BBC Radio in History

Historical Events

  • 1942-01-29 1st broadcast of Roy Plomley's "Desert Island Discs" on BBC radio

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1954-11-02 BBC radio comedy "Hancock's Half Hour" debuts starring Tony Hancock and Sid James, written by Ray Galton and Alan Simpson

Comedian Tony Hancock
Comedian
Tony Hancock
  • 1955-09-22 Commercial television begins in UK with ITV; meanwhile on BBC radio Grace Archer is killed in a barn fire on Brookfield Farm - the BBC denies this was to spoil the launch of the rival network

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1960-01-28 "The Goon Show"'s final episode on BBC radio

Comedian and author Spike Milligan
Comedian and author
Spike Milligan
  • 1962-03-07 Beatles made their broadcasting debut on BBC radio
  • 1963-06-04 1st transmission of "Pop Go the Beatles" on BBC radio
  • 1967-09-30 BBC starts its own popular music radio station (Radio 1)
  • 1969-04-25 5,400th & last episode of BBC Radio serial "The Dales" (formerly "Mrs Dale's Diary" )

Event of interestEvent of Interest

1978-03-08 The first-ever radio episode of The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, by Douglas Adams, is transmitted on BBC Radio 4.

  • 1985-09-18 BBC Radio reports prime # 2^216091-1 found in Houston
  • 1991-08-09 British radio show "On the Hour" debuts on BBC Radio 4 with first appearance of Alan Partridge character
  • 1994-03-28 BBC Radio Five Live broadcasts for first time in United Kingdom

Famous Birthdays

  • 1901-07-02 Rex Alston, English sports broadcaster and author (BBC radio), born in Faringdon, Berkshire (d. 1994)
  • 1912-06-24 Brian Johnston, British cricket commentator (BBC radio commentator & cake connoisseur), born in Little Berkhamsted, Hertfordshire (d. 1994)
  • 1935-09-21 James "Jimmy" Armfield, British former-footballer, manager and pundit (BBC Radio Five Live), born in Denton, Lancashire, England (d. 2018)
  • 1936-08-01 Laurie Taylor, English sociologist and broadcaster (BBC Radio 4), born in Liverpool, England
  • 1939-08-30 John Peel, English DJ and Broadcaster (BBC Radio 1), born in Heswell, Merseyside (d. 2004)
  • 1940-04-01 Annie Nightingale, English broadcaster, 1st BBC Radio 1 female presenter, born in London
  • 1946-12-17 Simon Bates, British disk jockey and radio presenter (BBC Radio 1, Classic FM), born in Birmingham, England
  • 1951-02-23 Nicholas Kenyon, controller (BBC Radio 3)
  • 1964-10-16 Stephen Paul "Steve" Lamacq [Lammo], British disc jockey (BBC Radio 6), born in Islington, London
  • 1974-12-13 Sara Cox, English TV and radio presenter (The Radio 1 Breakfast Show), born in Bolton, Greater Manchester, England
  • 1975-01-06 Jason King, English radio DJ (Radio 1), born in Tenbury Wells, United Kingdom
  • 1976-08-09 Aled Haydn Jones, Radio 1's The Chris Moyles show Producer

Famous Deaths

  • 1994-01-05 Brian Johnston, British cricket commentator (BBC radio commentator & cake connoisseur), dies at 81
  • 1994-09-08 Rex Alston, English sports broadcaster and author (BBC radio), dies at 93
  • 1997-09-06 P. H. Newby, British author and BBC radio director (b. 1918)
  • 2018-01-22 James "Jimmy" Armfield, British former-footballer, manager and pundit (BBC Radio Five Live), dies at 82