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Timeline 1978 to 1992


1978 - 1992

Jan 1978

Ex-Radio Luxembourg DJ Peter Powell joins Radio 1. During the next decade he became one of the stations most respected and knowledgeable presenters.

March 1978

Also from Radio Luxembourg, David Jensen joins. He quickly establishes his early evening show as a natural home for the discerning rock fan.


“25 Years of Rock” is broadcast on Sunday evenings, a unique 25 episode series produced by Trevor Dann for BBC Radio that was later transferred to television as 'The Rock & Roll Years". The show featured rock music interspersed with news items of the featured year.

Jan 1980

Steve Wright joins from Reading's Radio 210, initially presenting a Saturday night show. Within 2 years he has his own daily show.

Dec 1980

Andy Peebles interviews John Lennon and Yoko Ono in New York. 48 hours later, John is murdered in the street.

Jan 1981

Mike Read, formerly of Reading's Radio 210, takes over the Breakfast Show from Dave Lee Travis. Mike becomes the DJ with the biggest profile on Radio 1 and a TV star as presenter of Saturday Superstore.

Sept 1982




Radio 1 celebrates 15 years since inception. Controller Derek Chinnery said in an interview with Music and Video Week "like most 15 year olds it has yet to reach maturity"..."the problems of needletime have unfortunately stopped the network achieving the simplest ambition to be on the air at least 18 hours a day"... "the station can never be fully grown until it has its own separate VHF stereo network"... "it is remarkable the place Radio 1 holds, even the latest JICRAR survey gives it a 45 per cent reach"...."our policy of helping create, and follow trends in pop and rock music has paid off".


Nov 1982

Ex-Capital jock Mike Smith joins, soon moving to breakfast and later TV.



Nov 1983

Steve Wright hits the charts with a record about one of his show catchphrases - 'Get Some Therapy'. He would go on to enter the charts again with 'The Gay Cavileros' and 'I'm Alright'.


Jan 1984

Former blues band member Alexis Korner sadly passed away; he had become a hugely influential figure in British Rhythm and Blues. His popular Sunday night specialist programme turned on a whole new generation to both R & B and blues music.



Jan 1984


Also in January, the single 'Relax' by Frankie Goes to Hollywood does not find a fan with Mike Read - who refuses to play it due to the sexuality of the lyrics. It later goes to Number 1.

June 1984

The Summer of '84 concert was held live from a packed Wembley stadium. Presentation, production and sound mixing by Radio 1. Elton John and Paul Young were amongst the acts.

Mel Harper wrote to Radio Rewind; "Although billed, Paul Young didn't appear -- had laryngitis, I believe. He was replaced by Big Country."


Sept 1984

Radio 1 listeners get their own computer show with the launch of Radio 1's Chip Shop during the Saturday morning Mark Page Show.


The Radio 1 Chip Shop was broadcast at 7:33 am on Saturday morning, starting on September 29th and presented by David Freeman. Free Basicode software was broadcast on Sunday morning at 5:55am and repeated at the same time on Saturdays.


You needed an extra Basicode Kit for this, costing 3.95.


April 1985

Johnnie Beerling succeeds Derek Chinnery as the new controller of Radio 1.

July 1985

The Live Aid concert to raise money for the starving in Africa was held at Wembley Stadium.  Britain  contributed over 1 million to the global total of 30m. On stage were David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Madonna, Paul McCartney, Sting, The Who, U2, Neil Young, and Many more. The brainchild of Bob Geldof and representing the efforts of countless musicians and Radio 1 technicians, Live Aid was a genuine and inspiring effort to help the victims of an overwhelming calamity.


It was broadcast on the 13th July and the whole event was heard on Radio 1.



March - Simon Mayo moves to Radio 1 from Radio Nottingham. His first show is two hours on a Saturday evening.

May - Mike Smith took over the Breakfast show from Mike Read, bringing a bubbly new brand of patter to Radio 1 in the morning.

December-  the station launched it's Aids awareness campaign, promoting safe sex. The slogan 'play it safe' sparked fury from Roman Catholic Bishops, but earned high praise from listeners.

