Today is the 40th birthday of Radio 1, 2, 3 and 4. Radio 1 was launched as a new station after the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act had successfully made the supplying of or advertising on pirate radio stations illegal. As a schoolgirl I and all my friends had listened to Radio Caroline North which was broadcast from a ship off the Isle of Man in the North Sea. I can still remember collecting empty bags of Ross frozen peas to send in for ‘Caroline Cash Casino’. I have no idea how it worked but it certainly caught our imaginations. When the stations were banned we were furious and were not enthused with the idea that the fusty old BBC could even begin to compete with the pirates. Six weeks later and radio one began; I can still remember the jingle and the frequency – 247 mw.

The BBC had of course been providing radio broadcasts since the 1920’s but this saw a complete revamp for the corporation. What was the Light programme became Radio 2, The Third programme became Radio 3 and the Home Service became Radio 4. The Today programme on Radio 4 weekday mornings is in fact celebrating its 50th birthday on the 28th October this year and are asking for contributions from people born on that day.

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