Centre Radio

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Centre Radio was the first independent local radio station to serve Leicestershire. It was based as at the lavish Granville House, Leicester, England.


Centre Radio launched on 7 September 1981 in a blaze of publicity. Several adverts were placed in the Leicester Mercury, the station's presenters appeared at many local events preceding the launch. To build people's interest further, one of their more famous DJs, Timmy Mallett would often rollerskate up and down London Road. Mallett presented the first breakfast show with multi coloured hair, dressed in a dinner jacket and a bowtie and the moment was filmed for a BBC documentary.[1]

Other presenters on Centre Radio included Tony Cook, Jay Cooper, Mark Hurrell, Alan West, John Evington, Mark Williams and Kenny Hague.

Financial problems caused by the recession and over spending on the station's premises hit the fledgling station hard, but attracting listeners also proved difficult. BBC Radio Leicester had been on air since 1967, and many listeners stayed loyal to the BBC.

When a takeover bid for the station was blocked by the Independent Broadcasting Authority, Centre Radio announced on 6 October 1983 that it would cease broadcasting. Programming ended at 1pm with a short news bulletin read by Tony Cook (Centre's head of news) announcing the station's closure followed by continuous music until a final closing announcement at 5.30pm.[2][3]

The station's licence was re-advertised and won by Leicester Sound, which commenced broadcasting on 7 September 1984. Leicester Sound merged with Trent FM and Ram FM in January 2011 to form the regional station Capital FM East Midlands, based in Nottingham.


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