2012 05 31 BBC R2 – pt1 Radio Luxembourg 208 – Your Station of the Stars
2012 06 07 BBC R2 – pt2 Radio Luxembourg 208 – Your Station of the Stars
Part 1 – Thursday 31 May 2012, 10.00-11.00pm, BBC RADIO 2
Noel Edmonds tells the story of the original pop music station
in the UK – Radio Luxembourg. It was hugely influential for millions
of so-called ‘under the bedclothes listeners’ who were starved of 60s
pop music, but frustrated by the signal, which faded in and out.
This month marks the 80th anniversary of the first test transmissions to Britain.
A full service started in 1933 and it was 20 years ago that it finally closed down
to UK listeners. The story of Radio Luxembourg is the story of pop music radio,
but it is also much more.
In part one Noel takes listeners back to 1932 and preparations to fire-up the mighty
Junglinster transmitter, on a long-wave frequency Luxembourg didn’t actually own.
Once on air, commercial radio arrived in the UK for the first time. During the 1950s
the station kept several paces ahead and pulled in millions of listeners who were
captivated by the popular music and presenters. But then in 1964 the pirate ships
in the North Sea arrived.
The programme includes contributions from Pete Murray, Teddy Johnson,
Bill Kenwright and Radio Luxembourg Archive recordings.
Part 2 – Thursday 7 June 2012, 10.00-11.00pm, BBC RADIO 2
Noel Edmonds continues the story of the original pop music station
in the UK – Radio Luxembourg.
It was hugely influential for millions of ‘under the bedclothes listeners’ starved of
Sixties pop music but frustrated by the signal that faded in and out.
This is the story of a radio station, broadcast on an extremely poor frequency,
but loved by millions of music fans.
This month marks the 80th anniversary of the first test transmissions to Britain – a full
service started in 1933 and it is 20 years ago that it finally closed down to UK listeners.
Listeners were led to believe that everything heard on the station was broadcast live
from the ‘Grand Duchy’ in Europe, although the reality meant that whilst some
presenters were sat in front of a mic in this tiny country, much of the programme
output was pre-recorded in London.
In the second part Noel traces the impact of the pirate stations and how the BBC finally
reacted after government policy kicked it into life. Luxembourg in turn moved to
unfettered pop music with its team of big six DJs in the early 1970s and, with a
new general manager, carved a fresh position of influence with music fans.
But the end was only 20 years away – so what happened?
And what was the legacy of 208?
The programme features contributions from Paul Burnett, Tony Prince, Mark Wesley,
David Jensen, Steve Wright, Brian Matthew, station manager Alan Keen
and Radio Luxembourg archive recordings.
Presenter/Noel Edmonds, Producer/Phil Swern for Broadchart