Signal 1

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For the T-cell signal, see T helper cell.
Signal 1
Signal 1.png
City of license Stoke-on-Trent
Broadcast area North and Mid Staffordshire & South, East and Central Cheshire
Slogan I love this station
Frequency 96.4 MHz, 96.9 MHz, 102.6 MHz, DAB
First air date 5 September 1983
Format CHR
Audience share 17.7% (March 2015, [1])
Owner UTV Radio (UTV Media)
Website Signal 1 Website

Signal 1 is a British Independent Local Radio station broadcasting from studios in Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent to Staffordshire and South, Central and East Cheshire. The station is owned by UTV Radio of which is ultimately owned by UTV Media. Signal 1 is home to Andy and Louise on Signal 1 Breakfast. It is also home to Chris Bovaird on Mid-Mornings, and Rick Houghton on the Homerun. The station also broadcasts shows from Signal studios to other radio stations across the UTV radio group.


The station began as Signal Radio which first broadcast at 6am, 5 September 1983, with DJ John Evington selecting Neil Diamond's "Beautiful Noise" as its first track.[2] The station initially broadcast on 104.3 MHz and 1170 kHz (a wavelength of 257 metres, with the phrase "2 5 7" becoming a distinctive leitmotif), changing to 102.6 MHz soon after. The station's name is derived from "Signal" the name of the newspaper in Arnold Bennett's local novels.

In 1989, Signal Radio started a six-hour output on the new 96.4 Cheshire frequency. In early 1990, Signal also launched the new Stafford transmitter broadcasting on 96.9 FM. For a time this was a simple pick up relay for Signal Radio, however, in October 1990, a new service called Echo 96 started on the 96.4 and 96.9 frequencies. This operated as an alternative AOR station. In 1991 both KFM and Echo 96 Cheshire were rebranded as Signal Cheshire, broadcasting on 96.4 FM and 104.9 FM. This meant Echo 96 was only running on the 96.9 Stafford transmitter. However, by the end of 1991, Echo 96 had become Signal Stafford which later morphed into an opt out service of Signal 1. In 2000 the 96.4 transmitter also returned to Signal 1 from Imagine FM, previously Signal Cheshire. Nowadays, apart from split ads, all transmitters carry the same programming.

As mentioned above since the early 1990s, the Stafford area has had a range of split programming on 96.9 and the alternative older targeted Signal 2 service has evolved from what was initially a "Golden Breakfast Show" only, on the original accompanying 1170 AM frequency, from back in 1992.

The Wireless Group bought the station in 1999 and were subsequently bought themselves by UTV Radio.

Signal 1 celebrated its 30th Birthday on 10 August 2013 with a special concert at Betley Court Farm in Crewe.


Signal 1's main transmitter is at Alsagers Bank, which broadcasts on 102.6 FM. As well as covering North Staffordshire and South Cheshire, the transmitter can be received well into the North West and down into the West Midlands, due to the height of the transmitter. Signal 1 also has filler transmitters at Pye Green, which covers Stafford and the surrounding area, and at Sutton Common, which covers Congleton, Macclesfield and the surrounding area. All of Signal 1's transmitters have specific ads for the local transmission area, and both Sutton Common and Pye Green are BT backbone link towers.

Signal 1 also broadcasts on the local Stoke and Stafford DAB multiplex 12D.


Signal 1 has its studios on Stoke Road in the Shelton area of Stoke-on-Trent in a building that was previously occupied as a warehouse. The Studio complex contains 7 dedicated studios as well as a studio used for live music recordings. The studios are shared with Signal 1's sister station Signal 2.

Occasional outside broadcasts are made in a specially built outside broadcast studio on a converted bus.

Signal 1 acts as the home station to the UTV Radio network for overnight and networked shows with all overnight weekday shows coming from the Signal Radio studios.

Signal Radio hosts events for local children's charities every year under the "Help a Signal Child" banner.


Signal 1 broadcasts local programming between 6am and 7pm. At other times programs are shared with the rest of the UTV network with Signal 1 being the home station from where they are broadcast. The Vodafone Big Top 40 show on a Sunday is produced by Global Radio and is broadcast from its studios in Leicester Square, London and Pat Sharp's Saturday Night Party and Dave Pearce Anthems are pre-recorded and broadcast Voice Tracked.

Notable presenters[edit]

Networked presenters include Pat Sharp and Dave Pearce,[3] and syndicated, Marvin Humes and Kat Shoob.[4]

Signal Radio Media Academy[edit]

In 2012, Signal 1 lent its name to the Signal Radio Media Academy, a course run and taught by Stoke on Trent College with Signal 1 as a BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Radio Production. For two days a week, the course is based at the Burslem Campus of Stoke on Trent College where the students also run their own radio station Heatwave Radio. Teaching takes places both at the college in Burslem as well at Signal's studios in Shelton, with specialist input from Signal staff.


  1. ^ "Quarterly listening figures". RAJAR. 
  2. ^ "John Evington". 
  3. ^ "On Air - Signal 1". Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  4. ^ "Big Top 40". Retrieved April 12, 2015. 

External links[edit]