingual traffic news service. I was recently reminded that a similar service existed on the other side of la Manche when I came across this audio clip of Channel Travel Radio (an Audioboo posted by belfastchild):

Channel Travel Radio first aired on 107.6 FM in August 1995. But how did it work? I am indebted to broadcaster Ian McGregor, who helped set up the station, for this lowdown.  

Channel Travel Radio was licensed as a long running RSL paid for by Eurotunnel and located in their control room. The broadcasters sat in a glass booth behind the controllers so we could see everything that was going on.

Eurotunnel sub-contracted the first licence to Capital Radio to run the station. It was live for eight hours a day (7-11 a.m. and 1-5 p.m.) and a loop tape (no real time information) the rest of the time.   The shows were double-headed with a French speaking co-host.

The late Gavin Lawrence set it up, Capital sub-contracted the day-to-day running of the station to him.  I helped him devise the format and we practised it together one Easter Sunday afternoon, making tweaks as we went along, but it was his gig, he was our boss and answerable directly to Capital.

Capital's format was very upbeat, everything had a music bed and I recall we had drop ins from Dr Fox and Alan Freeman.  I remember one sunny day playing Mungo Jerry's In the Summertime (for we had free reign on the playlist) and the big boss from Capital, who happened to heading down the M20 for a meeting with us at the time, said to me afterwards he was fine about the song but would prefer I played the Shaggy version, so they wanted very contemporary.  Eurotunnel wanted a toned down format and eventually gave the contract to Radio Services Limited, who made it “more Radio 4” with music, and very toned down music at that including a lot of classical.  Eurotunnel managed to run it live 24/7.  The presenters worked longer shifts and pre-recorded carts were used for the French announcements rather than a second presenter.

I recall there were two sets of 'partner' voices.  Male presenters would get a female jingle voice and French announcer and female colleagues would have a male voice.

Although the Radio Services station had announcers on duty round the clock a lot of the output, i.e. weather forecasts, currency checks etc, was pre-recorded.  The live links were mostly reserved for real time running information.

Unfortunately Ian’s whole audio archive was wiped last year but with the help of former colleague Michaela Segol here are a couple of clips of the Capital format station featuring both Michaela and Ian:

Courtesy of Simon Trevallion is this recording of the Radio Services incarnation:

Channel Travel Radio’s broadcast licence was revoked in September 2000 following Eurotunnel’s decision to pull the plug on further funding for the station. Ian continues:

The stumbling block was that the Radio Authority licence required the station to be impartial, so we had to give out ferry news as well - and of course the ferry operators weren't contributing to the station's running costs, which always stuck in Eurotunnel's craw.  Having said that, the Eurotunnel exit from the M20 came before the ferry turn offs, so Eurotunnel was always gleeful when there was weather disruption as many ferry customers would make a quick decision to bail off the motorway early and take the shuttle exit.   Eurotunnel eventually closed the station and handed the licence back to the Radio Authority.

The presenters on the Capital run Channel Travel Radio were:
Gavin Lawrence (BBC Radio Kent, BBC Essex, BBC London, Invicta, Arrow FM, Sovereign FM)
Ian McGregor (BBC Radio Kent, BBC Travel Centre, now running Just Talking Communications)
Julie Maddocks (also at Invicta FM, ITN News Channel, BBC Radio Kent and now BBC London)

Hosting the French side of things were:
Michaela Segol (who would become the station manager under Radio Services Ltd and then Programme Coordinator at KMFM)
Aurelie Claudel (previously in sales at Invicta)
Ann Marie Glasheen (a Belgian actress)
Pippa Sparkes (now with Metro Networks and BBC London travel)

On the station run by Radio Services Ltd (under Group MD Lisa Kerr) the station manager and presenter was Michaela Segol. The on air talent included:
Don Durbridge (more on Don here)
Simon Trevallion (now on the Spanish based station Ace FM)
Nathan Cooper (now with Mix 96 in Aylesbury)
Richard Adams (went on to Neptune Radio then KMfm as regional programme controller and now runs Adams Media Services
Steve Phillips (later with BBC London travel and now Head of Social Media at the Royal Bank of Scotland)
Andy McColl (travel reporter and presenter for BBC and commercial stations, producer (Output Manager) at Traffic Radio, currently on LBC 97.3 and XFM Manchester)
Bobbie Pryor (now with BBC Radio 2)
Romilly Paradine (formerly of Essex Radio/Breeze AM)
Brian Sims (later at Sovereign Radio in Eastbourne)
James Day (ex Voice of Peace and Caroline 558)
Richard Harding (BBC Radio Cambridgeshire, Hereward FM now on Island FM in Guernsey)
Jayne Constantinis (at the time a BBC TV continuity announcer)
Hayley Edmunds (former BBC Broadcast Assistant now Director of Learning for Humanities at the Marsh Academy in Kent)

This was the last of six summer posts on travel and transport.

