Ministry of Sound Radio

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Ministry of Sound Radio
Ministry of Sound Radio Logo.png

The Ministry of Sound Radio (MoS) began service as a UK-based radio station operating since 1999. It is now found on the Ministry of Sound website as streaming audio.

Current MoS radio's DJs include: DJ Bailey, X-Press 2, Hed Kandi residents Andy Norman and Krystal Roxx, Markus Schulz, DJ Storm, Hospital Records, Matt Darey, Above and Beyond, Todd Edwards, and Mark Knight.

The current team is led by Steve O'Connor and syndicates radio shows around the globe, as well as running the online stream and on-demand options. The station is based near the Ministry of Sound, at 103 Gaunt Street in south London.


The station can trace its history back to a one-hour-long, syndicated radio programme called the "Ministry of Sound Dance Party" which was produced in a tiny studio in the MoS offices using Protools from 1996, by Robert Sharp. He was joined by Gavin Kingsley from 1997, who also sourced DJ mixes which ended up as free CDs on the front of Ministry magazine.

At its height during the late 1990s, the dance party appeared on over 50 radio stations in 38 countries worldwide. The syndication of the show spurred Ministry manager James Bethel to turn the programme into a rolling audio stream which was available on the MoS website from 1998. Gradually older shows and mixes were added to the stream.

Greater London DAB service[edit]

Following an independent report, commissioned by Bethel, on the future of MoS radio services, he led an application for a DAB licence for a full-scale radio station. The service was included as part of an application by a consortium called Switch Digital which proposed eight other services (including Heart 106.2, BBC London Live and Jazz FM. There were two other consortia bidding for the licence,[1] but Switch won the Greater London 2 (12A frequency) DAB licence from the then Radio Authority in 1999 to cover an area which included London and most of the Home Counties with ten transmitters. [2]

Bethel recruited the reports authors David Dunne (formerly Head of Music at MTV UK and Kiss 102) and Mark Ovenden (who had worked with Dunne at the same places and was also a former BBC Radio 1 producer). The small team of Sharp, Kingsley, Dunne and Ovenden began ripping thousands of dance tracks into the system, making a station identity and planning a full schedule. Another member of staff hired that year was Wendy Marr. Charlotte Coker joined later, as did Alexander Bartelemy, John Askew, Drew Erskine, Brian Cheetham and Iam Fulton (temporary).

Ministry of Sound Radio began test transmissions from a single PC in Bethel's office during the summer of 2000, while a full studio was constructed opposite the MoS reception desk. The station was also simulcast on the web, where at one point, it became the most listened to dance radio stream and eighth most listened to of any radio stream in the world (December 2001 [3]).

The station moved to live programming when the studio was ready, from 21 September 2000. The station was officially launched by Paul Oakenfold with a live mix from inside the club itself.[4] Despite the minuscule audience listening on digital radio at that point, London had 50 DAB stations,[5] Dunne insisted on live DJs being put on air daily from 16:00 to 20:00, with live broadcasts from inside the Ministry club every Sunday morning from 02:00 to 06:00.

The music policy was almost exclusively housetrancehard house-based, as this style of music was primarily what the club was known for, and R'n'B was already being well-covered on the broadcast band in London. (There was only one regular soul/R'n'B programme: Bobby & Steve's 'Soul Heaven'). When no live programmes were on, the automated Maestro system played out back-to-back music from the playlist or pre-recorded programmes.

During July and August 2000, the station was broadcast live every night from a makeshift studio built into the Ministry's hotel in Ibiza.

On 31 December 2000, Ministry held a New Years Eve party at the Millennium Dome. The radio station ran a nine-hour, live, outside broadcast from the event, relaying the main dancefloor across London and to the world online.

Such a commitment to a DAB-only radio service was considered a major achievement in the industry and was honoured in 2002, when the station was awarded Gold as Digital Radio Station of the year at the InCar Magazine awards.

In 2001 the station also became the first UK DAB-only station to generate income from a paid-for commercial.[6]

Central Scotland DAB service[edit]

The success of the first feed then led Switch Digital to add Ministry of Sound Radio to its application, for the next DAB service in Central Scotland. Switch won this licence, and from June 2001, it went live across Central Scotland, with a launch party broadcast live from a club in Glasgow. Though at first the rest of the programming was a direct feed of the London service, and no local programming was made, there were plans to augment with local material at a later date.

