September 30, 1967: BBC Radio 1 goes on air

BBC Radio 1 is a British radio station operated by the British Broadcasting Corporation which also broadcasts internationally, specialising in modern popular music and current chart hits throughout the day. Radio 1 provides alternative genres after 7 pm, including electronica, dance, hip hop, rock and indie. The choice of music and presenting style is entirely that of programme hosts, however those who present in the daytime have to rotate a number of songs a specific number of times (8, 13 or 15) per week. It was launched in 1967 to meet the demand for music generated by pirate radio stations, when the average age of the UK population was 27. The BBC claim that they target the 15–29 age group, and the average age of its UK audience since 2009 is 30. BBC Radio 1 started 24-hour broadcasting on May 1, 1991.

Radio 1 was established in 1967 (along with the more middle of the road BBC Radio 2) as a successor to the BBC Light Programme, which had broadcast popular music and other entertainment since 1945. Radio 1 was conceived as a direct response to the popularity of offshore pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline and Radio London, which had been outlawed by Act of Parliament. Radio 1 began broadcasting at 5.30am on September 30, 1967 with a News Summary. Following a simultaneous broadcast of Radio 2’s Breakfast Special, the station was launched at 6.55 am.

Launch

And, good morning everyone. Welcome to the exciting new sound of Radio 1.

BBC Radio 1 opening message

The first music to be heard on the station was “Theme One”, specially composed for the launch by George Martin. It was followed by an extract from “Beefeaters” by Johnny Dankworth. The first complete record played on Radio 1 was “Flowers in the Rain” by The Move, the number 2 record in that week’s Top 20 (the number 1 record by Englebert Humperdink would have been inappropriate for the station’s sound). The second single was “Massachusetts” by The Bee Gees.

Tony Blackburn (who had broadcast on both Caroline and London) was the first DJ to be heard on Radio 1, at 7.00am, with his Daily Disc Delivery show. The slot eventually became the “Radio 1 Breakfast Show”. The breakfast show remains the most prized slot in the Radio 1 schedule, with every change of breakfast show presenter exciting considerable media interest.

Programme Highlights on BBC Radio 1

1960s

  • September 30, 1967 at 7.00am – Tony Blackburn’s Daily Disc Delivery show
  • September 30, 1967 at 8.32am – Junior Choice
  • September 30, 1967 at 12.00pm – Emperor Rosko with the first Midday Spin
  • September 30, 1967 at 2.00pm: Chris Denning with Where It’s At, featuring Kenny Everett
  • September 30, 1967 at 3.00pm – Pete Murray with “Newly Pressed”
  • September 30, 1967 at 10.00pm – Pete Murray returns with “Pete’s People”
  • October 1, 1967 at 10.00am – Ed Stewart with “Happening Sunday”
  • October 1, 1967 at 12.00pm – Family Favourites
  • October 1, 1967 at 2.00pm – Top Gear
  • October 1, 1967 at 5.00pm – Alan Freeman with “Pick of the Pops”
  • October 1, 1967 at 10.00pm – The David Jacobs Show
  • October 2, 1967 at 10.00am – The Jimmy Young show
  • October 2, 1967 at 10.00pm – Late Night Extra
  • November 2, 1967 at 1.00pm – Pop North with Dave Lee Travis
  • November 20, 1967 at 8.32am – David Hamilton
  • December 17, 1967 at 10.00am – Kenny Everett
  • June 2, 1968 at 2.00pm – Savile’s Travels
  • November 23, 1968 at 4.00pm – Dave Lee Travis
  • April 26, 1969 at 2.00pm – Johnnie Walker
  • June 2, 1969 at 5.15pm – TV on Radio 1, presented by Tommy Vance
  • June 30, 1969 at 10.00am – The Terry Wogan Show
  • October 5, 1969 at 8.45pm – Annie Nightingale (then billed as Anne Nightingale)
  • November 2, 1969 at 8.45pm – Noel Edmonds

1970s

  • April 6, 1970 at 6.00pm – Sounds of the 70s
  • October 30, 1971 at 2.00pm – Peter Powell
  • January 9, 1972 at 5.00pm – Radio 1’s first documentary: The Elvis Presley Story
  • April 8, 1973 at 10.02pm – Sounds of Jazz
  • June 4, 1973 at 7.00am – Noel Edmonds takes over from Tony Blackburn in the Breakfast Show slot
  • July 23, 1973 at 5.00pm – Radio 1 Road Show
  • September 10, 1973 at 12.30pm – Newsbeat
  • January 21, 1974 at 10.00pm – Bob Harris
  • March 24, 1974 at 10.00am – Paul Burnett
  • April 18, 1974 at 10.00pm – Paul Gambaccini
  • May 18, 1975 at 10.00am – Radio 1’s first Fun Day
  • November 17, 1975 at 2.02pm – Simon Bates
  • May 2, 1976 at 8.00am – Playground
  • September 25, 1976 at 10.00am – David “Kid” Jensen
  • April 22, 1978 at 10.00am – Adrian Juste
  • May 2, 1978 at 7.02am – Dave Lee Travis succeeds Noel Edmonds as presenter of the Breakfast Show
  • November 11, 1978 at 7.30pm – Mike Read
  • November 13, 1978 at 8.00pm – Andy Peebles
  • November 17, 1978 at 10.00pm – The Friday Rock Show
  • December 24, 1978 at 5.00pm – The Top 40

