September 30, 1967: BBC Radio 2 goes on air

BBC Radio 2 is one of the BBC’s national radio stations and the most popular station in the United Kingdom with over 15 million weekly listeners. Much of its daytime playlist-based programming is adult contemporary or AOR, although the station also broadcasts other specialist musical genres.

The station was launched on September 30, 1967 at 5.30am, and evolved from the Light Programme, with some of the Light Programme’s music shows transferring to the newly launched BBC Radio 1. At 5.30am (on the Light Programme) there was a News Summary but continued at Radio 2 with Breakfast Special from Paul Hollingdale broadcast simultaneously on Radio 1. Radio 1 did not officially begin until 7.00pm with Tony Blackburn and his Daily Disc Delivery.

Launch

This is BBC Radio 2, the Light Programme on 1500 metres Long Wave and VHF and Radio 1 on 247 metres. Good morning, this is Paul Hollingdale on this opening day of Radio 1 and Radio 2 welcoming you to Breakfast Special.

Paul Hollingdale’s opening message on Radio 2

Hollingdale then played a jingle called “Wake Up Easy”, followed by “The Sound of Music” by Julie Andrews.

Radio 2 Firsts

  • November 23, 1978 – All night broadcasting
  • August 27, 1990 – Radio 2 becomes the first national radio station in the UK to broadcast only on FM

Programme Highlights on BBC Radio 2

1960s

  • October 1, 1967 at 10.00am – Melodies for You
  • October 1, 1967 at 9.00pm – Sunday Half Hour
  • October 2, 1967 at 1.31pm – Listen to the Band, with John Dunn
  • October 2, 1967 at 2.00pm – Woman’s Hour
  • October 2, 1967 at 4.32pm – Roundabout, with Brian Matthew
  • October 2, 1967 at 6.40pm – Alan Dell
  • October 5, 1967 at 8.45pm – Any Answers?
  • October 6, 1967 at 8.15pm – Any Questions?
  • October 9, 1967 at 5.33am – Breakfast Special, with John Dunn
  • November 19, 1967 at 2.00pm – The Ken Dodd Show
  • November 20, 1967 at 5.33am – Breakfast Special, with Ray Moore
  • January 1, 1968 at 6.40pm – Brian Matthew
  • March 24, 1968 at 12.00pm – Family Favourites
  • March 24, 1968 at 5.00pm – Pick of the Pops, with Alan Freeman
  • December 30, 1968 at 10.00am – The Alan Freeman Show
  • July 8, 1968 at 10.00am – The David Hamilton Show
  • September 30, 1968 at 12.00pm – Sam Costa
  • December 30, 1968 at 6.40pm – Desmond Carrington
  • April 28, 1969 at 4.15pm – Waggoner’s Walk
  • May 26, 1969 at 9.00am – Charlie Chester
  • June 11, 1969 at 7.45pm – The Organist Entertains. A single edition of the programme had been heard on April 5, 1969 on BBC Radio 4.
  • June 16, 1969 at 9.00am – David Jacobs, with Family Choice
  • June 30, 1969 at 10.00am – The Terry Wogan Show
  • July 22, 1969 at 9.00am – Pete Murray
  • November 11, 1969 at 10.00pm – Sport on 2

1970s

  • April 5, 1970 at 9.01pm – Your Hundred Best Tunes
  • March 4, 1972 at 8.30pm – The Interval, with Simon Bates. Later called “Sounds Easy”.
  • April 3, 1972 at 7.03am – Terry Wogan
  • June 1, 1972 at 7.03pm – After Seven, with Simon Bates
  • July 2, 1972 at 10.02pm – Sweet ‘n’ Swing, with Simon Bates.
  • July 29, 1972 at 5.02am – The Early Show, with Simon Bates
  • August 5, 1973 at 3.30pm – The Dance Band Days
  • February 4, 1974 at 1.30pm – Simon Bates
  • January 5, 1975 at 11.02pm – Sounds of Jazz
  • October 1, 1975 at 7.02pm – The News Huddlines
  • July 12, 1976 at 7.02am – The Breakfast Show, presented by Terry Wogan
  • June 24, 1977 at 11.02pm – Sarah Kennedy
  • April 3, 1978 at 11.02pm – Round Midnight, with Brian Matthew
  • February 12, 1979 at 5.02am – Steve Jones

1980s

  • January 21, 1980 at 2.03pm – Ed Stewart’s Request Show
  • July 13, 1981 at 10.00am – Gloria Hunniford
  • October 4, 1981 at 11.00am – All Time Greats, with Desmond Carrington. David Hamilton presented an edition of the show in May 1980.
  • September 6, 1982 at 5.00am – Ken Bruce
  • October 4, 1982 at 3.30pm – Music While You Work
  • February 12, 1983 at 10.00am – Sounds of the 60s
  • March 28, 1983 at 12.30pm – Judith Chalmers
  • April 21, 1984 at 4.00am – Martin Kelner
  • April 7, 1985 at 7.30am – Good Morning Sunday, with Roger Royle
  • October 27, 1985 at 7.30am – Good Morning Sunday, with Chris Stuart
  • November 25, 1985 at 10.30am – Derek Jameson
  • April 13, 1986 at 9.05am – Richard Baker takes over on Melodies for You
  • July 18, 1987 at 6.00am – Graham Knight
  • September 21, 1987 at 5.30am – Chris Stuart
  • March 14, 1988 at 5.05pm – Debbie Thrower
  • August 27, 1988 at 6.00am – Barbara Sturgeon
  • October 3, 1988 at 1.00am – Alex Lester, with Nightride

1990s

  • March 31, 1990 at 8.05am – Sounds of the 50s, with Ronnie Hilton
  • July 3, 1990 at 12.05am – Jazz Parade
  • April 22, 1991 at 11.00am – Brian Hayes
  • May 11, 12992 at 7.30pm – Dance Band Days, with Malcolm Laycock
  • January 4, 1993 at 7.00am – Wake Up to Wogan
  • July 1, 1995 at 6.00am – Mo Dutta, with the Saturday Show
  • July 2, 1995 at 4.00am – Mo Dutta, with the Sunday Show
  • July 10, 1995 at 6.00am – The Dawn Patrol (previously, The Early Show), with Sarah Kennedy
  • March 24, 1996 at 7.00pm – Melodies for You, presented by Hugh Scully
  • March 30, 1996 at 10.00am – Steve Wright’s Saturday Show
  • March 31, 1996 at 9.05am – Steve Wright’s Sunday Love Songs
  • October 6, 1996 at 10.00pm – The David Jacobs Collection
  • December 6, 1996 at 7.00pm – Wowfabgroovy, with Johnnie Walker
  • December 21, 1996 at 10.00pm – Bob Harris
  • April 7, 1997 at 10.30pm – Richard Allinson
  • April 22, 1998 at 10.00pm – Sounds of the 70s, with Johnnie Walker
  • April 25, 1998 at 3.30pm – Johnnie Walker
  • July 20, 1998 at 9.30pm – Shake, Rattle and Roll, with Mark Lamarr
  • October 14, 1998 at 9.00pm – All Singing, All Dancing, All Night, with Stuart Maconie
  • April 8, 1999 at 7.00pm – Bob Harris Country
  • July 19, 1999 at 2.00pm – Steve Wright in the Afternoon
  • September 8, 1999 at 12.00am – Janice Long

Sources

*The 20th Century in Sound & Vision is not responsible for the content of these websites

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