Anglo-Polish Radio

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ORLA.fm logo since 2009

Anglo-Polish Radio (also known as Radio ORLA and ORLA.fm) is the only bi-lingual radio station for Polish and English-speaking audiences in the United Kingdom and Ireland[clarification needed]. The station also broadcasts to listeners in Poland. It is based in London. Bi-lingual journalist George Matlock is Radio ORLA's founder.[1]

ORLA.fm launched on May 18, 2006 after the British Broadcasting Corporation's decision to close many European language radio services in December 2005.

ORLA.fm is a community-based radio station which also accepts advertising and covers major Polish community events and champions the "little person" too.

The launch date was chosen because the station wanted a positive reason to exist. 18 May is the birthdate of the Polish Pope John Paul II, arguably the most famous Pole internationally.

The radio station appears to play more English music than Polish, largely based on what its listeners have said they want to hear. Often Polish audiences can hear English music on the playlist which has yet to appear in Poland! Uniquely, the music of the last 50 years in that month is played. So in January it is January 1960, January 1975 and so on. In February, the playlist is from the past 50 years of chart music in February.

But Radio ORLA.fm also broadcasts more chill-out and alternative music.[2]

Radio ORLA.fm has been a partner of Hayes FM 91.8 in west London since September 2007, when Hayes launched, and provides Hayes with the weekly English-language cultural show "London Bridge" hosted by presenter George Matlock and "Fine" Art Skupienski. A recent addition has been Briton Kingsley who offers his take on Poles.

Since January 2010, Radio ORLA.fm also has a studio at Ealing, Hammersmith and West London College, where it trains media students aged 16–18 years in radio reporting and production work.[3]

But it is not all just about music. The station has interviewed Polish Presidents, sports and music personalities, actors, producers, club DJs, and even co-produced a 4-part bi-lingual biography of Michal Kleofas Ogniski, reportedly the composer of the Polish national anthem. The narrator was a direct descendent of Oginski, Iwo Zaluski.

Other cultural events have included a radio play about Frederik Chopin on his last tour, a visit to Britain, with musical performances by Peter Katin and others on the very same two pianos which Chopin performed on in the UK.

In January 2012, ORLA.fm launched an iPhone APP and in October 2013 an Android APP so that listeners can tune in and do other things while on-the-go on their smartphones or tablets.

In October 2013, ORLA.fm launched a marketing and content alliance with London-based Polish quality newspaper Nowy Czas.

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