1980s

  • January 5, 1980 at 7.30pm – Steve Wright
  • January 5, 1981 at 7.00am – Mike Read succeeds Dave Lee Travis as presenter of the Breakfast Show
  • March 6, 1982 at 7.00am – Wake Up to the Weekend with Adrian John
  • March 6, 1982 at 8.00am – Tony Blackburn’s Saturday Show, featuring Keith Chegwin, Maggie Philbin and Toni Arthur
  • March 7, 1982 at 8.00am – Tony Blackburn’s Sunday Show, featuring Keith Chegwin, Maggie Philbin and Toni Arthur
  • September 6, 1982 at 2.00pm – Pat Sharp
  • October 4, 1982 at 4.30pm – Mike Smith
  • December 4, 1982 at 7.30pm – Janice Long
  • December 4, 1982 at 10.00pm – Gary Davies
  • September 26, 1983 at 6.00am – Adrian John with the Early Show
  • October 1, 1983 at 6.00am – Mark Page
  • January 15, 1984 at 2.00pm – Bruno Brookes
  • March 31, 1985 at 11.00pm – The Ranking Miss P
  • July 6, 1985 at 6.30pm – Andy Kershaw
  • March 10, 1986 at 12.45pm – Simon Mayo
  • May 5, 1986 at 7.00am – Mike Smith takes over on the Breakfast Show
  • January 17, 1987 at 2.00pm – The Stereo Sequence
  • June 22, 1987 at 7.30pm – Jonathan Ross
  • October 3, 1987 at 10.00pm – Nicky Campbell
  • October 4, 1987 at 3.30pm – Backchat
  • December 26, 1987 at 10.00pm – Mark Goodier
  • May 23, 1988 at 7.00am – Simon Mayo succeeds Mike Smith as presenter of the Breakfast Show
  • September 1, 1988 at 7.00pm – Top of the Pops, simulcast with BBC 1.
  • October 7, 1988 at 7.00pm – Jeff Young’s Big Beat
  • April 1, 1989 at 5.00pm – Tim Smith
  • July 1, 1989 at 5.00am – Jakki Brambles
  • December 4, 1989 at 3.00pm – Steve Wright in the Afternoon

1990s

  • January 8, 1990 at 5.30pm – News 90
  • March 12, 1990 at 5.00pm – Gary King
  • April 15, 1990 at 7.00am – The Bruno (Brookes) and Liz (Kershaw) Breakfast Show
  • October 1, 1990 at 7.30pm – Mark Goodier’s Evening Session
  • January 6, 1991 at 4.30pm – The Complete UK Top 40
  • January 11, 1991 at 7.30pm – The Essential Collection, presented by Pete Tong
  • April 8, 1991 at 9.00pm – Out on Blue Six, with Mark Radcliffe
  • December 29, 1991 at 2.00pm – Lynn Parsons
  • March 15, 1992 at 2.30pm – Too Much Gravy, with Chris Evans
  • April 20, 1992 at 6.00pm – The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, simulcast with BBC 2.
  • February 22, 1993 at 7.00pm – Steve Lamacq’s Evening Session
  • March 15, 1993 at 7.00pm – Evening Session is presented by Jo Whiley
  • April 12, 1993 at 10.00pm – Emma Freud
  • April 18, 1993 at 7.00pm – The Official 1 FM Album Chart
  • April 19, 1993 at 1.00pm – Claire Sturgess
  • August 16, 1993 at 8.30pm – Loud and Proud
  • October 25, 1993 at 10.00pm – Mark Radcliffe
  • October 30, 1993 at 10.00am – Danny Baker
  • November 13, 1993 at 11.00pm – The Essential Mix Show
  • January 1, 1994 at 7.00am – Kevin Greening
  • January 10, 1994 at 7.00am – Steve Wright in the Morning
  • April 24, 1995 at 6.30am – Chris Evans takes over from Steve Wright in the breakfast slot
  • June 15, 1994 at 10.00pm – Marc Riley (Lard) joins Mark Radcliffe on his show
  • November 19, 1994 at 7.00am – Clive Warren
  • November 19, 1994 at 7.00pm – Danny Rampling
  • December 10, 1994 at 9.00pm – The 1 FM Rap Show with Tim Westwood
  • April 8, 1995 at 4.00pm – Dave Pearce
  • June 15, 1995 at 10.00pm – Mark (Radcliffe) and Lard (Marc Riley)
  • February 4, 1996 at 2.00pm – Trevor Nelson’s Rhythm Nation
  • February 17, 1997 at 7.00am – Mark and Lard become the Breakfast Show’s new presenters
  • July 26, 1997 at 6.00am – Radio 1’s Dance Anthems Weekend
  • July 27, 1997 at 7.00pm – Radio 1’s Dance Anthems, with Dave Pearce
  • July 28, 1997 at 4.00am – Chris Moyles
  • October 13, 1997 at 6.30am – Zoe Ball joins Kevin Greening for the Radio 1 Breakfast Show
  • April 25, 1998 at 4.00am – Emma B
  • September 28, 1998 at 6.30am – Zoe Ball
  • October 12, 1998 at 4.00am – Scott Mills

Sources

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