Radio Station Archive – BBC

Below is a list of archived BBC radio recordings, air-checks, videos and documents which we make freely available to our site visitors subject to the following conditions.

Limited Use
IMPORTANT: Please note that all documents on this site, including all pictures, audio and video recordings, are for historical research, academic and educational purposes only. Any other use of materials on this site, including reproduction for any purposes other than those noted above, including, but not limited to modification, distribution, or re-publication by any means without the prior written permission of is prohibited. No other use may be made without the express written permission of this site’s owners.

All trademarks, service marks, and trade names are proprietary to their other respective owners.

Audio & Video Recordings
The recordings listed below are in .mp3 or .mp4 format within password-protected .zip files. You will need to first download the .zip file to your computer. To unzip the file you will need Winzip or 7-Zip or another fully compatible alternative software. When you unzip the file, you will also need the password which you can obtain at no cost by contacting us and explaining briefly what your interest is.
We also provide some recordings to listen to online here and here.
Please follow the following link if you are looking for audio recordings from other radio stations (not BBC).

Document Archive
If you are looking for our document archives, please follow the following link for a list of NCRM (National Commercial Radio Movement), CIB (Campaign For Independent Broadcasting) and related documents.

1960, This Is The BBC, .mp4 66 mins.
This film gives a fascinating impression of 24 hours in the life of the BBC. There is no commentary at all — instead the sound track consists entirely of the announcements, programme music and voices of the artists, commentators and technical staff. It is a broadcasting time-capsule — TV competition, in the form of ITV, had started just 5 years earlier and its radio monopoly was to be severely shaken just 4 years later with the arrival of offshore pirate Radio Caroline. “This Is The BBC” was broadcast on BBC-TV on 29th June 1960, the opening night of BBC Television Centre, headquarters of BBC Television until 2013. Produced and directed by Richard Cawston.

1964, Fri. 10th July, BBC Home Service, Scrapbook For 1938 – “The Brink of the Precipice”, .mp3 75 mins.
Scrapbook was an occasional and enduringly popular programme on BBC radio which lasted for more than 40 years. It was first broadcast in 1932 on the BBC’s National Programme, in post-war years on the BBC Home Service and was last heard in about 1974 on BBC Radio 4. The Scrapbook programmes were devised and researched by Leslie Baily, narrated by Freddie Grisewood and produced by Vernon Harris. Each programme would be devoted to the key events and highlights of one specific year from a British standpoint and included accounts by people who were close to historical events, recordings of radio broadcasts and newsreels, recordings from popular shows, singers and musicians. Read more about the BBC Scrapbook programmes…

1967, BBC Home Service : The Pirates of Pop1960s
.mp4 35 mins. The Pirates of Pop – A Study of Pop or Pirate Radio The exact date of this early 1967 programme about the 1960s offshore pirate radio stations is unknown and it is doubtful whether it was ever broadcast. Voices heard include Simon Dee, Radio London Managing Director, Philip Birch and Donald MacLean of the BBC’s Popular Music Department. The presenter is uncertain but it is likely John Benson. The name of the programme’s producer is unknown but BBC producer Johnny Beerling suspects John Muir may well have produced it as well as doing the interviews. Why was this programme never broadcast? Probably because the views expressed in “The Pirates of Pop” were sharply in contrast to UK Labour government policy, which in 1967 was not only against the offshore pirate radio stations but was also dogmatically opposed to the introduction of land-based commercial radio. This policy did not change until the 1970 UK general election which was won by the Conservative party.

1969, Pop Went The Pirates, .mp3 52 mins.
This is almost certainly Auntie BBC’s very first tribute to the 1960’s offshore radio stations that changed the face of British radio for ever. Introduced by Andy Wright and broadcast over various BBC local stations in 1969.
Presenter Andy Wright, who died in 1997, worked most of his career in BBC local radio.
His brother, Charles, says that Andy made this programme entirely off his own bat and it was not sanctioned by the BBC at the time. The announcer at the start of this recording is Victor Hallam, later a regular on BBC Radio 3.