My thanks go to Ian McGregor, Michaela Segol and Simon Trevallion.

Friday, 14 September 2012

Moyles Moves On

Chris Moyles has left the studio.

Yes, his ego may be the size of Broadcasting House. Yes, some of those links were a tad overlong. And those interviews with the latest young female pop star did get a bit creepy – I’d switch over to Wogan or Hirsty’s Daily Dose at that point. But there’s absolutely no denying his creativity, his quick wit and technical proficiency.

Admittedly I’ve heard less of Radio 1 Breakfast of late since the daily commutes into York ended and those occasional mornings sitting in the car at Grimston Bar Park & Ride not wanting to miss the end of a link. For the radio anoraks Chris would gave us an insight into the workings of the radio studio or mock the latest missive from management. He also gave us those wonderful jingles – with real musicians and real singers – will we ever hear their like again?

Breakfast show producers love regular fixed-time features but Moyles soon got bored of most of these – Carpark Catchphrase, Rob DJ's Monday Night Pub Quiz, Tedious Link and the self-indulgent Golden Hour aside – they interrupted his flow. Here’s one of my favourites though, from a couple of years ago, if only to hear Westwood mangling the English language: Where Am I?
Where Am I?

Thursday, 13 September 2012

Derek Jameson "Morning, Morning"

News that former national newspaper editor and broadcaster Derek Jameson has died was issued yesterday.
Wogan's television years can often be overlooked in recalling the Radio 2 Breakfast Shows of the past but its Derek Jameson who had the second longest tenure (so far) in the morning hot seat for the five years between 1986 and 1991.
In the wake of the Week Ending libel case the BBC offered work to Derek on Radio 4’s The Colour Supplement and, in late 1985, deputising for a holidaying Jimmy Young.  Such was his success on that show that Radio 2 Head of Music Frances Line hired him to host the Breakfast Show, displacing Ken Bruce. His Fleet Street background forced a change of style, topical items and interviews, that stayed with the show during both Derek and then Brian Hayes’s run.
Here’s the start of that first show in April 1986. Derek would be joined on the show by “weather girl” and former station continuity announcer Vivien Stuart (pictured with Derek above):

From January 1992 Derek moved to weekday evenings to present music and chat on The Jamesons alongside his wife Ellen, perhaps the best known husband and wife radio pairing since Jean and Cliff. This show also ran for five years.
Here are Derek and Ellen kicking things off in 1992:
Derek Jameson 1929-2012

Monday, 10 September 2012

The Listeners’ Archive

So here’s the dilemma. Do I hand over to the BBC thousands of my recordings as part of their “recorded media amnesty”? It’s all part of the corporation’s 90th anniversary celebrations announced today.
If I did hand them over (mind you that’s a trip back to the UK) I’d quite like them back please. I’m also wondering just how will they sort through the hundreds of carrier bags stuffed full of cassettes and tape reels that come flooding in. And how much of the material will eventually make it to broadcast? Very little one suspects.
Anyway I’ll think it over. Maybe there’s the odd gem I can pass on. In the meantime I’ll keep on posting and sharing on the blog.

Readers in the UK can drop off their tapes from Amnesty Day (October 11) onwards at their local BBC centre. But please feel free to pass any digital copies onto me. Thank you. 
Oh, and watch out for a special BBC90 audio blog post in November too.

Saturday, 8 September 2012

Nove at Night

As Charles Nove reads his last news bulletin on Radio 2 today ("I've been Charles Nove") here’s a clip of the man himself 29 years ago on You and the Night and the Music. This is from the days when the station didn’t quite broadcast 24 hours a day; one day a week we had a one minute silence whilst BBC engineers tightened up the elastic band at the transmitter (probably more technical than that I’m guessing!).

