Heart Gloucestershire

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Heart Gloucestershire
The Heart Network logo.svg
City of license Gloucester
Broadcast area Gloucestershire
Branding This is Gloucestershire's Heart
Slogan More Music Variety
Frequency 102.4 & 103.0 MHz, DAB
First air date 23 October 1980
Format Hot AC
Audience share 12.6% (December 2009, [1])
Power 1.2 kW
Transmitter coordinates 51°52′06″N 2°10′25″W / 51.8684°N 2.1736°W / 51.8684; -2.1736Coordinates: 51°52′06″N 2°10′25″W / 51.8684°N 2.1736°W / 51.8684; -2.1736
Owner Heart Network, Global Radio
Website Heart Gloucestershire

Heart Gloucestershire (formerly Severn Sound) is a local radio station owned and operated by Global Radio as part of the Heart network. It broadcasts to Gloucestershire from studios in Gloucester.

The transmitter is at Churchdown Hill, just west of the M5; the same transmitter as Radio Gloucestershire.


Severn Sound started transmissions on 23 October 1980, from its first studio at the "Old Talbot Pub" in Southgate Street, Gloucester. The pub had been bought by local businessmen including Clive Lindley (Chairman of the Roadchef motorway service stations and Chairman of Severn Sound). The station's first employee was Chief Engineer Quentin Howard who converted the pub into the radio station.

The original presenters were Alan Roberts (Head of Music) on Breakfast, Christopher Musk on mid-mornings, Eddie Vickers (Programme Controller) on the Lunchtime News and Topical programme, Laura de Vere on the Afternoon Show and Steve Ellis on Drivetime. There used to be a Sunday lunch show where the presenter would go to various areas of Gloucester and share Sunday lunch with the residents of that house. Jerry Thomas, top Gloucester Comedian, used to host the show, with Christopher Musk.

A variety of local presenters then hosted specialist music shows during the evenings, With Mike Longley's Sunday Gold (now BBC Producer), Roger Tovell on the Late Show. Andy Westgate and Pat Cory joined about a year after the station's launch, as Laura de Vere left the station. Jerry "The Hippo" Hipkiss hosted a Saturday soul show (Now on Gloucester FM) and Ivanhoe Campbell hosted a reggae show. Glen Thompsett (now an ITV Meridian News reporter & presenter) started his career at Severn Sound as one of the engineers, later going on to present the Saturday Rock Show, later working with Ken Goodwin (ITV West News) on the 'Glen & Ken' Kids show - formerly Dr Fosters Medicine show.

The news editor was Geoff Barratt, with Nigel Dean (now at Sky Sports) as head of sport and, amongst other newsroom staff, were Graham Gardner, Ivor Ward-Davies, Peter Cullimore, Judith Dingley & Cornelius Lysaght, all subsequently at the BBC, Ken Goodwin and Mark Dyson, a Lib Dem candidate at the 2010 General Election.

Other past presenters include Tony Wright, who was part of the Breakfast Show, with Lynne Scott, between 1997 & 2000. He stayed at the station until 2002 and is currently the Breakfast presenter at The Breeze South West & Late Presenter at Heart's competitor The Breeze (Cheltenham & North Gloucestershire)). Also, Russ & Garthy (breakfast presenters 2001–2005), Kate McAllister (previously part of the breakfast trio with Russ & Garthy; left to go to The Breeze (Cheltenham & North Gloucestershire)), Andy Beeley who is now on the radio in Canada, Martin Mills, Andy Henly, Gregg Upwards (Now at Sunshine Radio), Kam Kelly (Radio Aire), Shaun Moore, Nick Carter, Toni Macdonald (Now at BBC Hereford & Worcester), Neil Vincent, Dean Roberts, Robert Kenny (Now at The Breeze Thames Valley), Helen Purcell, Steve Aspey, Paul Seed, Julian Watkins and Steve Wilkinson.

One, notable, director was the writer Dennis Potter, who played an active role in the station's early years and lived in Ross on Wye. Potter's Pennies from Heaven producer, Kenith Trodd, presented a Sunday programme of 78 records featuring singers such as Al Bowlly, which Todd and Potter had used in Pennies from Heaven. Another Director was England rugby player, Mike Burton, who also started Gulliver's Travels, a sports travel agency.

In 1983, two of the station's engineers were killed on an outside broadcast. The pneumatic mast of their radio car touched an overhead 11kV power line, whilst they were preparing for a live broadcast from Soudeley Castle, Winchcombe. The inquiry into the accident found Severn Sound guilty of Health and Safety offences and fined the company £2,500. Many new safety procedures for radio cars were introduced across the whole industry as a result of the accident.

The station was sold to the Chiltern Radio Group, after some resistance, in 1989 and was later taken over by the GWR group in 1995. GCap Media was sold to Global Radio in 2008.

During the Gloucester/Tewkesbury flood crisis of Summer 2007, Severn Sound was forced to move, temporarily, to the GWR FM Bristol Studios, due to a loss of electricity and running water.[1]

Split frequencies[edit]

In 1990, Severn Sound split frequencies, with its 774 kHz AM frequency being renamed Three Counties Radio, expanding to cover Hereford & Worcester. This was an "oldies" station and was a mix of local programmes and networking from Chiltern Radio Network's Supergold service.[citation needed] Presenters who moved from Severn Sound to Three Counties included Tony Peters & Sally Low Hurry. John Hellings was brought in as breakfast presenter. In 1992, Three Counties Radio was re-branded as Severn Sound Supergold (it also stopped being promoted in Hereford & Worcester) and was re-branded again, in 1996, by new owners GWR as Severn Sound Classic Gold. Ownership rules meant that GWR had to sell all their Classic Gold licences to UBC Media and another re-brand to Classic Gold 774 followed. Today, the heritage name "Severn" is no longer mentioned on 774 AM after it was re-branded again, in 2007, to Gold, and again on 24 March 2014 to Smooth Radio, all programming on 774 AM now comes from London.


In September 2008, it was announced that Severn Sound would become Heart Gloucestershire as part of a national re-branding exercise by owners Global Radio, which has seen twenty-nine stations renamed as Heart Radio.[2]

The new Heart Gloucestershire branding was launched at 6am on Monday 23 March 2009 with local programming broadcast from the above-the-street Bridge Studios, part of the Eastgate Shopping Centre (The Mall) in Gloucester. Local news bulletins on the station are now produced by Heart West Country in Bristol, following the closure of its Gloucester newsroom during the summer of 2010.


Local programming is produced and broadcast from Heart's Gloucester studios from 6-10am and 4-7pm on weekdays, 1-5pm on Saturdays and 12pm-4pm on Sundays. All networked programming originates from Global Radio's London headquarters, including the syndicated Vodafone Big Top 40 on Sunday afternoons.

The station's local presenters include Warren Moore (Heart Breakfast) and Justin Walker (weekday drivetime).

Heart News[edit]

Heart Gloucestershire broadcasts hourly local news bulletins from 6am-7pm on weekdays and 6am-12pm at weekends, produced by the Heart West Country news team based in Bristol, which also produces the news service for Heart Wiltshire.

National news updates air hourly from Global's London headquarters at all other times.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Floods force Severn Sound to move, Press Gazette, 29 July 2007
  2. ^ Radio Today

External links[edit]