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LBC 97.3: Wikis


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LBC 97.3
LBC Radio.png
Broadcast area London on FM
Nationally on DAB Digital Radio
worldwide (online)
Slogan London's Biggest Conversation
Frequency 97.3 MHz
First air date 8 October 1973 (6am BST)
Format News/Talk
Audience share 5.7% (December 2009, [1])
Owner Global Radio

LBC 97.3 is a London-based talk and phone-in radio station. It is one half of the latest incarnation of LBC, the news and speech service which was Britain's first commercial radio station when it went on air in October 1973. LBC's current format - with talk on 97.3FM and rolling news on LBC News 1152 - was established in January 2003.

The first bulletin on LBC was written by News Editor, later Programme Controller, Keith Belcher, and the first voice on air was Aussie import newsreader Ken Guy.



The launch attracted considerable attention and a sizeable audience, particularly for the pairing of the celebrated journalist Paul Callan and the writer (later national newspaper editor and TV personality) Janet Street-Porter who contrived to create a new form of radio, albeit unintentionally. The pair were pitched as co-presenters of the morning drive-time show.[1] The intention was to contrast the urbane Callan with the less couth Street-Porter, whose accents were respectively known to studio engineers as "cut-glass" and "cut-froat".

In the event friction between the ill-assorted pair led to an entertaining stream of one-upmanship that became required listening for many Londoners, the sharper put-downs being blamed for several collisions by motorists incapacitated with laughter.[citation needed] The programme was the first in the UK to combine interviews with celebrities and heavyweight political figures on the same show, blurring the line between classic British comedy and analysis of international affairs.


LBC's parent company is Global Radio. Global owns and runs a number of major London and national brands including Classic FM, Capital 95.8(London), Red Dragon(Cardiff), Heart (radio network), Xfm, Gold (radio), LBC News 1152, Choice FM, Galaxy FM and the Hit Music Network.

Global Radio group was formed by Ashley Tabor CEO, Charles Allen Chairman and Richard Park Executive Director & Group Director of Broadcasting in 2007. It's headquarters are on Leicester Square in London.

Station presenters



Current LBC 97.3 presenters include:

Current Newsreaders include:

  • Matthew Schofield
  • Russell Hookey
  • Sam Pittis
  • Michael Traboulsi
  • Katy Radley
  • Clemency Norris
  • Holly Ford
  • Peter Ferris
  • Alex Kirkland

Current Reporters/Correspondents include:

  • Tom Cheal, Political Correspondent
  • Daniel Freedman, Reporter
  • Declan Harvey, Reporter
  • Sasha Twinning, Business Reporter
  • Jo Parkerson, Showbiz Correspondent
  • Kevin Hughes, Showbiz Reporter

Current Travel Presenters/Reporters:

  • Hugh Broom
  • Helen Austin
  • Jay Louise Knight
  • Joanne Webb
  • Alan Joyce


Past LBC presenters include:


People who have hosted 'one off' or temporary shows while regular presenters were away include:


Since September 2006 LBC 97.3 has also been carried on the MXR Digital multiplex replacing rolling news service DNN:

In 2009, LBC replaced Chill in Scotland:

  • DAB SCORE Edinburgh Multiplex (Edinburgh)[2]
  • DAB SCORE Glasgow Multiplex (Glasgow and West Central Scotland)[2]


LBC claim to be the first radio station in the world to provide full-length podcasts for all its major shows, plus podcast-only shows and other things such as backstage interviews and mp3s sent to the show, under the name LBC Plus.

Tony Blair appearance

On 13 January 2004, the then British Prime Minister Tony Blair presented an hour long phone-in show on the station, taking pre-booked calls from LBC 97.3 listeners. His appearance was part of the 'Big Conversation' initiative to promote Government as being more accessible and in touch with the people. During the 10:00-11:00 show, a caller explained that he'd been denied access to his children for five years and asked what Mr Blair was planning to do about other fathers in a similar situation. The Prime Minister assured the caller he would look into his case personally. It later transpired that the caller was in fact Fathers 4 Justice member Ron Davis who in May of that year was arrested for entering Parliament and throwing a condom containing purple powder over Mr Blair and nearby Cabinet members. Mr Davis claimed the attack was in response to the Prime Minister's failure to contact him or look into the matters discussed on LBC 97.3.

Ken Livingstone appearances

A regular guest on LBC 97.3 was former London Mayor Ken Livingstone, who usually appeared once per month on the Nick Ferrari breakfast show. During the show he took calls from LBC listeners and discussed points put to him by Ferrari. It had become something of a running joke that the Mayor usually arrived late, blaming it on public transport, which he's famously keen to be seen using, to the extent that Nick Ferrari actually won a bet that Livingstone would be late for his next appearance on LBC. Ken's phone in sessions alternated between LBC and BBC London 94.9 these were one of the rare opportunities that Londoners had of talking directly to the then London Mayor. Since losing the 2008 Mayoral Election Livingstone began his own Saturday Morning programme on LBC, on 30 August 2008.

Jeni Barnett and MMR vaccine controversy

A broadcast on 7 January 2009 by Jeni Barnett in which she debated the putative dangers of MMR vaccine with callers became the subject of media controversy, first because her views were criticised as irreponsible by medical journalist Ben Goldacre, and then because LBC and Global Radio threatened legal action against Goldacre for copyright infringement.


External links


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