BBC Radio Manchester

Coordinates: 53°28′23″N 2°17′53″W / 53.473°N 2.298°W / 53.473; -2.298
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BBC Radio Manchester
Broadcast areaGreater Manchester, north-east Cheshire and north-west Derbyshire.
FrequencyFM: 95.1 MHz (Greater Manchester)
FM: 104.6 MHz (Upper Tame Valley)
DAB: 11C
Freeview: 719
FormatLocal news, talk and music
OwnerBBC Local Radio,
BBC North West
First air date
10 September 1970
Former names
BBC GMR (1988–2006)
GMR Talk (1997)
BBC Manchester
Former frequencies
1296 MW
1457 MW
Technical information
Licensing authority
WebsiteBBC Radio Manchester

BBC Radio Manchester is the BBC's local radio station serving Greater Manchester.

It broadcasts on FM, DAB, digital TV and via BBC Sounds from studios at MediaCityUK in Salford Quays.

According to RAJAR, the station has a weekly audience of 181,000 listeners and a 1.9% share as of September 2023.[1]


BBC Radio Manchester (1970–1988)[edit]

Piccadilly Studios, home of Radio Manchester between 1970 and 1975
BBC New Broadcasting House, Oxford Road, home of Radio Manchester between 1975 and 2011

BBC Radio Manchester launched at 6 am on 10 September 1970 as the first local radio station in the city of Manchester. Initially broadcasting from studios at 33 Piccadilly overlooking Piccadilly Gardens in the city centre, the station's long-standing home was New Broadcasting House on Oxford Road. Radio Manchester originally broadcast only on 95.1 VHF (FM); the frequency of 206 metres (1457 kHz), on the AM medium wave band was added approximately 2 years after the station first went on air. The first voice on air was Alan Sykes. Other presenters included Roy Cross, Sandra Chalmers, Mike Riddoch and Alex Greenhalgh.

In the mid 1970s, Radio Manchester was notable for the "Midway through the Day" programme which introduced strip programming and ran from lunchtime until 7 pm. Presenters changed throughout the day, and it was the precursor of the now common chat and music format. At the same time Radio Manchester began an evening programme from 10 pm to midnight which often repeated interviews from "Midway through the Day". By the 1980s, the late evening programming had ended, apart from on Sundays when local programming continued to be broadcast until midnight.

Opt-out stations[edit]

In 1983 and 1984, Radio Manchester ran a series of experimental community stations jointly funded by the BBC and the Greater Manchester County Council, each of which used the 1296 kHz AM frequency in turn. The stations were BBC Radio Bury (late 1983 / early 1984), BBC Radio Oldham, BBC Radio Rochdale (eight weeks from 14 May 1984), BBC Radio Trafford (which operated from a mobile studio in a school playground) and BBC Radio Wigan (summer 1984). The stations were part-time services which opted out from the main BBC Radio Manchester service. The experiments were never repeated.[2]

BBC GMR (1988–2006)[edit]

Between 30 October 1988 until 3 April 2006, the station was named BBC GMR (Greater Manchester Radio) and, for a brief period in 1997, GMR Talk. Programmes included a phone-in with Allan Beswick (who remains at the station and has presented a variety of shows at differing times, currently presenting a late night talk show which is now only broadcast at weekends and simulcast with BBC Radio Lancashire and BBC Radio Merseyside), late-night music and comedy show Michelle Mullane around Midnight and GMR Brass, a brass band music programme. From 1991, GMR was part of the BBC Night Network.

In 1996, BBC GMR began broadcasting from a second transmitter from Saddleworth on 104.6 FM, (which had and continues to serve as a transmitter for Key 103 for over 20 years). This meant areas of the Upper Tame Valley including Saddleworth and Tameside, down to Hyde saw improved coverage, which was poor at times from Holme Moss, especially indoors.

MediaCityUK, home of Radio Manchester since 2011

BBC Radio Manchester relaunch (2006–present)[edit]

After 18 years the station reverted to its original name, Radio Manchester along with a new jingle package composed by IQ Beats. The first voice on the relaunched station was that of Tony Wilson followed by long-time local personality and breakfast presenter Terry Christian, the first song was Manchester by the Beautiful South.

At 6 am on Saturday 8 October 2011, the station ended its transmissions from its Oxford Road studios and began broadcasting from MediaCityUK in Salford Quays. The final show from Oxford Road was presented by Darryl Morris and the first from the new studios by Andy Crane.


Local programming is produced and broadcast from the BBC's MediaCityUK studios in Salford. Local programming currently airs between 6am and 10pm.

In October 2023, Manchester became one of the host stations for the weeknight editions of the new BBC local radio late show, broadcast across all stations on the network, from Sunday to Thursday, being presented by Becky Want. Friday and Saturday evenings are broadcast from London.[3] At 1am, the station hands over to BBC Radio 5 Live and BBC Radio London.


Notable current presenters[edit]

Notable former presenters[edit]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "RAJAR". RAJAR. Retrieved 27 September 2015.
  2. ^ BBC Annual Report and Handbook 1985. BBC. 1984. p. 16. ISBN 0-563-20371-4.
  3. ^ Collins, Steve (27 July 2023). "Becky Want and Jo Good to host new Local BBC Radio late show". Radio Today. Retrieved 27 July 2023.
  4. ^ "BBC Radio Manchester - Talking Balls". BBC. Retrieved 13 September 2021.
  5. ^ BBC Programme Index - BBC Radio Manchester 27 March 2022
  6. ^ "Tony Wilson has cancer". RadioToday. 14 February 2007. Retrieved 13 September 2021.

External links[edit]

53°28′23″N 2°17′53″W / 53.473°N 2.298°W / 53.473; -2.298