BBC Radio Leicester
|City of license||Leicester|
|Slogan||A passion for Leicestershire, BBC Radio Leicester|
|Frequency||RDS: BBC Leic, 104.9 FM|
|First air date||8 November 1967|
|Format||Local news, talk and music|
|Audience share||9.2% (March 2011, )|
|Owner||BBC Local Radio,
BBC East Midlands
|Website||BBC Radio Leicester|
BBC Radio Leicester is the BBC Local Radio service for the English counties of Leicestershire and Rutland. The station broadcasts from studios in Leicester on 104.9 FM, on DAB, and via the BBC iPlayer.
BBC Radio Leicester was the first of the new breed of BBC Local Radio stations introduced to the English mainland in the 1960s. Manx Radio on the Isle of Man can with some justification claim to have been providing a local radio service earlier. Radio Leicester began broadcasting at 12.45 pm on 8 November 1967 on 95.05 VHF from a transmitter located on Gorse Hill above the city centre.
The station's former 837 kHz medium wave frequency from the Freeman's Common transmitter near the University of Leicester is now used by the BBC Asian Network which originated in Leicester but is now a national network delivered via DAB, digital satellite, Freeview and other systems across the UK and beyond.
In 2007, the station celebrated its 40th Anniversary by launching a Ruby Rainbow Appeal in aid of the Rainbows Hospice based in Loughborough, within its TSA. Special events took place throughout the year, culminating in a final fund-raising appeal around the time of the actual anniversary in November 2007.
In 2005, the station moved to new premises at 9 St Nicholas Place, which have recently won a Civic Society award for design. This new centre is adjacent to the medieval Guildhall and Cathedral and includes many aspects of Leicester's history including Victorian tiles and an Undercroft (first revealed in 1841) with remains dating to Roman times. The Centre houses the BBC College of Journalism's base for the Midlands, an IT Centre which is used in partnership with local organisations, and a BBC Shop selling a wide range of BBC-branded merchandise.
The news room for BBC Asian Network is also located at BBC Radio Leicester's Studios.
Although the station's FM transmitter mast is only 70 m (230 ft) tall, it is set 235 m (770 ft) above sea level on top of the Jurassic limestone ridge at Copt Oak, next to the M1. This is a high point in Charnwood Forest, part of the National Forest. The signal reaches a long way throughout the southern section of the East Midlands, Warwickshire, and Northamptonshire. It can be heard as far south as Towcester and as far north along the M1 as the Woodall service station near Sheffield and towards Stoke. It can also be heard to as far away as North East Doncaster hence a line of sight. Since 6 December 2002, the station's DAB signal has come from the NOW Digital East Midlands (NDEM) Leicester 11B multiplex, which comes from Copt Oak and Houghton on the Hill. The Waltham transmitter and Houghton-on-the-Hill have a Digital One multiplex and Waltham has a BBC National DAB multiplex. The Copt Oak transmitter also broadcasts Gem 106.