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1989 in British radio

This is a list of events in British radio during 1989.

Events



January

  • 15 January – Pick of the Pops is revived by BBC Radio 1. The show takes on a new classic hits format and features three past charts from three different decades each week. Alan Freeman returns to Radio 1 to present the programme.

    February

  • No events.

    March

  • 10 March – Les Ross leaves the BRMB breakfast show to present on its new AM service Xtra AM which is launched on 4 April.

    April

  • 1 April – BBC Radio 1 starts broadcasting slightly earlier each morning and is now on air between 5am and 2am seven days a week.

    May

  • May – The BBC Night Network is launched on the BBC's six local radio stations in Yorkshire and north east England.
  • 26 May – BBC Radio 4 airs the 10,000th episode of The Archers.

    June

  • No events.

    July

  • 3 July – Simon Bates and producer Jonathan Ruffle set off on an 80-day circumnavigation of the world to raise money for Oxfam. Their progress is charted on BBC Radio 1 in a broadcast each weekday morning.
  • 4 July – A new transmitter for DevonAir is switched on allowing the station to expand its transmission area to East Devon, West Dorset and South Somerset. The relay broadcasts under the name of South West 103.

    August

  • No events.

    September

  • 1 September – The Ireland-based long wave station Atlantic 252 is launched. Operated by RTÉ it broadcasts to both Ireland and the United Kingdom. The first presenter to be heard is Gary King who announced at 8am: "Mine is the first voice you will ever hear on Atlantic 252." The station only broadcasts during the day – between 6am and 7pm and at closedown invites listeners to tune in to Radio Luxembourg.

    October

  • 1 October – BBC Radio 2 begins a series of Sunday afternoon performances of works by Gilbert and Sullivan. The 12-week series, which runs until Christmas, replaces the station’s usual Sunday afternoon schedule.
  • 2 October – LBC is replaced on FM by news and comment station LBC Crown FM
  • 22 October – The first of the Independent Broadcasting Authority’s series of incremental radio stations launches when Sunset 102 begins broadcasting to Manchester. More than 20 licenses were issued, which allowed new stations to start broadcasting in areas already served by independent local radio. The stations came on air in 1989 and 1990.

    November

  • 13 November – London Greek Radio and WNK become the first stations in the UK to share a frequency. They alternate every four hours.

    December

  • 19 December – BBC Radio 1 starts transmitting on FM across the whole of south-east England (replacing the temporary London transmitter), in East Anglia and in the Cardigan Bay area.

    Unknown

  • City Talk 1548 AM becomes the UK's first all-talk radio station outside of London. This was unusual as most stations launched 'golden oldie' stations on their AM frequencies.

    Station debuts

  • 15 January – WABC
  • 14 February – BBC Hereford and Worcester
  • 4 March – BBC Wiltshire Sound
  • 27 March – Coast AM
  • 31 March –
  • MFM 97.1
  • Marcher Gold
  • 4 April – Xtra AM (1989–1998)
  • 8 April – Great North Radio
  • 1 May – Classic Gold
  • 16 July – The Breeze
  • 1 September – Atlantic 252
  • 15 September – Fox FM
  • 2 October – LBC Crown FM and London Newstalk
  • 15 October – Horizon Radio
  • 22 October – Sunset 102
  • 5 November – Sunrise Radio
  • 13 November – London Greek Radio and WNK
  • 26 November – Orchard FM
  • 2 December – CNFM
  • 9 December – Sunrise Radio Yorkshire
  • Unknown – City Talk

    Closing this year

  • 1 May – Viking Gold (1988–1989)

    Programme debuts

  • March – The Mary Whitehouse Experience on BBC Radio 1 (1989–1990)

    Continuing programmes

    1940s

  • Sunday Half Hour (1940–2018)
  • Desert Island Discs (1942–Present)
  • Down Your Way (1946–1992)
  • Letter from America (1946–2004)
  • Woman's Hour (1946–Present)
  • A Book at Bedtime (1949–Present)

    1950s

  • The Archers (1950–Present)
  • The Today Programme (1957–Present)
  • Sing Something Simple (1959–2001)
  • Your Hundred Best Tunes (1959–2007)

    1960s

  • Farming Today (1960–Present)
  • The World at One (1965–Present)
  • The Official Chart (1967–Present)
  • Just a Minute (1967–Present)
  • The Living World (1968–Present)
  • The Organist Entertains (1969–2018)

    1970s

  • PM (1970–Present)
  • Start the Week (1970–Present)
  • Week Ending (1970–1998)
  • You and Yours (1970–Present)
  • I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue (1972–Present)
  • Good Morning Scotland (1973–Present)
  • Kaleidoscope (1973–1998)
  • Newsbeat (1973–Present)
  • The News Huddlines (1975–2001)
  • File on 4 (1977–Present)
  • Money Box (1977–Present)
  • The News Quiz (1977–Present)
  • Breakaway (1979–1998)
  • Feedback (1979–Present)
  • The Food Programme (1979–Present)
  • Science in Action (1979–Present)

    1980s

  • In Business (1983–Present)
  • Sounds of the 60s (1983–Present)
  • ''Loose Ends (1986–Present)
  • Flying the Flag (1987–1992)
  • Citizens (1987–1991)
  • Top of the Pops (1988–1991)

    Ending this year

  • 6 March – After Henry (1985–1989)

    Births

  • 20 January – Glenn Moore, newsreader and comedian
  • 25 September – Vick Hope, broadcast presenter

    Deaths

  • 10 July – Tommy Trinder, 80, radio, stage and screen comedian
  • 22 August – Lord Hill, 85, physician, medical and broadcast executive, politician and "The Radio Doctor"
  • 28 October – Henry Hall, 91, bandleader
  • 31 October – Roger Scott, 46, disc jockey
  • 16 December – Marjorie Westbury, 84, radio actress and soprano