Centre Radio

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

History[edit]

Centre Radio was 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 which 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.

In September 1983, financial problems caused by the recession and alleged overspending setting up the 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. Geoffrey Pointon, owner of Cresnote and former MD of Centre Radio, offered a takeover bid for the station. This was agreed by the Unions, but was blocked by the Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA). Centre Radio announced on 6 October 1983 that it would cease trading. Regular programming ended at 1pm with the playing of Paul Young's "Come Back and Stay", followed by a short news bulletin read by Tony Cook (Centre's head of news) announcing the station's closure. This was followed by continuous music until 5.30pm, when Diana Ross's "The Boss" faded into a final closing announcement.[2][3]

The station's licence was re-advertised and awarded to 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.

References[edit]

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