This recording comes under the sub-category of things found at the end of a tape. Charles, or rather Julie Dawn, get cut off in their prime.

And here is that final bulletin:

Thank You Berry Much

The last news bulletin has been read. After 39 years that’s, well, thousands of broadcasts. (A nice round four decades of newsreading duty was snatched away as the BBC axe falls this week). The voice of the nation at the annual Eurovision popfest. Years of getting up at dawn, or earlier, ushering in a new day before handing over the network to Wogan or Moore.   

Colin Berry read his last Radio 2 bulletin at 3 a.m. today. Here‘s my small audio tribute. I offer two apologies, one for the awful punning post title, and secondly for the small indulgence at about 4½ minutes.     

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

The Case of the Poisoned Pigeon

Tonight Eddie Mair recalls the S.O.S. messages that BBC radio used to broadcast for 70 years in the Radio 4 programme And Now an Urgent S.O.S, Message.

The first S.O.S. was read out on 23 March 1923. The last one, well no one knows but Radio 4 continued to broadcast them either before the 7 a.m. or the 6 p.m. news until the late 1990s.

In his memoirs This is London veteran announcer Stuart Hibberd recounted the “rules” for the messages:  
For some years we have offered the public a free broadcasting S.O.S. service which was greatly appreciated and widely used. At first there was some misunderstanding about the rules, and we used to get requests to put out S.O.S.s for lost cats, dogs, parrots and canaries, being regarded as a kind of inquiry agency for any lost individual or animal. We had therefore to make it quite clear that we could only accept an S.O.S. for a near relative of a sick person if he or she were dangerously ill, and this had to be confirmed by the doctor in charge of the case or the hospital authorities concerned.

And in 1947 he recalled this particular message:
Early in July I broadcast a most unusual S.O.S. about some poisoned pigeons, which ran as follows:
“Three dead pigeons were picked up in Barnet this morning, and it was found, on examination, that they had been poisoned by cyanide. It is known that a fourth pigeon was picked up by a man who said he was going to eat if for his dinner. Scotland Yard warns this man not to eat the pigeon and wants him to telephone Whitehall 1212.”
I never heard whether he got the message in time or not.


Monday, 3 September 2012

News on 2

It’s all change on BBC Radio 2 this year.  A new set of jingles, the first in 15 years. And now voices that have been with the station for many years will be heard no more.

In June of this year a report prepared for Tim Davie, Head of Audio and Music (what we used to call radio!) by John Myers on the “synergies“ within Radio 1, 1Xtra, Radio 2 and 6 Music stated that “over at Radio 2 they have a team of announcers who read the news on the hour (outside of breakfast) but do not write any of the news material themselves. Instead the BBC newsroom writes the news and feed this to the newsreaders for them to read out of their own broadcasting booths. They have very little interplay with the general presenters, and due to the nature of their structure, they do little else until the next hour’s bulletin”.

One of Myers’ conclusions was that the networks reduce recharges from the BBC news department. One consequence of this is  that broadcast journalists, some of whom can currently be heard on 6 Music and occasionally overnight on Radio 2, will be writing and reading the bulletins on the station. So it’s goodbye to the station’s freelance newsreaders, some of whom have been on air for three decades or more.   

I guess it’s hard to argue with the cold economics of this decision but Myers overlooks the other technical duties performed by the newsreaders who, especially in the evenings and at the weekend, hold the network together.   Ironically just the other Saturday Charles Nove had to fill-in when the line to Edinburgh went down. And of course it does mark the end of an era, one I thought worthy of mention.

If my Blogger stats are to be believed the single most visited page is Radio 2 Announcers A-K and the third most popular Radio 2 Announcers L-Z. So I’m taking this opportunity to complete the list and add another 74 people who have been on continuity announcing and newsreading duties since Radio 2 started in 1967 and bringing it right up-to-date.

This updating has proved a difficult task. Firstly I wasn’t listening to Radio 2 back in ’67, I’d only just started infants school at the time. I have very few recordings from that era (found on the net or given to me). To complicate it further newsreaders had a habit of popping up on other networks in the days before a dedicated Presentation Editor in 1972 and you also had “floating” newsreaders borrowed from Radio 4 should the newsreader be unable to read a bulletin on either Radio 1 and Radio 2, this being in the days when they would work on both stations and handle any programme junctions.