1969, Sat. 26th April, BBC Radio 1, 247m., Johnnie Walker Show, .mp3 120 mins.
This was Johnnie Walker’s first show for the BBC following Radio Caroline’s demise a year earlier in March 1968.

1969, Mon. 26th May, BBC Radio 1, 247m., Johnnie Walker Show, .mp3 120 mins.

1970, BBC World Service News, .mp3 3-3/4 mins.
Is this joke/mashup what BBC engineers (armed with razor blade and splicing tape) got up to in their spare time at Bush House? Listen to Roger Collinge reading the World Service News as never before (or again)!

1971, Tues. 29th June, BBC Radio London, Interview with Ronan O’Rahilly, .mp3 48-1/2 mins.
In this rare BBC interview with David Simmons, Radio Caroline’s founder, Ronan O’Rahilly, talks about his movies “Gold” and “Girl on a Motorcycle“, the Oz magazine trial, as well as Radio Caroline’s active support for the Conservative Party during the June 1970 General Election campaign and his views on Harold Wilson, the Government and freedom in general.

1972, Sat. 13th May, BBC Radio 1, FM 95.3, Stuart Henry Show, .mp3 46 mins.
This show starts at 09.55 hrs. and includes the last minute or so of Ed Stewart’s Junior Choice. Pete Brady on news. This FM recording on 95.3 was BBC Radio London’s frequency at the time.

1972, Sun. 14th May, BBC Radios 1 & 2, 247m & FM, Emperor Rosko – “Rock’n’Roll Is Here To Stay” + Alan Freeman “Pick Of The Pops” (part), .mp3 93 mins.
Starting at 16.00 hrs., includes the close of Jimmy Savile’s “Speakeasy” programme followed by the whole of Rosko’s show which was the last in the series. Rosko’s show ends at 17.00 when we hear the first half hour of “Pick Of The Pops” with Alan Freeman in FM quality.

1972, Tues. 19th Sep., BBC Radio 2, “script” for “Late Night Extra”.
Five years after Radio One’s 1967 start with ad-libbed programmes copied from the offshore stations, Radio Two continued with bureaucratic scripts as shown in this example – a set of 18 pages for a 2 hour show with a set going to each of at least 8 people adds up to nearly 1 kilo of paper! Just for one 2 hour show. Imagine how many trees the BBC sacrificed in a month. Note also that a 2 hour show required 4 hours of “rehearsal”.

1973, Sat. 19th May, 10.30-11.30 a.m. BBC Radio Blackburn FM – “The Unruly Waves”, .mp3 61-1/2 mins. This is one of the earliest BBC programmes dedicated to the offshore “pirate” radio stations of the 1960’s and early 1970’s. Produced by Paul Heaney for BBC Radio Humberside this programme includes the voices of Ted Allbeury of Radio 390, Radio London’s Philip Birch, BBC Radio 1 & 2 Controller Douglas Muggeridge, Wilf Proudfoot of Radio 270, Radio Caroline’s Ronan O’Rahilly and Edward Short, the Postmaster General responsible for the 1967 Marine etc. Broadcasting and Offences Act. Also included are the voices of DJs Rusty Allen, Andy Archer, Tony Blackburn, Roger Day, Simon Dee, Dave Dennis, Kenny Everett, Alan Freeman, Paul Kaye, Michael Lindsay, Ron O’Quinn and Johnnie Walker.

