BBC Radio Leicester

BBC Radio Leicester is the BBC Local Radio service for the English counties of Leicestershire and Rutland. The station broadcasts from studios in Leicester on 104.9 FM, on DAB, and via the BBC iPlayer.

BBC Radio Leicester
Broadcast areaLeicestershire, Rutland
SloganA passion for Leicestershire, BBC Radio Leicester
FrequencyRDS: BBC Leic, 104.9 FM
First air date8 November 1967
FormatLocal news, talk and music
OwnerBBC Local Radio,o
BBC East Midlands
WebsiteBBC Radio Leicester


BBC Radio Leicester was the first of the new wave of BBC Local Radio stations introduced in the 1960s. Radio Leicester began broadcasting at 12.45p.m. on 8 November 1967 on 95.05 VHF from a transmitter located on Gorse Hill above the city centre.

The station's former 837 kHz medium wave frequency from the Freeman's Common transmitter near the University of Leicester is now used by the BBC Asian Network, which originated in Leicester but is now a national network delivered via DAB, digital satellite, Freeview and other systems across the UK and beyond.

In 2007, the station celebrated its 40th anniversary by launching a Ruby Rainbow Appeal in aid of the Rainbows Hospice based in Loughborough, within its TSA (total survey area). Special events took place throughout the year culminating in a final fund-raising appeal around the time of the anniversary in November 2007.

According to RAJAR, the station has a weekly audience of 167,000 listeners and a 6.2% share as of December 2018.[1]


In 2005, the station moved to new premises at 9 St Nicholas Place. This new centre is adjacent to the medieval Guildhall and Cathedral and includes many aspects of Leicester's history, such as Victorian tiles and an undercroft (first revealed in 1841), with remains dating to Roman times. The Centre houses the BBC College of Journalism's base for the Midlands, an IT Centre that is used in partnership with local organisations, and a BBC Shop selling a wide range of BBC-branded merchandise.


Although the station's FM transmitter mast is only 70 m (230 ft) tall, it is set 235 m (770 ft) above sea level on top of the Jurassic limestone ridge at Copt Oak, next to the M1. This is a high point in Charnwood Forest, part of the National Forest. Since 6 December 2002, the station's DAB signal has come from the NOW Digital East Midlands (NDEM) Leicester 11B multiplex, which comes from Copt Oak and Houghton on the Hill. The Waltham transmitter and Houghton-on-the-Hill have a Digital One multiplex and Waltham has a BBC National DAB multiplex. The Copt Oak transmitter also broadcasts Gem 106.


Most of BBC Radio Leicester's programming is produced and broadcast from its Leicester studios between 6a.m. and 10p.m. on Sundays–Fridays and from 6a.m. to 6p.m. and 8–9p.m. on Saturdays.

During off-peak hours, BBC Radio Leicester also carries regional programming for the Midlands and East Midlands regions, produced by sister stations BBC WM and BBC Radio Nottingham. During the station's downtime, BBC Radio Leicester simulcasts BBC Radio 5 Live overnight.


  1. "RAJAR". RAJAR. Retrieved 27 September 2015.

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