Secondly in more recent times the station has used freelance newsreaders, sometimes on short-term contracts or appearing on other stations at the same time, so finding out who’s been on and when is far from easy. 

For this post I’m especially grateful to Colin Berry who’s helped me identify some mystery voices from Radio 2’s past. Thanks also to the following who kindly responded to my requests for information: Jon Briggs, Charles Carroll, Michael Collie, Dominic Cotter, Nick Page and Humphrey Walwyn.

Recordings – all the recordings in this post come from Radio 2 bulletins and announcements, Radio 1 bulletins and the Light Programme. Whilst I have recordings of Peter Donaldson and Peter Jefferson on Radio 4 I’ve not located any Radio 2 audio. If you have any please contact me. In addition if you have any audio for Dan Austin, Michael Collie, Pat Doody and Kate Williams I’d love to hear from you.

Missing? – this post together with the two existing blog posts lists some 109 newsreaders/announcers. Even so I’ll have missed someone off the list. If you think someone is missing, and you have dates and audio, please let me know.

Barry Alldis
Best known for his days on Radio Luxembourg. On the BBC from 1966 to 1975 where he presented Monday, Monday!, Late Night Extra and The Early Show.
Barry Alldis

Dan Austin
Radio 2 in 2002 (4 months). Previously presenter at BBC Radio Bristol and BBC TV announcer. BBC Channel director 2002-2011. Now Continuity Producer at BSkyB.

Simon Bates
Worked on radio in New Zealand and Australia before returning to the UK in 1971 and joining the BBC as newsreader announcer, initially on Radio 4 and then Radio 2. Presenter of Late Night Extra and The Early Show (1974-75) before joining Radio 1 as DJ. Left in 1993 moving to Atlantic 252, Talk Radio, Liberty Radio, Classic FM and LBC. Currently the breakfast host on Smooth Radio.
Simon Bates

Pete Brady
Canadian born DJ first on Radio Jamaica before joining pirate station Radio London in 1964. From 1966 on the BBC Light Programme with shows such as Midday Spin and Swing Into Summer. Also heard on Radio Luxembourg. Part of the launch team on Radio 1 initially with a daily afternoon show before moving to Saturdays in July 1968 when he joined Thames TV’s Magpie (alongside Susan Stranks and Tony Bastable). Pete was back at the BBC in 1972 taking turns on The Early Show, newsreading shifts and the occasional Night Ride.  He left in September 1973.
Pete Brady

Jon Briggs
On Radio 2 1992-97 and presenter of Night Ride. Reporter on Radio 4’s The Chip Shop. Host of Morning Edition on BBC Radio 5 (1990-92). Also on Radio 4 1992-93 and read the news overnight on Radio 1 1993-95. Later on LBC and Radio 5 Live. Was the ‘voice’ of Radio 2 between 1997-2010 providing many of the on-air promotional trailers. Announcer on Channel 4, Sky Movies. Currently on BBC Radio Oxford every Saturday morning. His voice was also heard on BBC TV’s The Weakest Link (2000-12) and on Apple’s Siri app.
Jon Briggs

Charles Carroll
On Radio 2 from 1998 but only occasionally on the station of late. Mainly heard on BBC World Service and Radio 4. Visiting Lecturer in Broadcast Journalism at University of Westminster.
Charles Carroll

Richard Cartridge
On BBC Radio Solent from the late 70s and did the odd newsreading stint on Radio 2 in 1981. Performs with his own band and is now back at Solent on Sunday afternoons.
Radio 2 2005-12. Also on Radio 4 and Radio 5 Live. Actress and voiceovers.
Chandrika Chevli

Harvey Cook
Mainly on BBC 6 Music since at least 2006 with occasional shifts on Radio 2. Unable to confirm dates.
Harvey Cook
Jeff Cooper
Radio 2 1974-5 also presenting Music Through Midnight and holiday cover for Simon Bates on The Early Show. Radio career started at Radio Veronica then Piccadilly Radio. Extensive radio career at Trent, Clyde, Radio Manchester, City, LBC Music Radio in Italy, Beacon, Chiltern Radio WM, The Superstation, Rock FM, Hallam FM, Silk FM, Peak 107. Now runs Radio 2XS and online version of Radio Trent.
Jeff Cooper
Michael Collie
Broadcasting career started as newsreader at Radio WM then working on Radio 4, BFBS and the World Service. Moved into TV on shows such as Countryfile, Top Gear and Paddles Up. Presenter on London news station Channel One before returning to Birmingham for BBC’s Midlands Today in 1995. Newsreader on Radio 2 between 1999 and 2002. Also presented on BBC Radio’s Shropshire, Gloucestershire and Coventry & Warwickshire.