1973, summer, BBC Radios 1 & 2 – “The Beatles Story” .mp3 630 mins.
This 14 part documentary series of programmes was presented by Brian Matthew. It was written and produced by Johnny Beerling. An earlier 13 part version had first been aired weekly by the Beeb starting on Sunday, 21st May 1972 at 5pm..
Parts 1-5
Parts 6-10
Parts 11-14

1974, 26th Jan., BBC Radio 2 FM Stereo – “The Story Of Pop, Part 18, Ship To Shore”, .mp3 70-1/4 mins.
Covers “pirate” radio’s effect on pop music and its development into Britain’s first national pop music station, BBC Radio 1. Produced by Tim Blackmore, narrated by Alan Freeman, written by Keith Skues and John Pigeon, this program includes the voices of Ronan O’Rahilly, Philip Birch, Tony Windsor, Keith Skues, Paul Kaye, Simon Dee, Johnnie Walker, Tony Blackburn, Kenny Everett and many others. This recording includes a few minutes of the preceding programme illustrating that by 1974 BBC Radio 2 had not yet got rid of its 1940’s/1950’s Forces Programme/Light Programme “brass band” image.

1974, April, BBC Radio “Study on 3 – Commercial Radio”, Part 1, Part 2 & Part 3.
These are the scripts of a series of three programmes describing the way various groups wanting commercial radio in Britain built their campaigns in the 1960’s and the sort of commercial radio that finally emerged starting in October 1973. Introduced by Financial Times journalist, Chris Dunkley, those taking part are:
Christopher Chataway, conservative government minister responsible for carrying the commercial radio legislation through parliament.
Terry Bate, Radio Caroline executive.
Harry McGee, Pye Electronics executive, the company jointly responsible for the creation of Britain’s first licensed commercial radio station, Manx Radio, in June 1964, nearly ten years before commercial radio was licensed on the UK mainland.
John Gorst, secretary of the Local Radio Association, a pressure group of potential commercial radio station operators.
Sir Paul Bryan, Conservative shadow minister responsible for broadcasting in the 1960’s.
Geoffrey Pearl, Chairman of the Free Radio Association.
Martin Rosen, Press & Public Relations Officer for the Campaign For Independent Broadcasting.
Hughie Green, whose Commercial Broadcasting Consultants company was pressing for the introduction of commercial radio on Medium Wave only.
Douglas Lowndes, Director of the Newspaper Society, representing local newspapers who saw the prospect of commercial radio as a threat to their advertising revenues.
John Morton, General Secretary of the Musicians’ Union, which was violently opposed to the introduction of commercial radio.
Don Wightman, a member of the commercial radio committee, set up by the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising and media director of Lintas advertising agency.
Philip Whitehead, Labour MP, television producer and founder member of the “76 Group”, which was in favour of local or community radio but opposed to radio being run commercially.

1993, Sun. 24th Oct., BBC Radio 4, Desert Island Discs with Kenny Everett, .mp3 35 mins.
Interviewed by Sue Lawley.

1995, Fri. 7th July, BBC Radio 1, FM, John Peel tribute to Wolfman Jack, .mp3 12-3/4 mins.
John Peel’s tribute includes an edited aircheck of the legendary american DJ Wolfman Jack on “border blaster” radio XERB from Sep/Oct. 1967.

