BBC Radio Derby

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BBC Radio Derby
BBC Radio Derby logo 2020.svg
Broadcast areaDerbyshire and East Staffordshire
FrequencyRDS: BBCDerby, 104.5 FM, 95.3 FM, 96 FM, 1116 MW, DAB, Freeview channel 735
SloganThe sound of Derby, and all the music you love
FormatTalk / News / Music
OwnerBBC Local Radio,
BBC East Midlands
First air date
29 April 1971
WebsiteBBC Radio Derby

BBC Radio Derby is the BBC Local Radio station for the English county of Derbyshire, covering all but the northern tip of the county, and also serves eastern Staffordshire, mainly Uttoxeter and Burton upon Trent. The station broadcasts from its studios in Derby on 104.5, 95.3 (Stanton Moor, near Bakewell) and 96.0 (Buxton) FM and 1116 (Burnaston Lane, next to the Toyota factory) AM. It also transmits its programmes over the internet, and, as of 23 July 2014, broadcasts on DAB Digital Radio on the NOW Derbyshire DAB Multiplex.

According to RAJAR, the station has a weekly audience of 129,000 listeners and a 9.4% share as of September 2019.[1]


BBC Radio Derby's satellite van pictured in Osnabrück - Derby's twin city.

BBC Radio Derby began broadcasting officially on 29 April 1971, though it went on air two months earlier than planned to cover the bankruptcy of the local aero-engine manufacturer Rolls-Royce. The station's logo was a Rams head in the late 1980s and early 1990s (as many other organisations in Derby have).

Much of the station's output is speech based, featuring news, sport, weather, travel, interviews, and discussions, mixed in with music and competitions. The station's primary audience is aimed at listeners aged over 45, though the sports and weekend shows attract a greater age range.

BBC Radio Derby Sport broadcasts live match commentaries from local football teams, especially Derby County and Burton Albion. There is also extensive coverage of Derbyshire cricket during the summer.

The station won the prestigious "Station of the Year" award in the category for radio stations that serve between 300,000 and 1 million listeners at the Sony Radio Academy Awards in 2007, 2010 and 2011, becoming the first BBC local radio station to win it three times.[2] Also, in both 2017[3] and 2009, Radio Derby was named Station of the Year in the BBC local radio station Gillard awards.


BBC Radio Derby's medium wave transmitter at Burnaston.

104.5FM is the primary frequency for BBC Radio Derby, and comes from a 200 ft transmitting mast on Drum Hill, four miles north of the Derby City Centre, the other side of the A38 from Little Eaton, next to a Scout camp. This service used to come from the Sutton Coldfield transmitter. There is a transmitter for the Bakewell and Matlock areas based at Stanton Moor on 95.3 FM, and a relay of that frequency for the Buxton area on 96 FM. Although its in Derbyshire, Chesterfield is officially catered for by BBC Radio Sheffield which has a dedicated relay transmitter in the town. Likewise, the north-western portion of the county taking in Glossop, Chapel, and Whaley Bridge is served by BBC Radio Manchester.

In addition, all of BBC Radio Derby's area is served via its medium wave service on 1116 kHz which comes from its transmitting mast at Burnaston, just south of the city, close to the Toyota car plant.

The station broadcasts on DAB via the multiplex known as NOW Derbyshire. A local Derbyshire DAB licence was advertised by OFCOM in January 2007, and was awarded to "Now Digital" with an "on air" date originally planned for July 2008, which was delayed until July 2014.[4] The multiplex is transmitted from five transmitter sites; Chesterfield, Drum Hill, Tibshelf, Stanton Moor, and Lichfield. There are also long term plans for further transmitters at Buxton, Ashbourne, and Glossop.

It is also available through television (from the Waltham transmitter) on Freeview Channel 735.


Most of BBC Radio Derby's programming is produced and broadcast from its Derby studios from 6am - 10pm on Sundays - Fridays and from 6am-6pm and 8-9pm on Saturdays.

During off-peak hours, BBC Radio Derby also carries regional programming for the Midlands and East Midlands regions, produced from sister stations BBC Radio Nottingham and BBC WM. During the station's downtime, BBC Radio Derby simulcasts BBC Radio 5 Live overnight.

Notable past presenters[edit]

Blue plaque on Radio Derby's building.

Colin Bloomfield Sun Meter[edit]

Colin Bloomfield Sun Meter Markeaton Park.jpg

On 3 June 2016, Radio Derby unveiled the UK's first public UV meter in Markeaton Park.[5] It was a joint venture with the charity Skcin and was paid for with proceeds from the Colin Bloomfield Melanoma Appeal. Later in the year, a second meter was unveiled in Long Eaton's West Park.

Money Mountain appeals[edit]

From 1983 until 2008, BBC Radio Derby held its annual 'Money Mountain' event. In later years this took place on the second Sunday of October; however it was originally held over the course of the entire weekend, and was presented from a marquee in the station's car park. This idea was abandoned a few years prior to the event's demise and all presenting took place inside the station building itself.

The idea of the event was to support local charities with donations from listeners. The day commenced with 'Dial a Hymn'; where listeners dedicated hymns to loved ones in exchange for a donation. This was then followed at 9 am by an on-air auction which lasted until late in the evening. Lots typically consisted services by local companies (such as car valeting) and unique items (such as signed celebrity photographs, behind-the-scenes tours and home-made products).

In 2004, the amount of money raised over the years passed the one million pound mark. The person who pledged the bid to surpass this figure was rewarded with a cut glass trophy.

The 2008 auction was to be the last. Twenty-five years had passed since the first auction, and it was decided for the event to "go out on a high" in the anniversary year. The final lot was to win the actual gavel used during the auction over the years. This raised £350; the final total for the 2008 auction was £20,951.31, bringing the grand total over the twenty-five years to £1,121,010.31.


The station's jingles have varied greatly over the years as trends in music and technology have changed; indeed, the jingle that plays prior to every hourly news bulletin (one of a new batch of tunes introduced in January 2017), features the slogan, On Radio, TV and Mobile - this is BBC Radio Derby; a reflection of the different ways in which the station's output can be heard these days. In the mid-1980s, the station's slogan was "Rise and shine on 269!"; the '269' referring to the 269 metres wavelength of the 1116 kHz medium-wave frequency. This slogan formed the basis of many jingles in this era, but was phased out in the 1990s as the FM frequencies increased in popularity. Nowadays, mentions of the 269m wavelength are rare, with the presenters tending to simply mention the actual frequency of the medium-wave signal.

From the commencement of the 96FM frequency for the Buxton area until April 2008, the jingles were provided by Bespoke Music of Penryn, Cornwall (being exactly the same as Radio Wiltshire). They were then provided by Wise Buddah Productions of London. Now the generic Mcasso jingles are used.


  1. ^ "RAJAR". RAJAR. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  2. ^ "BBC Radio Derby wins Sony Station of the Year award - BBC News". BBC. Retrieved 25 April 2015.
  3. ^ [1] 'Radio Derby wins BBC Local Station of the Year'
  4. ^ "When will Radio Derby be on DAB?" BBC Radio Derby. 23 February 2011.
  5. ^ "First UK public UV sun meter unveiled in Derby" 3 June 2016

External links[edit]

52°55′35″N 1°28′56″W / 52.92643°N 1.48209°W / 52.92643; -1.48209Coordinates: 52°55′35″N 1°28′56″W / 52.92643°N 1.48209°W / 52.92643; -1.48209