Dominic Cotter
Broadcast journalist reading the news on Radio 2 between 2005 and 2010. Previously at LBC Radio. Presenter/producer at BBC Radio Oxford and currently at BBC Radio Gloucestershire.
Dominic Cotter

Jon Curle
More on Jon in this blog post
Currently the man in charge of Radio 2 presentation and, of course, the “voice of the balls” on the BBC’s lottery programmes. Started as station assistant at BBC Radio Birmingham and then presenter/producer on Radio Devon. Joined Radio 2 in 1987 and presented Nightride and The Early Show.
Alan Dedicoat
Peter Dickson
Famously now shouting the likes of “It’s time to face the music” and “Olly Murs” etc. on ITV’s The X Factor he started as a journalist and presenter at BBC Radio Ulster before joining Radio 2 in 1984. Presenter of You and the Night and the Music, Nightride and Nightcap. Also popped up on Radio 1 – reporting for Newsbeat and Walter’s Weekly and as ‘Voiceover Man’ on Steve Wright in the Morning. On Melody Radio (1990-4) and has since done hundreds of voiceover and narration jobs. 
Peter Dickson

Pat Doody
For many years was a continuity announcer on Border TV and Tyne-Tees. Started with the BFBS in Cyprus where he met and married Jean Challis and trained a young Peter Donaldson (see below). On Radio 2 in the late 60s where he also presented Night Ride and Strings by Starlight.

Peter Donaldson
After an early career as an actor he applied for a job as an announcer with the BFBS. Joined Radio 2 on 6 April 1970 and was presenter of Night Ride, Breakfast Special and The Early Show. On Radio 4 from 1973 apart from a short break when he joined Radio Hallam for its launch. Chief Announcer 1988-2003 and still reading the news as a freelance having retired in 2005. 

Brian Empringham
For many years a newsreader on the BBC World Service. Also on Radio 4 as well as Radio 1 and Radio 2 in the early 70s.
Brian Empringham

Adrian Finighan
Radio 2 1991-94 as newsreader and presenter of Night Ride. Started at Gwent Broadcasting then DJ on Radio Broadland, Radio Cambridgeshire and Radio Norfolk. BBC TV announcer. TV newsreader from 1994 for BBC Business News, BBC World, News 24 and CNN. Continued to occasionally read the news and present Night Ride until 1998. Now on Al Jazeera.
Adrian Finighan
Eugene Fraser
Born in Fiji and educated in New Zealand where he worked on radio and television. He came to Britain in 1967 and joined the BBC as announcer and newsreader. Initially on Radios 1 and 2 he presented such shows as Night Ride, Friday Night is Music Night and Brass and Strings. In 1975 he moved to Radio Victory in Portsmouth. By 1978 he was back at the BBC, this time as announcer/newsreader on Radio 4. He left the station in the 1990s.
Eugene Fraser
Fenella Fudge
Radio 2 1996-2012. Joined the BBC as a trainee secretary and then various TV production posts. Freelance as announcer on Radio 4 and voiceover artist. Voiceover trainer with A1Vox.
Radio 2 1990-2012. Started at Radio 2CR in Bournemouth. Famously one of Wogan’s “underlings” with a penchant for locking young man in the cupboard under her stairs!
Fran Godfrey

Justine Greene
Newsreader on BBC Radio 5 Live and co-presented Breakfast and Drive. Previously at BBC London, Radio Wales, Choice FM, Radio XL, Swansea Sound, The Wave, BBC Radio Leicester and Mercia FM.
Justine Greene
Barri Haynes
Radio 2 1971-72, first presenter of The Early Show. Continuity announcer at LWT. Commentator on Come Dancing. BBC Radio Wales.
Barri Haynes

