Celebrating 25 Years
BBC Radio Cornwall is 25 years old on 17 January 2008 and over the years has grown to become mainland Britain’s most listened to BBC local radio station. Read the story of how it all began, see presenters photos and listen to the first audio clips.
Opening alongside Radio Devon on 17 January 1983, BBC Radio Cornwall covered both Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly.
See our photos from the 25th birthday celebrations:
The first voice on the station, Chris Blount, was already known to South West listeners from Radio 4's regional breakfast show Morning Sou'West, which ended shortly before the start of Radio Cornwall and Devon.
On Thursday 17 January 2008, to mark the 25th birthday, all the former Breakfast Show presenters joined James Churchfield to share their memories. Listen to the 7-9am chunk again on the link below:
When BBC Radio Cornwall started broadcasting on 17th January 1983, the station manager Mike Hoskin said he hoped that within a year people in the county will be saying “however did we manage without it?” Soon people were saying “What did we do before it came along” and over the past twenty five years BBC Radio Cornwall has grown to be mainland Britain’s most listened to BBC local radio station.
Duncan Warren came on air at 4pm
Every week almost 200,000 people tune in with many more listening online all over the world.
BBC Radio Cornwall started broadcasting on the same day as BBC Breakfast television and BBC Radio Devon. The arrival of the new stations meant an end to the Radio Four regional breakfast programme Morning Sou’west which formed part of the Today programme.
It was produced by Guy Slatter and was presented by Chris Blount with reporters including Ted Gundry, Ross Salmon and Joe Pengelly.
Chris Blount was back at the microphone on 17th January 1983 to present the first edition of “Coast to Coast” from a boat on the Truro River. The Fowey Town Cryer stood on the quay and welcomed the station to the airwaves and radio broadcasters from Truro in Canada and from Brittany appeared on the first programme. Mike Curtis read the news and Rachel Yorke provided travel news and coastal conditions.
Reporter Tamsin Mitchell (now Thomas)
At 9am the microphone was passed to Ken Snowdon who presented BBC Radio Cornwall’s first phone in. There were gardening tips as well as music and competitions.
Duchy Today was the first hour long lunchtime news programme – it was presented by Ted Gundry and Caroline Righton. The afternoon show was shared with Radio Devon in those early days – it was a phone –in introduced by David Bassett .
Duncan Warren came on air at 4pm with the day’s news, travel and sport. In those early days weekend presenters included Julie Stanton, Brenda Wootton (who played requests on Sundays) and Douglas Mounce. His sport show on a Saturday included Dave Martin’s rugby commentaries – and Dave’s still going strong today – as is Douggie.
By 1984 Graham Bazeley had started giving advice on antiques and Jen Williamson was on hand to help with pet problems. Both are still with us broadcasting regularly on Sunday mornings with Tim Hubbard who also joined the station in 1984 along with David George who now reports for BBC Spotlight.
Justin Leigh, now a BBC Spotlight presenter, started his broadcasting life with Radio Cornwall. He progressed from sorting out records for a Sunday afternoon showto presenting the breakfast programme Coast to Coast.
Jo Hallam (now Twist) and Tamsin Mitchell (now Thomas) were on the reporting staff in those early days along with Steven Strong (west Cornwall reporter), Phil Reeves, Andrew Castle (now BBC news correspondent in Scotland) , Daphne Skinnard (now acting managing editor) and news editor Garry Selfridge.
One of our longest serving members of the backroom team at BBC Radio Cornwall Linda Tayler (formerly Linda Williams) also started in 1984 soon to be joined by Dru Robins, Kath Peters and Lesley Burton.
last updated: 18/01/2008 at 12:01