107.8 Radio Jackie
|Broadcast area||South West London and North Surrey (parts of east Berkshire included)|
|Slogan||"The Sound of South West London and North Surrey"|
|First air date||19 March 1969|
|Owner||100% Radio Jackie|
Radio Jackie is an Independent Local Radio station in Kingston upon Thames, England broadcasting news, popular hits, and local information to South-West London and North Surrey from its studios in Tolworth.
Radio Jackie began as a pirate station with a half-hour slot on the Helen Network. When the station folded in 1969, however, Radio Jackie took over the broadcasting on the 1525 kHz frequency and soon became one of the most popular pirate stations in the country. It changed frequency several times, settling on 1332 kHz in 1978 when the new European frequency guidelines were implemented. From February 1971, it also broadcast on FM on 94.4 MHz every Saturday evening.
By the early 1980s, Radio Jackie had become a 24-hour-a-day local station with studios in Worcester Park and a shop in Morden. It employed full-time staff, was VAT-registered and had an entry in the phone directory—a very public operation for an illegal broadcaster. The station had huge public support with local borough councils and MPs supporting its wish to gain a licence. In 1972, a recording of the station was even played in the House of Commons at the committee stage of the Sound Broadcasting Bill, as an example of what local radio could sound like.
In the mid-1980s, however, new laws meant that the days of pirate stations were numbered, and as one of the highest-profile stations Radio Jackie was an early target. Despite huge local protests the station ceased broadcasting on 4 February 1985. At the time it was south west London's second most popular station.
Ten years after their pirate radio closedown, in 1996, Tony Collis made efforts to bring the station back as a legal broadcaster when the South-West London licence was advertised. A detailed set of plans were produced with a lot of community content, but the Radio Authority (now Ofcom) awarded Thames the licence on 107.8 FM. Over the years Thames Radio, as it was later renamed, fell into financial difficulty, and in 2003, the Radio Authority gave the original chairman Tony Collis permission to make a bid for the station. He purchased Thames Radio and Radio Jackie was relaunched on 107.8 MHz on Sunday 19 October 2003.
Radio Jackie transmits with 800 watts of ERP power, using a transmitter on the top of Tolworth Tower. Although the station is for South West London and North Surrey, the 107.8 frequency can be heard quite clearly in parts of North London, South Buckinghamshire, East Berkshire and South Hertfordshire. The RDS PS name is -JACKIE-.
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