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volume 3
september 2000

Rare pictures from radio's past

 





  Radio London: 4. Formula radio
by Gerry Bishop, Hans Knot and John S. Platt
Previous
  Radio London worked on the principle that people like packaging, and used the system of 'Formula Radio' and top 40 format. The programme controller's job was to present the formula to the average British listener, and to adapt it to the public's taste. Radio London and its deejays proved that people wanted the top forty records in Britain.
 
1

Tony Windsor (photo right and below) was Radio London's programme director, responsible for programming and presenting the station. He worked on the principle that people like packaging, and used the system of 'Formula Radio' and top 40 format.

Listen to Tony Windsor, the father of all British pirate-deejays
   
2

The formula approach of Radio London did not mean that the station churned out from 1 to 40 in the Radio London 'Fab Forty' throughout the day. There was some system to prevent this. Selected records from the hit parade were played together with a revived record, a new release and an overseas hit or track from an LP. On the half hour there was a newscast and weather forecast with time checks at various intervals. This method ensured that no record was played more than once in the three hour programme presented by each disc jockey and the top forty was only heard five times in one day, and the 30 American or LP tracks were not repeated that day. There were six minutes advertising each hour, and each three hour programme took its name from the disc jockey.

   
3
  The broadcasting staff of Radio London included: Tony Blackburn, Chuck Blair, Pete Brady, Tony Brandon, Dave Cash, Ian Damon, Chris Denning, Dave Dennis, Pete Drummond, John Edwards, Kenny Everett, Graham Gill, Bill Hearne, Duncan Johnson, Paul Kaye, Lorne King, Mike Lennox, John Peel, Earl Richmond, Mark Roman, Norman St. John, Jon Sed, Keith Skues, Ed Stewart, Tommy Vance, Willy Walker, Richard Warner, Alan West, Tony Windsor, John Yorke. The picture above shows some of the deejays and crew on the poopdeck of the Galaxy.
   
4
  An important asset of Radio London were the deejays. The daily shows were named after them and it was their job to present the formula to the average British listener, and to adapt it to the public's taste. Radio London proved that people wanted the top forty records in Britain. On the photo above we see Norman St. John, who presented the Norman St. John Show.
   
5

1960s Graffiti

   
6 The programma schedules show how the formula approach did work out in regular three hour shows for most deejay's
 
Programme Schedules 1964:
6.00 Pete Brady Breakfast Show.
9.00 Earl Richmond Show.
12.00 Dave Dennis Show.
15.00 Tony Windsor Show.
18.00 Kenny Everett Show.
21.00 Close Down.
   
7

Mitch, the ship stewart

   
8
Programme Schedules 1967: Mondays to Fridays:
5.30 Kenny Everett Breakfast Show.
9.00 Tony Windsor Show, with Coffee Break (11.00 to 11.15)
12.00 Mike Lennox Show.
15.00 Ed Stewart Show.
18.00 Tony Blackburn Show.
19.00 World Tomorrow.
19.30 Tony Blackburn Show.
21.00 Mark Roman Show.
24.00 Norman St. John Show.
2.00 Close Down.
   
9

Pete Drummond

   
10
Programme Schedules 1967: Saturdays:
5.30 Mike Lennox Breakfast Show.
8.00 Tony Windsor Show.
11.00 Ed Stewart Show.
14.00 Kenny Everett Show.
17.00 Tony Blackburn Show.
19.00 World Tomorrow.
19.30 Tony Blackburn Show.
20.00 Mark Roman Show.
23.00 Norman St. John Show.
2.00 Close Down.
   
11

Dave Dennis

   
12
Programme Schedules 1967: Sundays:
5.30 Mike Lennox Show.
7.30 Herald Of Truth.
8.00 Tony Windsor Show.
10.00 Request Hour.
11.00 Fab Forty Show.
14.00 Kenny Everett Show.
17.00 Tony Blackburn Show.
19.00 World Tomorrow.
19.30 Tony Blackburn Show.
20.00 Mark Roman Show.
23.00 Norman St. John Show.
2.00 Close Down.
   
13

Radio London Newsdesk on board of the Galaxy. Radio London's chef newscasting was Paul Kaye. In 1967 news and weather were broadcasted on the half hour from 6.30 to 11.30 and also at 20.00.

   
14

Radio London's program scheme in a Dutch magazine (click on the picture for an enlargment)

   
15

Cartoon

   
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  The sound fragment on this page is copyrighted. It is used here according to the rules of fair use and academic quoting. Look here for other pictures and documents of Radio London (1964-1967).
  2000 © Soundscapes