AUDIO: Tommy Vance tells you to 'Play Safe'



October - Nicky Campbell joined Radio 1, with a Saturday 10pm - midnight show.

Also in 1987, Radio 1 broadcast it's first ever voter's poll and revealed unemployment to be the major concern for the forthcoming election.

There was station support and a premier airing for the Ferry Aid charity single - raising cash for victims of the Zeebrugge disaster.

Radio 1 proved it's hit-making capability by helping studio jokers The Firm to No. 1 with Star Trekkin', a tongue - in - cheek tribute to Captain Kirk and his crew.

Radio 1 Shows were broadcast live from Los Angeles, Moscow, Disneyland and the Eiffel Tower in Paris.




January - A "more music Day" is heard; DJ's are told to limit their chat only to news, weather and traffic announcements. Hundreds of listeners complain (you can't win'em all!)

May - Simon Mayo took over the breakfast show, and launched a new format with a regular newsreader and a travel presenter.

September - Radio 1 goes FM...celebrations all around, as Bros flew  all around the UK in a helicopter "switching on" the new stereo transmitters in Central Scotland, The North and the midlands; 65% of the population were now able to receive Radio 1 FM.

AUDIO The Great FM Switch-On (1 more Time show)


October - the world's top rock band U2 arrived for a rare interview with Annie Nightingale.

Also in 1988, to link with it's increasing stereo FM service, Radio 1 begins simulcasting BBC 1's Top of the Pops TV show.


Paul McCartney backs Radio 1's new environment campaign.

January - Alan Freeman comes back to present an oldies chart version of "Pick of the Pops" a show which he created and last presented 17 years previously....not half!

June - Simon Bates and producer Jonathan Ruffle begin their epic journey around the world. The Round The World in 80 Days special is broadcast daily and raises money for Oxfam along the way. They returned 78 days later.

October - Former Capital DJ Roger Scott sadly passed away after a battle with Cancer; he became known as "the DJ's DJ" since most jocks had said that Roger was their favourite. He continued to present his hugely popular Radio 1 show until just a couple of weeks before his death.

Jan 1990

A young Jakki Brambles joins Radio 1 from London's Capital and is an immediate hit with the listeners.


George Michael gives what he says is his 'last ever interview' to Steve Wright.

Radio 1 broadcasts live and in full the Knebworth '90 concert for music Therapy, featuring a host of superstars including Paul McCartney, Pink Floyd, Eric Clapton, Robert Palmer, Elton John and Robert Plant.

Man Ezeke is heard on 1FM in March, with a new weekly reggae show.





Simon Bates broadcast a valentine's special from the Gulf, in which troops sent messages to their loved ones back home.


Steve Wright scooped Prime minister John Major's first broadcast interview.


May - Radio 1 began continual 24 - hour broadcasting.


Whitney Houston, Phil Collins, Jason Donovan and the Pet Shop Boys are guest presenters.


David Bowie broadcast a live session 17 years after his first John Peel session.



The first Party in the Park was held, at Sutton Park, West midlands. 125,000 pop fans were in attendance.

The stations Live Aid team re-assembled for the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for Aids Awareness.

The largest ever Roadshow audience was 100,000 in Birmingham on Sunday 30th August 1992 (Party in the Park) celebrating the 25th birthday of Radio 1 with Live acts including Del Amitri, Aswad, the Farm and Status Quo.

August - over half the station's weekly audience of 15.5 million  were aged over 25, with a quarter of Radio 4's audience tuning in regularly.

August Bank Holiday and Radio 1 counted down its listeners all-time top 100 with Queen's Bohemian Rhapsody at number one.

In September, to celebrate 25 years of the station, past deejays including Emperor Rosko, Tom Browne, Tony Blackburn and Noel Edmonds returned for special programmes. An Intercity 225 train was named after the station.

Radio 1 was renamed '1FM' form October  in readiness for the loss of the MW signal in 1993. Radio 1 was on the verge of major change.



  1966  1967 1968 1969 1970 1971 1972 1973 1974 1975 1976 1977 1993 to 1997 



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