2019 in Radio

I think 2019’s going to be an exciting time for radio. This month alone there will be some quite big changes on the UK’s airwaves.

Like a lot of people, I spend a lot of time listening to the radio in the car and sometimes spend more time deciding what to listen to than I do actually driving to my destination.

On long drives I’ll stick something like LBC or Radio 2 on. Whenever I drive abroad, I always tune in to local FM channels instead of sticking on a CD. NPO Radio 5, a DAB station from the Netherlands, is a particular favourite – as is the Flemish Radio 2 and the German SWR 3.

On the short (20 minute) journey to work I tend ot listen to recordings of foreign radio stations. I enjoy recording the Breakfast or Drivetime shows of many German, Greek, Dutch, Belgian or French radio stations and then listening in the car the following day.

But the beginning of 2019 sees major changes at quite a few radio stations, so for the time being the recordings from abroad are out in favour of channel-hopping the UK’s airwaves.

Starting tomorrow BBC Radio 6 Music has a new schedule: New Breakfast, Mid-Morning, Afternoon and Weekend Breakfast Shows. I first started listening to 6 Music when it was a fairly young station not long after I recieved my first digital radio one birthday (must have been 2002-3ish). I’ll probably be listening to Lauren Laverne’s new show in the car tomorrow – which starts at about the time I get in the car to leave for work.

On the other side, exciting times ahead for Radio 2. I’ve been an avid Radio 2 listener for over 15 years now – back in the days when daytimes started with Sarah Kennedy followed by Wogan, and Johnnie Walker at Drivetime. For the last 9 years or so, we’ve had Chris Evans and Simon Mayo at each end of the day.

In just over a week, a new era for Radio 2: Zoe Ball at Breakfast and Sara Cox at Drivetime – but before that Mark Goodier’s on the Breakfast shift for a week. So that’s another one to tune in for. I’m glad Zoe Ball got the Breakfast job, as I generally prefer her to Sara Cox.

A week later the return of Chris Evans, this time on commercial radio. His new Breakfast Show on Virgin Radio will be ad-free. I’ll give it a go. I don’t mind Chris Evans but he’s not my number one choice (hence my tendency to listen to foreign radio stations on the way to work).

Plenty to keep me entertained in the car over the next few months. I quite like channel hopping and tend not to listen to the same thine from one day to the next – having said all that, preset 1 on all my radios is LBC and the start of Nick Ferrari’s Breakfast Show is one I try to listen to every morning before work.

I wonder what other changes will take place on the UK airwaves over the next 12 months…

By the way – Happy New Year!


Fred Hart

Stock Controller and Radio Presenter/Producer

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