Liverpool

BBC Radio Merseyside and Radio City granted Freedom of Liverpool

Roger Phillips, Billy Butler and Linda McDermott
Image caption Three BBC Radio Merseyside presenters are to be made Citizens of Honour

Two radio stations in Liverpool are to be granted the council's highest civic honour, the Freedom of the City.

Radio City and BBC Radio Merseyside are to be honoured for their contributions to the city and "diligently reporting" its highs and lows for decades.

Radio Merseyside is in its 50th year while its commercial rival, Radio City, has been broadcasting for 43 years.

The awards are be presented at Liverpool Town Hall on a date to be confirmed next year.

Lord Mayor Malcolm Kennedy said: "We are extremely fortunate to have two radio stations that have been embedded in and have reflected life in our city for decades.

"They are the first source of accurate information in emergencies and have diligently reported the highs and lows in our city for decades."

Image copyright Google
Image caption BBC Radio Merseyside celebrates its 50th anniversary this year

BBC Radio Merseyside first hit the airwaves on 22nd November 1967.

The BBC said the station is being honoured in recognition of its service to the community, its relationship with listeners and its charitable work spanning six decades.

Editor of BBC Radio Merseyside Sue Owen said: "It's a wonderful way to celebrate our 50th anniversary.

"It's such an honour to be acknowledged in this way and everyone who works at BBC Radio Merseyside, past and present, will feel very proud."

'Absolutely thrilled'

Director of Radio City, Vicki Allison, said it was a "privilege" to be given the honour, adding they were "absolutely thrilled".

At the same ceremony, three of Radio Merseyside's long-standing presenters - Billy Butler, Roger Phillips and Linda McDermott - are to be made Citizens of Honour.

Radio City presenter Pete Price will be similarly honoured along with slavery historian Eric Lynch and Sir Peter Blake, who designed The Beatles' Sgt Pepper album cover.

Bishop James Jones who was a key figure in the campaign to uncover the truth about the Hillsborough disaster, was given the Freedom of Liverpool in January.

The 96 victims of the Hillsborough disaster were posthumously awarded the same honour in 2016 along with former Liverpool manager Kenny Dalglish.

Other previous recipients include Ricky Tomlinson and Steven Gerrard.

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