“Local Radio has now emerged from its vacuum – and is now serving the whole community” 

31 December 2023 tbs.pm/78862

BBC Radio Teesside logo


Cover of deejay magazine

From ‘deejay’ for January 1973

Should you happen to wander down Linthorpe Road, Middlesbrough, the chances are you wouldn’t notice a rather inauspicious building sandwiched between a tailor’s shop and a hardware store. If you were to tune your radio in to 194m medium wave or 96.6 VHF in the same town, you couldn’t very well miss it. I am, of course, referring to Teesside’s newest and most immediate form of communication, BBC Radio Teesside. It has been on the air now for two years and, with the addition of our new medium wave outlet, it’s as much a part of Teesside life as the River Tees itself.

The station bursts into action each morning at 06.02 am with Dave Eastwood – Teesside’s super Milkman, Postman and Paperboy all rolled into one. Dave hosts the breakfast programme, “On the Move”, a three hour show of lively music, unusual items and odd interviews and believe me some odd things happen in Teesside, well have you ever heard of a dog that bursts into song after two gin and tonics, or a Yorkshire pudding the size of a green house? You would had you been listening to “On the Move”. The aim of the programme is to get the people of Teesside, South Durham and North Yorkshire off to work entertained and well informed. To this end full local traffic news is broadcast, along with the news headlines at the bottom of the hour and two editions of “Teesside Today” at 7 and 8 o’clock. For Manchester-born Dave, getting up at 4 am, as opposed to going to bed at 4 am, was quite a turnabout as he used to do many disco’s and public appearances in his native Lancashire. The name, Dave Eastwood, may sound familiar as he used to do many Radio 1 Clubs, Workshops, etc, for Radio 1.


Dave Eastwood

Radio Teesside’s breakfast DJ – Dave Eastwood


“On the Move” has a sister programme which is broadcast in the afternoons, the “Ton Up Show”. Why on earth the “Ton Up Show”? Well the programme runs from 3.05 pm to 4.45 pm, which, if you are at all mathematically inclined, you will have worked out that it is 100 minutes long, damned clever these local radio chaps. At this time of the afternoon people aren’t rushing around, as in the morning, and, in consequence, the programme is taken at a rather more relaxed pace. This enables Graeme Aldous, the producer and presenter, to have slightly longer interviews, guests in the studio and so on.

All the musical programmes play dedications, but if a person wants a specific request they use “Teesside Requests”, probably the most over subscribed programme on the station. People can write or telephone their requests in, or, as the station is in the middle of Middlesbrough’s shopping centre, drop them in personally. Even though broadcast seven times a week many requests have to be left out due to lack of space. This must be a disappointment for those who have requested records, but from our point of view it’s very encouraging as it proves that local radio has emerged from its vacuum and is now serving the whole community.

The busiest day of my week is Saturday. On that particular day the poor, unsuspecting people of Teesside have to put up with four and a half hours of me. At 11 o’clock the “Saturday Scene” takes to the air. The basic aim is to produce a programme for the younger element of Teesside, without actually turning anybody else away. Each week I try to include as many of the better new singles and album tracks as well as phone chats, competitions, the Teesside Top Ten, news of Concerts, Shows and Disco’s in the area, and a panel made up of people from all over Teesside review some of the new singles.

By 12 noon it’s time for me to bop out of the studio and prepare the musical side of Saturday Sport. Here again the programme is aimed at a certain audience but is designed so as not to turn anybody away, that’s where I come in – there must be some logic in it somewhere. As well as covering all the local, national and international sports news, with special coverage given to matches concerning the North East, the programme also contains music, a quiz and some off beat items of news.


Steve Cosser

Steve Cosser


If Saturdays are “Steve Cosser Day” on Radio Teesside, then Sundays must certainly be the day of Tony Baynes. Twenty year old Tony, who joined the station after the closure of BBC Radio Durham, starts the day at 9 o’clock with the “Lie-in Show”. The title conceals nothing; real lay back and twiddle your toes stuff interspersed with features about the past week. Before
you have time to get back from church he’s back on your wireless with an hour of requests at 12 noon.

Those with rather more specialised tastes in music are not forgotten. Stu McFarlane, of the famous “Fettlers” Folk Group, presents a weekly Folk magazine programme, “Focus on Folk”. Among the famous names that have dropped in on the programme are Amazing Blondell, Steeleye Span and Al Stewart. Folk music is strong here in the north east and Stu has no difficulty in finding top quality acts to record for the programme. The station recently ran a competition asking listeners to write a Folk Song about Teesside. The number of entrants and the high standard was quite startling.

Country and Western fans are not left out. Each week Stan Laundon, a former C&W journalist and a man who can justly boast the largest C&W record collection in the North East of England, presents “Country Time”. As well as bags of music the show also has all the latest C&W news. A similar programme is produced and presented by George Lambelle for jazz fans, “All that Jazz”.

Radio Teesside has the distinction of having both the oldest and the youngest dee-jays on British radio. At 16 I am the youngest, and at… well I won’t give his age away, Jack Leonards is the oldest. Jack has a weekly programme called “Dad’s Music”, in which he takes a nostalgic trip down memory lane playing music from the “thirties” to the “fifties” and talking about Teesside in those days.

Well those are some of the things Radio Teesside are doing. As for the future, well the station is now part of the community, but with the coming of commercial radio she can’t afford to stand still. Obviously the BBC local radio stations are at a disadvantage in a number of ways, but they certainly have a few things going for them. For one thing they don’t have to consider advertisers and their influence on programmes, the only people we have to care about are our listeners!


You Say

3 responses to this article

Paul Mason 8 February 2024 at 5:48 am

In 2024 the glory days of local radio, BBC and ILR are OVER. Well and truly.

Andrew 21 March 2024 at 7:02 pm

I always wonder why Steve Cosser was in one of the original promotion photos for Beacon Radio in 1975,
a few months before its launch in April 1976. He was pictured with the MD Jay Oliver, but was never on the air and must’ve left before it launched. There was a Steve Cosser who moved to Australia and appeared to be in a battle with Charlie Mullins the owner of Pimlico Plumbers. I assume it’s the same Steve Cosser.

Steve Cosser 29 March 2024 at 12:45 am

The one and the same. A better paid job came up in Australia, where I had already spent two years on air at the ABC.
I was supposed to do breakfast. They were
mucking around about my contract and so I returned to Australia.
Would love to see the photos if you stil have them.

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