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Richard John McNeill Allinson (born October 1958) is a British broadcaster with BBC Radio 2 and Creative Director of Magnum Opus Broadcasting. He started his broadcasting with a 3-year stint at Bailrigg FM, known at that time as University Radio Bailrigg (URB), whilst studying for a BA Hons in Economics at Lancaster University. He was firstly Treasurer and then became President of URB.
Allinson was born in Lichfield, Staffordshire. He attended Tudor Grange Grammar School for Boys in Solihull. He rejected a career in the legal profession and, in August 1980, took up broadcasting on London's Capital Radio, presenting their Chart Show. He also presented the Early Breakfast show for some of this period. Following on from Capital's Chart Show, in 1984 he took over the late-night 10pm-midnight slot. In 1987 he took over the Weekday 2-4.30pm slot, followed by the weekday Early Breakfast show 4-6.30am in 1990. In addition to this, in around 1994 he worked alongside Julia Carling on the satellite music television channel VH1, where they hosted a live show together.
Allinson joined BBC Radio 2 in 1997, presenting the Monday - Thursday late night show from 10.30pm-Midnight, which included a mix of music and guests.
In early 1999, Allinson briefly took over the weekday drivetime show from 5-7pm whilst regular presenter Johnnie Walker was off air due to personal problems, with various guest presenters taking over the late show, but in mid-1999, Richard returned to the late night show.
In addition to his late night show, in 2000, Allinson also took over a Saturday afternoon show from 3.30-6.30pm, where he introduced the 'Radio Wall Of Sound' This was where listeners could ring in, listen to a selection of snippets of tunes until they liked one particularly, for it to play as quickly as they'd shouted 'play' or made some other noise dictated by the host after the caller had been probed about their life. They were rewarded with a CD album of their choice.
Allinson stepped down from the late night slot in June 2004, so he could concentrate on fronting Radio 2's 'Live & Exclusive' series & 'Sold on Song' projects. With record producer Steve Levine he formed Magnum Opus Broadcasting to "create programming and content we wanted to hear - but could not find - on the radio. Alongside this, he still continued with his Saturday afternoon show, which was cut down to 2 hours in September 2004 & went out from 4-6pm every Saturday.
It was also during this period that he became the main stand-in for many weekday presenters when taking their holidays, such as Chris Evans, Simon Mayo, Paul O'Grady, Terry Wogan, Ken Bruce, Sarah Kennedy and Steve Wright.
His Saturday show eventually ended in September 2005, but he still continued to stand in for weekday presenters on Radio 2 as well as create and present documentaries and specialist shows for the network, such as The Record Producers, which is usually broadcast from 7-8pm on Bank Holiday Mondays. On Sunday 24 August 2008 Allinson hosted London 2012 Party Live on BBC Radio 2 from The Mall outside Buckingham Palace in London which included the 2008 Beijing Olympics handover musical celebrations.
Since 2009 Allinson has assumed Radio 2's Nightfly role with his regular Saturday and Sunday morning mix of music and interactive features. However in October 2014, due to a new nighttime schedule, Allinson will lose his slot, but will continue to be a cover presenter.
BBC Local Radio
From 8 January 2006 until 24 February 2007, Allinson presented a regular weekly show on BBC Radio Oxford on Sunday mornings from 9 am - 12 noon. The show included a mix of music, guests, competitions and a look at headlines from the Sunday papers. Since January 2007, he has presented the two-hour live show Allinson's Albums between 12-2 pm every Saturday on BBC Radio Oxford, and from 4 March 2007 is repeated on Sundays from 5-7 pm (these are no longer broadcast). The show was also broadcast on BBC Radio York on Saturday lunchtimes from 1-3pm, and on BBC Radio Cumbria each Wednesday evening, repeated on Sunday afternoons; the last edition of this was broadcast on 6 January 2013.
Allinson has been heard on the various BFBS (British Forces) radio networks since 1980, first on Most Wanted for BFBS Radio 1, where he played mostly new music with a cutting edge, later moving to BFBS UK and others, and moved to BFBS Radio 2 in 2003 presenting in a style which the public have grown accustomed to with his shows on BBC Radio 2. From October 2006 he took over a daily show for the network, going out Mondays-Fridays from 9-11am UK time, which he presented until March 2008. Richard has also been known to present shows on the BBC World Service.
Returning to Radio 2 with his own slot
From 2009, Allinson has returned to BBC Radio 2 on a regular basis, presenting the weekend overnight slots, replacing Pete Mitchell and Mo Dutta's slots. The show goes out on Friday nights/Saturday mornings from 3-6am and Saturday nights/Sunday mornings from 3-6am and is produced by production company Somethin' Else. He also presents an occasional series called The Record Producers, which goes out on Bank Holiday Mondays.
- Capital Radio Chart Show Sundays 1980 - 1984
- Capital Radio Late Show Weekdays 10pm-Midnight 1984 - 1987
- Capital Radio Afternoon Show Weekdays 2-4.30pm 1987 - 1990
- Capital Radio Early Breakfast Show Weekdays 5-7am 1990 - 1997
- BBC Radio 2 Late Nights Mondays - Thursdays 10.30pm - Midnight. March 1997 - June 2004
- BBC Radio 2 Saturday Afternoons 3.30-6.30pm April 2000-September 2004 4-6pm September 2004 - September 2005.
- BBC Radio 2 Record Producers (alongside Steve Levine) Bank Holiday Mondays 7-8pm 2006–Present
- BBC Radio 2 " Record Producers " ( alongside Steve Levine ) New Years Day 6-7pm 2007
- BBC Radio Oxford Sunday Mornings 9am-12midday January 2006 - February 2007
- BBC Radio Oxford Allinson's Albums Saturdays 12-2pm January 2007 - May 2009
- BBC Radio York Allinson's Albums Saturdays 1-3pm May 2007–2013
- BBC Radio Cumbria Allinson's Albums Sundays From June 2008 - May 2009/Wednesdays and Sundays from June 2009–January 2013
- BBC Radio 2 Weekend Overnights Friday night/Saturday Morning 3-6am & Saturday Night/Sunday Morning 3-6am 2009–Present
- Plunkett, John (27 May 2009). "Zoe Ball to host Saturday early breakfast show on Radio 2". The Guardian. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
Richard Covers Radio 2 breakfast for Chris Evans March 2010 : http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-1255008/Why-Radio-2-listeners-love-Chris-Evans-holiday-stand-Richard-Allinson.html