BBC Radio Manchester

BBC Radio Manchester is a BBC Local Radio station broadcasting to Greater Manchester, north-east Cheshire and north-east Derbyshire in North West England, from MediaCityUK in Salford Quays on FM via a transmitter at Holme Moss, with a small repeater at Saddleworth that covers Tameside and Saddleworth. It can be heard on DAB radio and via internet streaming.

BBC Radio Manchester
Broadcast areaGreater Manchester, north-east Cheshire and north-west Derbyshire.
Frequency95.1 MHz, 104.6 MHz
DAB: 11C
First air date10 September 1970
FormatLocal news, talk and music
OwnerBBC Local Radio,
BBC North West
WebsiteBBC Radio Manchester

According to RAJAR, the station has a weekly audience of 203,000 listeners and a 3.8% share as of December 2018.[1]


BBC Radio Manchester (1970–1988)

BBC Radio Manchester launched at 6 am on 10 September 1970 as the first local radio station in the city of Manchester. Initially broadcasting from studios at Piccadilly Gardens in the city centre, the station's long-standing home was New Broadcasting House on Oxford Road. Radio Manchester originally broadcast only on 95.1 VHF (FM); the frequency of 275 metres (1052 khz), on the AM / medium wave band was added approximately 2 years after the station first went on air. The first voice on air was Alan Sykes. Other presenters included Roy Cross, Sandra Chalmers, Mike Riddoch and Alex Greenhalgh. In the mid 1970s, Radio Manchester was notable for the "Midway through the Day" programme which introduced strip programming and ran from lunchtime until 7 pm. Presenters changed throughout the day and it was the precursor of the now common chat and music format. At the same time Radio Manchester began an evening programme from 10 pm to midnight which often repeated interviews from "Midway through the Day".

Opt-out stations

In 1983 and 1984 the radio station ran a series of experimental community stations, each of which used the 1296 kHz AM frequency in turn. The stations were BBC Radio Bury (late 1983/early 1984), BBC Radio Oldham, BBC Radio Rochdale (eight weeks from 14 May 1984), BBC Radio Trafford (which operated from a mobile studio in a school playground) and BBC Radio Skelmersdale (summer 1984). The stations were part-time services which opted out from the main BBC Radio Manchester service. The experiments were never repeated.

BBC GMR (1988–2006)

From October 1988 until 3 April 2006, the station was named BBC GMR (Greater Manchester Radio) and, for a brief period in 1997, GMR Talk. Programmes included a phone-in with Allan Beswick (who remains at the station and has presented a variety of shows at differing times, currently presenting a late night talk show which is simulcast with BBC Radio Lancashire), late-night music and comedy show Michelle Mullane around Midnight and GMR Brass, a brass band music programme. GMR was part of the BBC Night Network.

In 1996, BBC GMR began broadcasting from a second transmitter from Saddleworth on 104.6 FM, (which had and continues to serve as a transmitter for Key 103 for over 20 years). This meant areas of the Upper Tame Valley including Saddleworth and Tameside, down to Hyde saw improved coverage, which was poor at times from Holme Moss especially indoors.

BBC Radio Manchester relaunch (2006–present)

After 18 years the station reverted to its original name, Radio Manchester. The first voice on the relaunched station was that of Tony Wilson followed by long-time local personality and breakfast presenter Terry Christian, the first song was Manchester by the Beautiful South.

At 6 am on Saturday 8 October 2011, the station ended its transmissions from its Oxford Road studios and began broadcasting from MediaCityUK in Salford Quays. The final show from Oxford Road was presented by Darryl Morris and the first from the new studios by Andy Crane.


Most of BBC Radio Manchester's programming is produced and broadcast from Salford Quays. During off-peak hours, BBC Radio Manchester also carries some shared programming with sister station BBC Radio Lancashire. During the station's downtime, BBC Radio Manchester simulcasts BBC Radio 5 Live programming.

Notable presenters include Mike Sweeney (weekday mornings), Becky Want (weekday afternoons) and Stephanie Hirst (Saturday nights).

Notable former presenters

See also


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

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