Ellis Hill
Worked for the BBC on radio and TV between 1965 and 1992. During the 1970s presented the BBC East regional opt-out programme Roundabout East Anglia. Joined Radio 2 in 1986 initially to provide cover for Derek Jameson on the Breakfast Show. Newsreader and presenter of Nightride 1988/1990-92. Presenter on Blue Danube Radio 1992-97.
Ellis Hill
Paul Hollingdale
Career started with the BFBS in Germany, CNBC (an early pirate station based in Holland) and then Radio Luxembourg. Joined the BBC as announcer on the Light Programme in September 1967. Presented Morning Music, Breakfast Special, Swing Into Summer, Mack is Back, This Must Be the Place and Nordring on the Light. First voice heard opening the new Radios 1 & 2 in September 1967. Continued on Breakfast Special as well as Nordring and Dancing Round Europe. Sacked by the BBC in 1970 he went into music management and was part of the launch team at Radio 210. More recently living in Vienna and working for Blue Danube Radio, providing film commentaries and shows for international airlines.
Paul Hollingdale

Peter Jefferson
Career started on the BBC World Service, moving from studio manager to announcer. On Radio 2 1970-72 and presented Night Ride. Long on Radio 4 as announcer/newsreader between 1974 and 2009.

Sean Kelly
On BBC Light Programme and Radio 2 between 1964 and 1973. Presented Morning Music, Sounds of the Night, Breakfast Special, The Late Live Show, Starlight Serenade, The Sound of Strings, It’s One O’Clock, Music All the Way, Night Ride and Star Sound. Former actor in films and the occasional tv series between 1957 and 1964 (633 Squadron amongst his credits). Later joined Capital Radio as one of the hosts of Night Flight.
Sean Kelly
Andrew Lane
Radio 2 1990-92 and occasional host of Nightride. BBC Studio Manager 1974-77, BFBS 1977-1990, Southern Radio 1992-94, BBC Weather Producer 1994-2002, Manager of BBC Weather Centre 2002-2008, Head of Operations at Redemptorist Publications 2008-2012. Now Public Speaker for the Motor Neurone Association.
Andrew Lane
Peter Latham
Born in Lancashire but educated in New Zealand where he worked as announcer on NZBC 1953-1963. Joined the BBC Light Programme in 1964. Presented Morning Music, Breakfast Special and Melody Hour. Continued on Radio 2 1967 until about 1971 hosting Breakfast Special, Night Ride, Late Night Extra and Melody Fair. Returning to New Zealand in the early 70s he became a priest.
Peter Latham
Paul Leighton
Radio 2 1981-2000 Started as trainee reporter on Birmingham Post. First broadcast as newsreader on Campus on BBC Radio Nottingham in 1971. Radio Derby’s Political Affairs Producer. Announcer on Radio 4 and presented Morning Has Broken before joining Radio 2. Now Chairman of Broadcasting Division of the Chartered Institute of Journalists.
Paul Leighton
Alex Lester
Radio 2 from 1987 first as newsreader/announcer and one of the presenters of Night Ride and The Early Show. Regular overnight presenter (“The Best Time of the Day”) from January 1993 to date. Radio Aire 1981-3, Radio Tees 1983-6, BBC Essex 1986-7.
Alex Lester

Andrew Lodge
Radio 2 in 1975. Actor and voiceover on TV shows such as Catchphrase and Family Fortunes. 
Andrew Lodge
Jack McLaughlin
Jack McLaughlin (aka Yak MacFisheries, aka The Laird of Cowcaddens) had been a pirate DJ on Radio Scotland, Britain Radio, Radio 390 and Radio 270 (under the name Steve Taylor).He went legit and was with the original team at Radio Clyde and also worked as an announcer/presenter on Grampian Television and STV (Pop Scotch, Thingummyjig and Junior Try for Ten) and on BBC Radio 2 as announcer and presenter of Folk 74 and Folk 75. Moved to Capital Radio and then Radio Victory where by 1977 he was Head of Programmes and News. Later established Radio Scotland Worldwide Ltd, an internet broadcast company.
Jack McLaughlin

