Queen's Radio

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Queen's Radio
Queen's Radio logo.png
Broadcast area Greater Belfast
Frequency Currently broadcasting via online player and 1134MW
First air date 29 September 2003; Medium Wave:6 February 2006
Format Student radio
Owner Queen's University Belfast
Website queensradio.org

Queen's Radio (or QR) is a student radio station, broadcasting a wide variety of shows, based at Queen's University, Belfast, Northern Ireland, currently broadcasting via online stream.

Its studios are located in the Students' Union building. It is the only licensed student station broadcasting in Northern Ireland, and one of several on the island.


Queen's Radio began broadcasting on 29 September 2003, initially over the Queen's University campus network and then the internet. In late 2005, the station was successful in acquiring a low-powered AM license, allowing it to broadcast to Queen's Halls of Residence (Elms Village) directly via Medium Wave. This service commenced on 6 February 2006.

Queen's Radio is operated by the 'Queen's University of Belfast Radio Club', which was originally formed in 1953, making it two years older than the independent student newspaper The Gown. The old Radio Club was a general purpose electronics, amateur radio and computer club, and provided facilities for students to pursue hobby interests in these areas and participated in amateur radio contests, etc. In the late 1990s the University evicted it from its premises in Fitzwilliam St and the club became almost dormant for several years.

In 2001, the Radio Club was taken over by a group of students with the intention of forming a broadcast radio station, and giving QUB students experience of all aspects of broadcast radio. After two years of acquiring equipment, building up membership and negotiating with the Students' Union for premises, the station was ready to broadcast at the start of term in the 2003/04 academic year. The first live show was 'The Lunchbox' presented by Ian Llewellyn, although a pilot show had already been recorded by Shane Horan before the summer break.

There was previously a temporary RSL (restricted service licence) FM radio station at Queen's called 'Fresh Air'. This operated during the first week of term in September 1995 and was hosted by Cool FM DJs and some students, including the now BBC Radio Ulster presenter/producer Donna Legge, Citybeat presenter Stuart Robinson and Downtown Radio DJ Lynda Cullan but was not set up or run by students at Queen's.

Before Queen's Radio was set up in its current form, Queen's University had rejected a proposal from University staff to set up a station at Queen's - It was judged to be too expensive to set up and maintain. Now it is considered to be a major draw to the University to prospective undergraduates.

In 2009 the station made headlines when it aired an advert for reducing carbon emissions which Sammy Wilson had banned from being broadcast in Northern Ireland.[1]

In late 2009 the station pulled its Medium Wave transmission but continued to broadcast via its online player available from the station's website.

Currently, the station is managed by Sarah Teggart, Chantelle Harvey and Laura Sproule.


In November 2005, the station was awarded the Gold Award for Best Technical Achievement for its computer-based Record of Transmission / Archiving system at the Student Radio Awards. In 2010 the station had three shows nominated for the Irish Smedia Awards. It also won Best Contribution to SU Media and the QUB Union awards, and was nominated short listed for Most Improved Society of the Year.

In April 2013, Queen's Radio DJ Christopher McBride was long listed for the Sony Golden Headphones Award for the UK's favourite presenter.[2]

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