Piccadilly Radio in 1979 

25 November 2017 tbs.pm/13408

Piccadilly Radio・2 April 1974

Piccadilly Radio Ltd, 127/131 The Piazza, Piccadilly Plaza, MANCHESTER M1 4AW
Tel: 061-236 9913

Directors Joe Wilmot (Chairman); Norman Quick (Vice-Chairman); P T Birch (Managing Director and Chief Executive); Sir Paul Bryan; A Blond; S Friendland; D H May; J H Perrow; A R Armitt; I M Peacock; Lord Winstanley; A Hopcroft; Dame Kathleen Ollerenshaw; Mrs M E Mason.

Senior Executives. Bert Tatlock (Sales Controller); Geoffrey Jones (Company Secretary); Colin Walters (Programme Controller) ; Phil Thompson (Chief Engineer).

Senior Staff Roger Finnigan (Head of Features); Steve England (Commercial Production); Jim Hancock (Current Affairs); Roger Day (Head of Music); Shiona Nelson Hawkins (Commercial Traffic); David Vear (Head of News); Tony Ingham (Promotions); Pete Reeves (Head of Presentation); Tom Tyrrell (Sports Editor); Tony Hawkins (Education).

IBA Local Advisory Committee for Independent Local Radio in Manchester
Mrs S V Hartshorne, JP, (Chairman); P Capper; D Clayton; Miss C Hagyard; Miss L Hall; H Hough; Mrs P MacLaren; Miss P McManus; Cllr N Morris; Mrs M H Oldham; Cllr D Silverman.

Public Service – Piccadilly style – is a new and exciting radio concept which the people of the North West have taken to their hearts.

Dial 261! It’s as simple as that for telephone users in the Greater Manchester area to keep up to date with news, weather and sports results. Since it started in October 1977, over 2,000,000 calls have been made to this round-the-clock dial-in radio service, averaging 10,000 calls daily. The popularity of this service is indicated by the 22,000 people who dialled 261 for information on the birth of Princess Anne’s baby, the 18,000 commuters needing information on a crippling bus strike, and 18,000 listeners anxiously awaiting Budget Day announcements.

A creditable reflection on Piccadilly’s first steps in drama work was the six-part science fiction serial entitled The Last Rose of Summer. This was very much a ‘local’ product, using the talents of actors and actresses based in the area, and is now being published as a full length book by Corgi.

While the majority of Piccadilly’s music broadcasting comprises various forms of contemporary popular records, there are now two major classical music shows: Square One a music ‘magazine’ is broadcast on Sunday mornings and commands an audience of over 100,000 people, whilst on Sunday evenings at 11 p.m., Performance features quality music of different kinds – the best in folk and jazz will get a hearing as well as locally recorded classical music.

Christian views on matters of topical concern such as vandalism, abortion and corporal punishment are discussed in Mankind on Monday evenings, and Sound It Out, a Christian arts ‘magazine’ features music, drama and interviews on Sunday mornings.

Piccadilly continues its authoritative range of news and current affairs programmes when Arena examines matters of social concern with topics ranging from baby battering to the value of school exams. Listeners to Agenda on Friday evenings will hear interviews with district councillors and officials on matters of concern in the North West, plus a weekly report on the parliamentary activities of local MPs. An assessment of important national and international events is presented by Jim Hancock in The World from the North West on Thursday evenings, and the series regularly includes interviews with politicians, industrialists and trade union heads. Piccadilly’s varied political programming was highlighted in July by its coverage of the Moss Side by-election when Colin Walters and Andy Peebles presented Focus On Moss Side from the Manchester Studio. Jim Hancock was at the count in Manchester’s Town Hall, and he introduced the returning officer as he made the declaration. This was heard ‘live’ on Piccadilly along with immediate interviews with the five candidates on their reaction to the result.

Over the past year, Piccadilly has expanded its news and outside broadcast facilities extensively. Thirty permanent outside broadcast circuits are now in operation, complemented by the radio car and the mobile recording unit.

Comprehensive and high quality sports coverage is ensured by permanent lines to the football grounds of Manchester City and Manchester United, and also to Lancashire County Cricket Ground. Various town halls in the Greater Manchester area now have permanent lines and up-to-the-minute traffic information is received via a special radio permanently fixed in a Police motorway survey car.

One of the most successful promotional ventures of the past year has been the Best Disco in Town. Since March 1978, Piccadilly entertains 1,500 youngsters every Friday night. The Disco, aimed at 15-18 year olds has proved tremendously successful as the only venue of its kind in Manchester providing entertainment for teenagers.

IBA Transmitters
VHF Transmitter
(FM with stereo capability)
Saddleworth (NGR: SD 987 050)
97.0 MHz
Max erp 2 kW
Circular polarisation
Aerial ht. 1278 ft aod

MF Transmitter
(medium wave, mono only)
Ashton Moss (NGR: SJ 925 994)
261 m (1152 kHz)
Transmitter power 0.35 kW

Air Date: 2.4.74

VHF COVERAGE. The map shows the area within which most listeners should obtain satisfactory mono reception on VHF and, with adequate aerials, good stereo reception. Medium wave coverage is designed as far as possible to match VHF.

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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3 responses to this article

Nigel Stapley 25 November 2017 at 5:04 pm

I well remember The Last Rose Of Summer. The cast was like a who’s who of local CAs, including Charles Foster (Granada) and John Mundy (BBC).

There were apparently two sequels done by Piccadilly too, one of which featured not only Foster & Mundy, but Colin Weston & Jim Pope as well!

Paul Mason 29 November 2017 at 1:38 am

How long before this varied schedule gave way to “stripped” formats with pop music and adverts? Radio City had become a juke box by this date. The ILR stations had to provide religious output and classical music, but that requirement was soon swept away.

Dave m. 10 January 2018 at 12:44 am

The original Piccadilly radio was one of the best character led radio stations of all time. It had its own unique style and personality. This is lacking with a lot of stations today.

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