Steve Madden
On the BBC World Service and Radio 4 before joining Radio 2 in 1983. Regular presenter of Night Ride and The Early Show and then the overnight show 1995-98 alternating with Charles Nove. Later on BBC Eastern Counties with the evening show. Currently on BBC Radio Berkshire in the early morning.
Steve Madden
Bryan Martin
First broadcast in 1946 on Children’s Hour. Joined the staff of the BBC in 1957 as a studio manager on the BBC General Overseas Service. A full-time announcer from 1963 he also presented Morning Music and Family Fare on the Light Programme.  Joined Radio 4 in the early 70s becoming senior newsreader. Retired in 1992. Died in 2009.
Bryan Martin

John Marsh
John ‘Boggy’Marsh is, thanks to Terry Wogan, now best known for the Janet and John stories, owning a shed and playing the organ. Broadcasting career started in TV as a cameraman and then technical operator and studio management. Announcer on BBC World Service 1970 and Radio 4 from 1973. Transferred to Radio 2 in 1982. Presented Marching and Waltzing. Retired in 2007 but on-air until 2010.
John Marsh

Roger Moffat
BBC announcer in the 1950s long associated with the Northern Dance Orchestra show Make Way for Music. In the 60s he also presented It’s One O’Clock, Music Through Midnight, Startime, Stay Late and Midday Spin. Continued with Radio 2 on Night Ride and Things Are Swingin’. Left the BBC and was next heard on Radio Hallam in the mid-70s. Died in 1986.
Roger Moffat
Ray Moore
For more on Ray see this blog post
Ray Moore

Michael de Morgan
BBC Radio 1959-73 mainly Home Service/Radio 4. Regular host of the Sports Service in 60s. Presented BBC2 tv News Review.
Michael de Morgan
Colin Nicol
Born in Australia his first job was as radio announcer on 6PM-AM and then 6KY. Travelling to Europe he signed up with Radio Atlanta in 1964 before transferring to Radio Caroline. Radio England, Britain Radio and Radio Luxembourg followed until he became a BBC staff announcer in 1968. One of the presenters of Night Ride. Moved to BFBS in Malta and Gibraltar before a return down under and back to Radio 6KY. Last reported as running a city centre precinct in Perth.
On BBC Radio Scotland from 1978 before joining Radio 2 in 1981. Presenting duties included You and the Night and the Music, Nightride, The Early Show and Cinema 2. Freelance from 1989 he also appeared on Magic 105.4, Jazz FM, Oneworld and Saga.  BBC TV continuity announcer (1987-9) and commentator on Come Dancing. Presents a Sunday morning on BBC Radio Oxford, is MD of A1 Vox Sound Studios and co-owns a fleet of vintage buses along with other Radio 2 colleagues Ken Bruce, Alan Dedicoat and Steve Madden.
Charles Nove
Hilary Osborn
Radio 2 1986-90 also presented String Sound. TV continuity announcer on LWT, TVS and Meridian. Radio 4 announcer for a while in 1984. Originally joined the BBC as a secretary then studio manager before moving into presenting at BBC Radio London (Woman in Town).
Hilary Osbourn
Geoff Oxley
Whilst working in education, presented arts shows on BBC Radio Nottingham and news bulletins for BBC East Midlands TV. Joined Radio 2 in 1989. Presenter of Night Ride, 1992-96 news presenter on Look East. Became a humanist funeral celebrant and now retired but busy as a crossword setter for The Daily Telegraph, The Independent and the village magazine.
Geoff Oxley
Nick Page
First broadcast on Radio Medway then to LBC, IRN as newsreader and BBC Radio Wales. Presented a Sunday morning show on Radio 2 1979-83. Worked on Radio 2 as announcer/newsreader 1984-92. Presented Nightride, Songs from the Shows, String Sound and European Pop Jury. Covered for Ray Moore and John Dunn. Narrated Radio 4 schools programme Together. Also on elevenSEVENTY AM, KFM and Premier Radio. Now director of the International Christian Media Commission and runs Shorehill Arts.
Nick Page

