BBC Radio Solent is the BBC Local Radio service for the Isle of Wight and the Englishcounties of Hampshire and Dorset. Its studios are located in Southampton, in the same purpose-built office block in Havelock Road as the BBC South Today news studios, and there are district offices in Portsmouth, Newport, Poole, and Dorchester. It was previously based in South Western House, the former railway hotel at the old Southampton docks terminus station.
The station, which began broadcasting on 31 December 1970, is named after the Solent, the area of sea between Southampton, Portsmouth and the Isle of Wight. In 1996 Radio Solent expanded its coverage into rural Dorset by taking over neighbouring BBC Dorset FM. In 2013 a new programme targeted specifically for Dorset listeners on 103.8 FM was launched under the name "Breakfast in Dorset" after campaigns for a more locally focused service. The programme comes from a studio complex based in Dorchester.
Nick Girdler in the BBC Radio Solent studio in Southampton.
The service is broadcast on 96.1 FM and 999 AM for Hampshire and the Isle of Wight and on 103.8 FM and 1359 AM for Dorset, DAB (NOW South Hampshire), and via its website using Flash and Windows Media streaming formats.
The signal for Hampshire on 96.1 FM from Rowridge on the Isle of Wight is less clearly audible north of Winchester than the transmissions from other BBC Local Radio stations, so that the north Hampshire town of Basingstoke is officially looked after by BBC Radio Berkshire (on 104.1 FM from Hannington), while towns such as Aldershot, Farnborough and Fleet in the north-east of the county are served by BBC Surrey via their Guildford transmitter on 104.6 FM. BBC Surrey's slogan into the news is: "The radio station for Surrey & North-East Hampshire".