BBC Radio Northampton

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Coordinates: 52°14′23″N 0°53′24″W / 52.239662°N 0.890092°W / 52.239662; -0.890092

BBC Radio Northampton
BBC Radio Northampton.png
City Northampton
Broadcast area Northamptonshire
Frequency 104.2 FM, 103.6FM, DAB, Freeview channel 734
First air date 16 June 1982
Format Local news, talk and music
Language(s) English
Owner BBC Local Radio,
BBC East
Website BBC Radio Northampton

BBC Radio Northampton is the BBC Local Radio service for the English county of Northamptonshire. It broadcasts from its studios in Broadcasting House, Abington Street, Northampton (a listed building) on 104.2FM (Northampton) and 103.6FM (Geddington, between Kettering and Corby) [1]

Helen Grimes is the Managing Editor, joining the radio station in May 2015 initially as cover for Managing Editor Jess Rudkin. The Assistant Managing Editor is Marsha Ramroop, and the News Editor is Laura Cook.


The station was launched at 6:45am on 16 June 1982 on 1107 AM and 96.6 FM, with Jon Beynon's programme Start the Day, the first piece of music being John Williams's Superman theme, followed by Work that Body by Diana Ross.

The first outside broadcast followed on 17 June 1982, and the official opening was performed by the Duke of Gloucester.

The station was renamed BBC Northampton in 1990, but then changed to BBC Radio Northampton on 3 April 2000.

Broadcasting House in Abington Street, Northampton


The station has two FM transmitters, with 104.2 FM broadcast from the Boughton Green Road area of Northampton, and 103.6 FM broadcast from a mast near the village of Geddington. Listeners can tune into 104.2 in the south and west of the county (including Northampton and surrounding area), whereas 103.6 serves the north and east (including Kettering and Corby).

Along the M1, the station can be heard on 104.2 FM from Milton Keynes to Copt Oak (near Leicester). There is no longer a MW frequency, but the station went digital on DAB in March 2013. Radio Northampton was originally available on 1107 kHz MW across the County from a transmitter at Kings Heath; this was reallocated to Virgin Radio using 1233 kHz. For the north-east of the county near Oundle, the Peterborough transmitter has Radio Cambridgeshire on DAB from a NOW Digital multiplex. The Northampton transmitter also has the Global Radio-owned regional commercial station Heart FM on 96.6FM, and has national radio frequencies.

The transmitter at Daventry on Borough Hill has BBC National DAB, Digital One 11D and an MXR West Midlands 12A multiplex (since August 2001). This transmitter was the BBC's first Long wave transmitter, beginning 27 July 1925. It had not been previously used by the BBC since 1978.

It is also available through television (from the Waltham and Sandy Heath transmitters) on Freeview Channel 734.

DAB Licence[edit]

On 11 October 2007, the DAB licence was awarded to NOW Digital. MuxCo had also bid for the licence. NOW Digital expected to start broadcasting from the three transmitters at Northampton, Geddington and Daventry in September 2008, however transmissions eventually began on 28 March 2013 on DAB channel 10C. The line-up was identical to that of the neighbouring Herts, Beds and Bucks multiplex, consisting of local Northamptonshire Stations (BBC Radio Northampton: countywide, Connect FM: Wellingborough, Kettering, Corby) and national stations (Capital, Gold and Heart: Northants, Bucks, MK, Beds and Herts regional service), along with stations aimed at the Herts, Beds and Bucks area (BBC Three Counties Radio and MKFM). From February 2015 Ofcom approved the separation of the Northamptonshire multiplex from the Hertfordshire, Bedfordshire and Buckinghamshire multiplex, resulting in the removal of BBC Three Counties Radio, BOB fm and MKFM from the Northamptonshire multiplex, and the removal of BBC Radio Northampton from the Herts, Beds and Bucks multiplex.[2]

Sports coverage[edit]

BBC Radio Northampton has extensive sports output edited by Graham McKechnie. Football commentators include Tim Oglethorpe, Joe Townsend, Ian Benjamin and Terry Angus for Northampton Town, Peter Short who covers Kettering Town, Chris Barrett with Brackley and Chuck Middleton at Corby. McKechnie commentates on Northampton Saints rugby with Lennie Newman, Ian Hunter and James Knight. Northants Steelbacks cricket commentators include McKechnie, Alex Winter, Joe Townsend and Andrew Radd. When not on FM every match is covered on the website. The sports team is supplemented by News Editor Laura Cook who has a particular interest in motor sport and horse racing. The weekend preview programme, Friday Night Sport, airs between 6.00-7.00 on Friday evening.


As of Monday 25 July 2011, BBC Radio Northampton now use the generic BBC Local Radio jingles by Mcasso Music Production. On 21 October 2013 these jingles were refreshed.


The majority of the station's programming is produced and broadcast from Northampton. During off-peak hours, BBC Radio Northampton also carries regional programming for the East, produced from sister stations BBC Radio Norfolk, BBC Essex, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire and BBC Radio Suffolk. As with all BBC Local Radio stations, it also airs the networked weekday evening shows, originating from BBC Radio Leeds and produced independently by Wire Free Productions. During the station's downtime, BBC Radio Northampton simulcasts BBC Radio 5 Live overnight.

The station's local presenters include Stuart Linnell and Helen Blaby.

Former presenters[edit]


ViLoR (Virtual Local Radio) is the name of a BBC project that uses computer virtualisation and audio-over-IP to reduce the amount of equipment at a radio station. In 2014 Radio Northampton became the first station to operate in this way. [3] ViLoR is to be implemented at all BBC Local Radio stations. [4]

Satellite Van[edit]

Like other BBC local radio stations Radio Northampton no longer uses a car with a pump-up mast to get reports from locations around its area and instead uses a van with a satellite dish.

Satellite Van

Notable events[edit]

Involvement in U.S. presidential inauguration[edit]

BBC Northampton operates the Twitter account "@BBCNorthampton". A tweet was sent from the Twitter account on the day after the President's Inauguration, claiming that Donald Trump had been shot, but later the BBC confirmed that the account had been hacked.[5]


External links[edit]

Audio clips[edit]