Real Radio XS

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Real Radio XS
Real Radio XS logo.png
Broadcast area West Central Scotland and North West England; also other areas (latterly Yorkshire) by DAB
Frequency 96.3 FM (Renfrewshire)
106.1 FM (Manchester)
First air date 5 September 2011
Format Classic Rock
Owner Communicorp

Real Radio XS was a radio station brand operated by Real and Smooth Ltd (formerly GMG Radio) based in Salford, Greater Manchester, broadcasting a variety of peak-time news, rock music and talk output. The Manchester-based version of the service broadcast to Greater Manchester on FM, and to a number of areas on DAB: the closure of the MXR regional multiplexes ended most digital carriage of the service, with the last remaining digital transmission, to Yorkshire, ending in 2014. The other Real Radio XS service, serving Paisley and Renfrewshire on FM and central Scotland, became Xfm Scotland in 2014 before closing entirely in 2015. The Manchester frequency now transmits as XS Manchester under the control of Communicorp UK.


The station obtained a licence under the name Rock Talk despite competition from other existing stations in other categories.[1][2] The station began test transmissions as 106.1 FM Rock Radio on 10 April 2008 from the top of the City Tower (the former Sunley Building) in Piccadilly in Manchester. The station promoted its launch with a free, one-day festival at Cathedral Gardens featuring the bands Bad Company, Gun, Salford Jets, Letz Zep and Mercury.[citation needed]

Real Radio XS's sister station, 96.3 Rock Radio based in Baillieston, Glasgow, was also named Real Radio XS by parent company Guardian Media Group in 2011.[3][4] The station's parent company, Guardian Media Group, was bought by Global Radio in June 2012.[5][6][1] On 6 February 2014, Global Radio reached an agreement to sell the station and seven others to Communicorp following recommendations from the Competition Commission.[7]

The closure of most of the MXR regional DAB multiplexes in 2013 ended most digital carriage of Real XS, including in North West England where service reverted to being on FM only; the exception to this was in Yorkshire, where the MXR multiplex was not due to shut until 2015.

In 2014, in tandem with other changes including the replacement of Real Radio Yorkshire with Communicorp-run Heart Yorkshire, Real XS was removed from DAB in Yorkshire, reverting the station to Manchester-only FM service.

Real Radio XS was split up from 2014 following the Global/Communicorp deal. The Paisley and Renfrewshire service remained with Global and relaunched as a new Xfm Scotland, six years after the previous Xfm Scotland became Galaxy (now Capital Scotland). The 96.3 FM service was then shut off entirely in September 2015 in line with the relaunch of other Xfm services as Radio X.

The Manchester service retained the Real Radio XS name until early 2016, when it relaunched as XS Manchester. Unlike the other Communicorp stations, which share branding and network programming with Global networks under franchise, XS is a standalone service with its own branding, format and programming.


BAND Frequency AREA Platform NOTES
FM 106.1 Manchester FM Known as 106.1 Real Radio XS
DAB 12A Yorkshire & Humberside MXR Yorkshire Originally replaced Rock Radio but no longer carried on DAB as from mid 2014



Time Programme Presenter(s)
0100 - 0600 Non Stop Rock! Non Stop Music
0600 - 1000 Breakfast Steve Berry
1000 - 1400 Daytime Ricky Kirby
1400 – 1500 My XS Matt White
1600 - 1900 Drivetime Paul Carlin


Time Programme Presenter(s)
1900 - 2300 Evenings Sophie Yates
2300 - 0000 Non Stop Rock (Mon-Thurs) Francis Rossi (Fri)


Time Programme Presenter(s)
0100 - 0800 Non Stop Rock! Non Stop Music
0800 - 1100 Best Of Berry Matt White
1100 - 1400
Mark Matthews - XS Poll (Saturdays) Ricky Kirby - Two's Up (Sundays)
1400 - 1800 Paul Carlin (Saturdays) Kay Whyld (Sundays)
1800-1900 My XS Matt White
1900 - 2000 Francis Rossi (Saturday) Chains (Sunday)
0100 - 0800 Non Stop Rock!

Themed weekends are often featured on the station and clips are voiced by presenters which include information about the featured artist.


  1. ^ a b Rock Talk
  2. ^ Plunkett, John (8 February 2007). "Rock Talk wins Manchester bid". MediaGuardian. London: Guardian News and Media. 
  3. ^ RADIO TODAY - GMG drop Rock Radio for Real Radio XS
  4. ^ RADIO TODAY - Jazz FM leaves regional DAB platforms
  5. ^ GMG Radio sold to Global for £50m Mark Sweeney, The Guardian, 25 June 2012
  6. ^ Global Radio seals £50m purchase of GMG Radio Maisie McCabe, Media Week, 25 June 2012
  7. ^ Sandle, Paul (6 February 2014). "Denis O'Brien buys eight UK radio stations from Global Radio". Reuters. Retrieved 10 February 2014. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 53°28′12″N 2°17′16″W / 53.4701°N 2.2877°W / 53.4701; -2.2877