BBC Radio Berkshire
|City of license||Reading|
|Broadcast area||Berkshire, North Hampshire and South Oxfordshire|
|Slogan||People you know, travel you trust|
|Frequency||94.6 MHz, 95.4 MHz, 104.1 MHz, 104.4 MHz & DAB|
|First air date||Tuesday 21 January 1992|
|Format||Local news, talk and music|
|Audience share||5.3% (December 2013, RAJAR)|
|Owner||BBC Local Radio,
BBC London (E. Berks)
|Website||BBC Radio Berkshire|
BBC Radio Berkshire is the BBC Local Radio service for the English county of Berkshire, North Hampshire, and South Oxfordshire. Radio Berkshire broadcasts on 94.6 (Henley-on-Thames), 95.4 (Windsor), 104.1 (Hannington) and 104.4 (Reading) FM from its studios at Caversham Park near Reading. The 104.1 FM signal is the strongest of the four by far. The station is also available on DAB and through live streaming on the internet, also on demand for seven days after broadcast through the BBC iPlayer. Notable presenters include Andrew Peach, Henry Kelly, Debbie McGee and Steve Madden.
The station began on 21 January 1992, starting as a sister station of Radio Oxford, broadcasting for part of the weekday and weekend mornings. Due to financial cutbacks, BBC Director-General John Birt announced that it was to merge with BBC Radio Oxford on 9 April 1996 to become BBC Thames Valley FM. On 14 February 2000 the two stations became separate once again. Andrew Peach joined the station on 10 October 1992.
The jingles used were the same as those formerly used by Radio Sheffield, provided by Bespoke Music of Penryn in Cornwall. Currently, BBC Radio Berkshire now use the generic BBC Local Radio jingle by Mcasso Music Production.
BBC Radio Berkshire was named Station of the Year in the 2012 Frank Gillard Awards, also winning in the Sports Coverage category for its coverage of olympic rowing at Eton Dorney. Andrew Peach won silver in both the Programme Presenter and The Ultimate Hot Seat categories.
The Hannington transmitter for BBC Radio Berkshire's 104.1 FM frequency is located on Cottington Hill (close to Watership Down). Along with the BBC's signal it also carries television channels and Heart Berkshire on 102.9 FM. The 104.1 FM signal can be heard over most of Hampshire, certainly more than BBC Radio Solent. The Broad St Mall transmitter carries Heart Berkshire on 97 FM and BBC Radio Berkshire on 104.4 FM since 1991, although the BBC call it Fountain House after the name of the building it is fixed to. The Henley-on-Thames transmitter which carries BBC Radio Berkshire on 94.6 FM also carries Heart Berkshire on 103.4 FM. The Windsor transmitter carries BBC Radio Berkshire on 95.4 FM.
Since 31 July 2004, DAB broadcasts have come from the NOW Digital Berkshire & North Hampshire 12D multiplex from Coppid Beech (at the junction of the B3408 and A329(M) in west Bracknell), Hannington and Hemdean (just north of Caversham). The Basingstoke DAB transmitter (between Cliddesden and Winslade near the A339 in Hampshire) was added on 3 October 2005.
The station essentially covers the M4 corridor.
Networked and simulcast programming
From Monday to Saturday evenings until January 2013, BBC Radio Berkshire simulcasted networked programming with BBC Local Radio stations in the South and South East regions, namely Kent, Surrey, Sussex, Oxford and Solent. A full evening of local programmes was broadcast on Sundays.
From 7 January 2013, Mark Forrest hosts a weekday evening show from 7pm to 10pm across the 39 BBC local radio stations in England and the Channel Islands, replacing the existing regional programmes. Also, every BBC local radio station now broadcasts a BBC Introducing programme from 8pm on Saturday evenings. In addition, BBC Local Radio is enhancing its current affairs output aimed at Asian, African Caribbean and Chinese audiences, with programmes broadcast on Sunday evenings.
During the station's downtime BBC Radio 5 Live's Up All Night is simulcast followed by the early morning news programme Morning Reports.
- "Berkshire wins Gillard Station of the Year". Radio Today. 18 October 2012. Retrieved 20 October 2012.
- "Sony Radio Academy Awards > The Winners 2013 > Breakfast Show of the Year (under 10 million)". The Radio Academy. Retrieved 13 May 2013.
- "Mark Forrest to present local radio's all-England evening show". BBC. 4 October 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- "BBC Local Radio to air 'national' programming". ATV Today UK. 4 October 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2012.
- "New BBC Local Radio schedules to launch in January 2013". BBC Media Centre. 18 December 2012. Retrieved 19 December 2012.