Central London RSL[edit]

Dunne and Ovenden led an application for a temporary Restricted Service Licence on the FM band in Central London. The Radio Authority awarded this in early 2001. The station went on air 1 October 2001, for a 28-day period on 87.7 mHz in a roughly 3-mile radius (5 km) around the club at Elephant and Castle. The line-up of programming was unprecedented for a RSL[citation needed] and included major names in dance music at that time: Daily line-up was former Kiss 100 breakfast presenter Steve Jackson back on FM at breakfast, mid-morning DJ Paulette, Lottie and Caroline at lunchtime, Jazzy M mid-afternoon, former Kiss 100 presenters Janice Vee and Lorraine Ashdown at drive. Bobby & Steve got a nightly show at 20:00. Evenings and weekends were shared by shows or specially mixes by: David Morales, Chicane, Matt Darey, Paul Oakenfold, Paul Van Dyk, Ferry Corsten, Faithless, The Orb, Hybrid, Way Out West, Yomanda, Mario Piu, Lisa Lashes, Mauro Picotto, 4hero, Goldie, Tom Stephan, Graeme Park, Tayo, Anne Savage, Alan Thompson, Claude Challe, Chris Coco, Moonface, Corvin Dalek, Parks & Wilson, DJ Rap, John Creamer, Da Intelex, Botchit & Scarper, Luke Hope, Smokin Jo, John Askew, Alex Bartelemy, Gareth Cooke, Anton Rocca, Lewis Dene, So Solid Crew, Pied Piper, Ashley Cassselle and Stanton Warriors with shows by labels Defected, Strictly Rhythm, Hooj Tunes, Incentive, and Nukleuz, and clubs like Trade, Bedrock, Pacha, Space, Bora Bora, Renaissance, Fabric, DTPM, Hard Times, The Gallery and Headstart. It was a line-up of dance music heavyweights never before seen in any one month on one radio station in the world, and one reason why the station has been cited as launch pad for many new DJs who've gone on to bigger things.[7][8]

The RSL generated over £100,000 in advertising and sponsorship revenue - one of the highest achieved for an RSL.[citation needed]

The low-powered signal was supposed to cover a small part of south and central London, but although there were also some pirate stations operating in the city on the same frequency at the time, the MOSR signal was picked up by DXers. [9] There was one report phoned in from as far away as on the M1 near St Albans.[citation needed] Posters and stickers for the station remained visible for many months afterwards, including on a phone box in Paddington, two years after the service went off air.[citation needed]


In a turn of events, 40 MoS staff were made redundant during October 2001, while the RSL was still on air, including several of the leading people who had put the RSL package together (ex: Ryan Diedericks, Ryan D).[citation needed]

The DAB service was closed in December 2002.[10] The London frequency was taken over by Galaxy FM.

Sky Digital[edit]

In 2005 Ministry of Sound Radio, under the then Head of Radio Robert Sharp, made a short-lived appearance on the Sky Digital platform (Channel 0198).


There have been at least two pieces of audio hardware produced with the MoS branding which have been capable of receiving DAB audio broadcasts (despite the station coming off DAB in 2002).[11]

Recent progress[edit]

From March 2007, the station expanded further, launching two on-demand channels offering non-stop chill-out and underground sessions. It also launched a gadget for Vista, described as the most advanced Vista gadget in the world.[12]

By April 2010, the live station stream was available via the free iPhone app. Also, it was one of the first radio stations available as an app for Apple's iPad.[13]


  1. ^ "Radio Authority receives three applications for second Greater",, 11 January 2000, webpage: Ofc3.
  2. ^ "Radio Authority awards second local digital multiplex",, 7 April 2000, webpage: Ofc47.
  3. ^ "Ministry of Sound radio becomes world's biggest dance music Internet radio station",, 30 January 2002, webpage: Aka2.
  4. ^ "Ministry of Sound debuts CD-quality radio station on RealNetworks",, 13 April 2005, webpage: BR243.
  5. ^ "Faithless's Sister Bliss joins Ministry of Sound Radio",, 2 March 2012, webpage: WN0302.
  6. ^ "What's Hot in DAB - The World DAB Forum",, June 2001, webpage: P.
  7. ^ "Ministry of Sound radio's new weekly fix",, 2 April 2006, webpage: ITM49.
  8. ^ Needs source.
  9. ^ "October 2001 DX News". DX Radio. Retrieved 2013-03-03. 
  10. ^ "London radio stations guide",, webpage: RNco.
  11. ^ "Ministry of Sound handheld personal DR-011 DAB", 21 January 2003, webpage: RNco38.
  12. ^ "Ministry of Sound Radio player gadget official",, 2007, webpage: WVM20.
  13. ^ "(dead link)", MoSdanc.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°29′51″N 0°5′58″W / 51.49750°N 0.09944°W / 51.49750; -0.09944