The radio station was launched in 1970 under the name of BBC Radio Medway, originally only serving the Medway Towns. It broadcast from studios at 30 High Street in Chatham, a former newspaper office which was subsequently named Media House.
The station gained its current name when operations expanded to Kent on 2 July 1983 as part of the BBC's policy of operating countywide stations. Radio Medway was closed down by long serving staff member Rod Lucas, who was also the first voice to be heard on the new BBC Radio Kent.
In July 1986, the studios moved to the nearby Sun Pier, from where it broadcast in stereo for the first time.
In 2001, the station moved to The Great Hall in Royal Tunbridge Wells, to combine with new television studios for the BBC South East region covering Kent and East Sussex. From here BBC Radio Kent operates a total of four studios - two for programmes, one for news bulletins, and one network contributions area.
BBC Radio Kent also operates a studio and office in The Wendy House (a building close to the original Sun Pier site in Chatham), and small contributions studios in Dover and Canterbury.
BBC Radio Kent averages around 200,000 listeners a week, and is regularly the most popular local radio station in Kent, with its Breakfast and Drive programmes the most popular.
The station is unusual in that Monday-Friday, it is 100% speech based from 0600-1000. Breakfast with John and Clare contains a mix of local and national news, half hourly sports bulletins, hourly weather bulletins and hourly sports bulletins. Julia George (0900-1200) hosts a phone-in from 0900-1000, gaining local perspectives on news stories that matter to the people of Kent.
Steve Ladner regularly hosts the lunchbox from 1200-1400 from the Chatham Studio, chatting to the RNLI, for whom he is a volunteer, as well as posing his ickle question.
Pat Marsh (1400-1600) hosts the mid afternoon show with presenter and producer Laura Earl, covering local arts and entertainment topics with regular features with "Arthur Chance" - the racing tipster, Ex-Pats abroad and highlighting places to visit in Kent.
Dominic King presents drive time, combining themed music with a speech hour from 1640-1740 every day, rounding up the local and international news. His producer is Tom Darby and he regularly interacts with Sylvie Blackmore from the Highways Agency.
From January 2013, BBC Radio Kent's evening programming switched to Mark Forrest's local radio show, broadcast from Leeds, featuring highlights from local radio across the country.