Andrew Peach
Radio career started in 1991 at BBC Radio Oxford then Radio Berkshire, Radio 2 from 1998 as freelance newsreader and Radio WM. Occasionally on BBC Radio 5 Live and the World Service (News Briefing). Currently presents the Breakfast Show on Radio Berkshire.
Andrew Peach
Iain Purdon
Radio 2 1982-94 where he was Presentation Editor and only occasionally on-air. Previously at BBC Radio Scotland and Radio CWR, Moved to BFBS and than BBC World Service (from 1995) as newsreader. Read the last ever news bulletin from Bush House in July 2012.  
Iain Purdon
Tina Richie
Radio 1 newsreader mid-1990s best known for being on Chris Evans Breakfast Show. Started in radio on the BBC’s Trainee Reporters Scheme. Reporter for BBC Essex then producer/presenter for GLR before joining Radio 1. Moved to Virgin Radio and became Head of News. Returned to newsreading on Radio 2 from October 2010.
Radio 2 newsreader from 1998. Announcer on World Radio Network. Previously at Ocean Sound, Radio 5 and Radio 5 Live, Southern Radio, LBC and Radio Solent. MD of BigFish Media Ltd.
Ricky Salmon
Tom Sandars
Radio 2 newsreader since 2007 also working on BBC Radio 5 Live. Provides interval programmes for Friday Night is Music Night and arts news slot on Claudia Winkleman's show. Radio career started at Radio Shropshire then Radio WM. Presenter on Midlands Today and Sky News.
Tom Sandars

Andrea Simmons
Radio 2 newsreader 1992-2009 also working regularly on BBC Radio 5 Live. TV continuity announcer and voiceover work.
Radio career began with the BFBS in a number of postings in Cologne (alongside David Hamilton, Paul Hollingdale and Bill Crozier), Kuwait, Nairobi and Aden. Joined Radio Caroline followed by Radio Luxembourg and Radio London before signing up with the BBC Light Programme where he also presented Swingalong.  Part of the original line-up on Radio 1 in 1967 taking over from Brain Matthew on Saturday Club. Also on What’s New. Became a staff announcer and presented Night Ride and Sunday with Skues. Left the BBC to become Programme Director and DJ at Radio Hallam, later on Yorkshire Radio Network and Classic Gold.  Back to the BBC initially on Radio Sheffield and now Radio Norfolk where his Sunday night show is broadcast across the eastern counties stations.
Keith Skues
Alan Smith
Occasional newsreader on R2. Started on BBC Radio Cumbria before moving to Radio 4 as announcer, also on Radio 7/4 Extra
Alan Smith

John Terrett
Radio 2 newsreader and presenter of Night Ride 1991-93, but still occasionally reading bulletins up to 1998. Previously at Radio Solent, BSB News, BBC Radio Surrey. Later on London News 97.3, Radio Northampton, BBC World.  Now the Washington correspondent for the Al Jazeera English service.
John Terrett
Linda Thomas
Radio 2 1981-2. BBC tv announcer 1982-3 then on Channel 4 and TVS. Again on Radio 2 in 1989 as Olumide Thomas.
Linda Thomas

John Toogood
Radio 2 mid-80s. Regular presenter on BBC Radio London. Contributed Toogood’s Travels to the Nightride shows.
BBC newsreader 1970-71 on Radios 1, 2 & 4 and World Service. One of the presenters of Night Ride. Head of Popular Music at BBC World Service 1974-85, Head of BBC Records & Tapes 1985-88, CEO Mainstream Records 1990-96, Director of Product Development at Linguaphone 1996-2000.
Humphrey Walwyn
Sarah Watts
Read the news in the mid-80s. No further information.

Dwight Whylie
BBC’s first black announcer joining the BBC in 1965. Previously chief announcer with the Jamaica Broadcasting Corporation and then working in the High Commissioner's Office in London.  Presenter on Night Ride. Returned to Jamaica in the early 70s and headed the JBC. Died in 2002.

Kate Williams
Radio 2 2002-7. Reporter at BBC Radios Norfolk, Northampton, Look East and Radio 5 Live 1990-2002, Assistant Editor BBC College of Journalism 2007-2009, Presenter Farming Today 2009-10, Presenter The World Today 2005-2011, currently Local Radio Trainer and on Call You and Yours 
The following Broadcast Journalists have also read overnight bulletins on Radio 2 in the last year or so:
Matthew Bohm (unsure of spelling of surname, Bohen?)
Katherine Cracknell (heard here on 6 Music)
Niki Cardwell (heard here on 6 Music)

More voices from Radio 2's past in my original A-Z of newsreaders and announcers.
Part 2 L-Z

Edit May 2013: Added Pete Brady biog/audio and Ellis Hill audio.
Edit September 2015: Added Dwight Wylie audio and Geoff Oxley photo.

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