BBC Radio & The Blackburn Rover

BBC Radio & The Blackburn Rover

Let's Start off with a Glossary Test

Research these three concepts:

BBC Radio & The Blackburn Rover

Inform Educate Entertain

The BBC remit. What they are supposed to do!

BBC Radio & The Blackburn Rover

Public Service Broadcasting

Broadcasts for the general cultural good, rather than to make profit.

BBC Radio & The Blackburn Rover


When an institution has exclusive possession of a part of a market place.

BBC Radio & The Blackburn Rover

The Rise of radio 1 and the Influence of the Pirates

When Radio1 began in 1967, the controllers knew that they had to appeal to the young adult market who had become very bored with their dull ‘Light’ Programme or classical music output.

They had lost a lot of their audience to listeners who enjoyed the much more upbeat, cool, modern and humorous style of the Pirate Radio DJs like John Peel and Tony Blackburn. They used banter and had a laugh with the audience when presenting.

Therefore they could connect with this younger audience much more effectively.

They were easy going and felt much more RELATEABLE to the younger audience who were bored with the posh, dull and safe style of BBC DJs on the Light and Classical programmes.

BBC Radio & The Blackburn Rover

It’s supposed to be fun! Tony leaves the ship and joins the Banterbus

The pirates prospered by developing (at the time fairly revolutionary) ideas like using jingles, traffic and travel updates and lively and contemporary studio guests.

In these far off days before email and social media, DJs like Blackburn were revolutionary in encouraging correspondence between audience and radio station. It did take about six weeks to get a song dedicated to the girlfriend who had probably dumped you by then, (for being sad enough to send a letter to a DJ in the first place) but it was still an exciting new proposition.

Therefore, as Radio 1 knew they had to appeal to this growing audience, they decided to offer jobs to some of the presenters of pirate radio.

Much in the manner of a big bucks Premier League club tempting the Championship manager of the year, Tony Blackburn left pirate radio to present the first ever programme on Radio 1. He was considered representative of this new style of broadcasting and somebody who would act a real signifier of the change the BBC was hoping to make.

BBC Radio & The Blackburn Rover

“Stand by for Switching”

AQA have been clear about students not having to listen to tons of specific Tony Blackburn shows from this early period (Indeed there are some copyright restrictions around some of the recording too) so don’t worry about getting the right or wrong one.

It is definitely useful however to get a sense of the tone, language and vibe of that early output from Blackburn in the early days.

The above clip is particularly appealing as the continuity man (who sounds extraordinarily like grizzled reporter Jon Snow speaking with the gravitas of a man announcing the death of a sitting monarch as opposed to the first iteration of the bloke who was going to drop some Roy Wood tracks) gets more strident as the handover becomes more imminent.

There is a real sense of this being an important moment in the broadcasting history of the UK.

BBC Radio & The Blackburn Rover

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