- RADIO BY REGION
- NORTH AMERICA
- CENTRAL AMERICA
- SOUTH AMERICA
Address: TalkSPORT 18 Hatfields London SE1 8DJ
AM (MHz): 1089
Phone: 08717 22 33 44
Fax: +44 (0)20 7959 782
Description: In 1994,, Luxembourg-based media group CLT announced plans to launch the UK’s first national commercial talk-based radio station, entitled Talk Radio UK Lying on top of a big pile of cash with many beautiful women obviously just wasn’t cutting it for the directors anymore.
The lads working to get Talk Radio UK up and running were all unceremoniously dumped by their partners on Valentine’s Day 1995, after spending months locked away in a basement in Bradford, Talk Radio UK finally came to air with Caesar the Geezer being the first presenter to be heard on the station.
Top brass introduced better on air cost managing measures in 1996 when they told presenters not to bother reading out the UK bit of the station’s title anymore and simply stick with Talk Radio. That year also saw the beginning of the Breakfast Show, presented by Paul Ross and Carol McGiffin. As a signal of intent to solidify their position as a decent Second Division side, the board of directors also brought in experienced midfield anchors in the form of Simon Bates and various others.
After a few years establishing themselves as the 90s equivalent of 80s Wimbledon, Talk Radio decided to test the water in sports broadcasting by bidding, and winning, the rights to broadcast the Nationwide Football League back from BBC Radio Five Live for the 1997-98 season. This was backed up with some classy displays in 1998 when revered Sky Sports duo of Alan Parry and Andy Gray, commentated on all the major matches taking place in France during the 1998 FIFA World Cup.
In what was described by many as ‘the signing of the season’ Talk Radio backed the right pony in Manchester United in 1999, when they picked up the rights to broadcast The Red Devils’ UEFA Champions League matches, which they won in trouser-soiling fashion in a 2-1 win over Bayern Munich at Camp Nou, Barcelona.
Former editor of the Sun newspaper, Kelvin MacKenzie, bought the station from CLT in November 1998 through his company TalkCo Holdings, in which a cull of the squad took place with immediate effect.
Talk Radio continued with its coverage of UEFA Champions League coverage, covering all English teams participating, as well as showing the rest of the broadcasting world they meant business by covering the FA Cup, England internationals and UEFA Cup, as well as England’s winter tours to South Africa, Zimbabwe, Pakistan and India and the British Lions’ tours to South Africa. They weren’t playing games were they?
TalkCo then decided they wanted to shell out for new-headed paper and renamed themselves The Wireless Group and opted to re-brand as the UK’s first national commercial sports radio station – and talkSPORT is born! Maw, ha, ha, ha – it’s alive!
A personal endorsement from then England manager Kevin Keegan made us walk around like our feet don’t stink, as he opined: “talkSPORT is the radio station we have all been waiting for.”
Listen online Talk Sport