Why was 1973 the year UK radio changed forever?

With hundreds of radio stations now broadcasting across the country, it is difficult to imagine how uncrowded the airwaves were 40 years ago. BBC Radio had a domestic monopoly - with no legal commercial competition on UK soil.

That all changed on 8 October 1973 with the opening of the first Independent Local Radio station - LBC in London. Capital Radio, also in London, was next - and stations in Glasgow, Birmingham and Manchester soon followed. Within a decade, over 40 stations were on air.

Here, as UK commercial radio celebrates a landmark birthday, spend a few minutes on a trip back in time to hear how it all started - and how the foundations of today's digital radio landscape were laid.

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All copyrights acknowledged. Archive photos and audio courtesy Getty Images, Press Association, mds975.co.uk and aircheckdownloads.com.

With thanks to Ofcom, Paul Easton, Mike Smith, Neal Bowden, Alwyn Ladell .

Slideshow production by Paul Kerley. Publication date 8 October 2013.


Paul Easton - radio blog

Aircheck Downloads - fan site

MDS975 - fan site

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