1997, Oct/Nov., BBC Radio 2 – The History of UK Popular Music Radio. This 4 part series is introduced by DJ Noel Edmonds and produced by Trevor Dan & Kevin Howlett to celebrate the BBC’s 75th anniversary. It’s an excellent series except for an unfortunate factual error in Part 4 where Noel Edmonds wrongly states that in 1970:
“RNI (Radio Nordsee International) embarked on a carefully orchestrated propaganda campaign against the Labour government… The government’s response to these tactics was for the first time in British history to jam its transmitters.”
In fact the reverse is true in that the Labour government had begun jamming RNI as early as 15 April 1970 and RNI did not respond with pro-Conservative party political messages until 13th June 1970. This is confirmed by several independent online sources including Wikipedia.
Part 1 – The Early Years of UK Music Radio, 1930-1950 features Radio Normandy, Radio Luxembourg, broadcasting during World War II, the BBC Forces Programme, the Allied Expeditionary Force (AEF) Programme and the BBC Light Programme. Includes the voices of Bob Danvers-Walker, Geoffrey Everett, Margaret Hubble, Lord Haw-Haw (William Joyce), Odette Lesley, Charles Maxwell, The Ovaltineys, Roy Plomley, Max Stanniforth, Christopher Stone and Stephen Williams.
Part 2 – “Roll Over Beethoven” deals with the 1950’s up to 1964, featuring Radio Luxembourg, BBC Light Programme, Radio Caroline, Radio WINS, Housewives’ Choice, Pick Of The Pops, Easy Beat, Saturday Club and includes Derek Chinnery, Alan Crawford, Simon Dee, Keith Fordyce, Alan Freed, Alan Freeman, Tony Hall, Jack Jackson, David Jacobs, Teddy Johnson, Brian Matthew, Christopher Moore, Pete Murray, Ronan O’Rahilly, Ray Orchard, Jimmy Savile and Roger Scott.
Part 3 – “The Offshore Pirates” covers the years 1964 to 1967 with Radio Caroline, Radio Atlanta, Radio Sutch, Radio City, Radio 390, Radio London (Big L), Radio Scotland, Radio 270, Radio England, Radio WABC with the voices of Philip Birch, Tony Blackburn, Paul Burnette, Dave Cash, Edward Cole, Robbie Dale, Larry Dean, Tom Edwards, Ken Evans, Kenny Everett, Tony Hall, John Peel, Ronan O’Rahilly, Edward Short, Keith Skues, Johnnie Walker, Tony Windsor and Tommy Vance.
Part 4 – “Radio Ga Ga” is about the period from 1967 to 1997 and deals with the overhaul at Broadcasting House (BBC) where the Home Service, Light Programme and Third Programme were replaced by Radios One, Two, Three and Four and the problems faced by the BBC trying to emulate the offshore pirate radio stations. Features Radio Caroline, BBC Radio One, Radio Luxembourg, Radio Northsea International (RNI), BBC Radio Leicester, Independent Broadcasting Authority (IBA), Capital Radio, Radio 210 and includes the voices of Johnnie Beerling, Tony Blackburn, Paul Burnette, Dave Cash, Roger Day, Jack De Manio, Kenny Everett, Alan Freeman, Frank Gillard, Jack Jackson, Duncan Johnson, John Peel, Tony Prince, Mike Raven, Emperor Rosko, Jimmy Savile, Robin Scott, Edward Short, Keith Skues, Dave Lee Travis, Larry Tremaine, Tommy Vance, Johnnie Walker, Alan West, Tony Windsor, Terry Wogan, Steve Wright and Jimmy Young. Also included is the protesting voice of CIB’s Martin Rosen (then with the Free Radio Association): “We want the basic freedom of choice, the choice between the BBC and independent radio stations.“.

2004, BBC Radio Essex – “All At Sea, Part 1, The Story of 1960’s Offshore “Pirate” Radio by Ray Clark”, .mp3 53 mins.
This programme was produced by BBC and ex Radio Caroline DJ, Ray Clark to celebrate 40th anniversary of offshore “pirate” radio which started on Easter Sunday 1964 when Radio Caroline was first heard.

2007, BBC Radio Essex – “All At Sea, Part 2, The Story of Offshore “Pirate” Radio from 1967 onwards by Ray Clark”, .mp3 40 mins.
On its 40th anniversary, BBC and ex Radio Caroline DJ, Ray Clark remembers August 1967 when the UK Government’s law against the popular offshore “pirate” radio stations became effective and relates what happened next.

2008, Sat. 5th Jan., BBC Radio 4, God Pirates & Ovaltineys, .mp3 57 mins.
UK radio listeners often think that the offshore pirates of the 1960s, such as Radio Caroline, Radio London, Radio 390 and others, were commercial radio’s original pioneers. But they weren’t. In “God, Pirates & Ovaltineys” writer, poet, broadcaster and Britain’s first Professor of Radio, Seán Street goes back to the early days of radio in the 1920s and 1930s when offshore commercial radio stations located on the continent of Europe, like Radio Normandy, Radio Luxembourg and several others entertained English audiences and provided serious competition for Lord Reith’s BBC. This programme, produced by Julian May, includes the voices of David (Ian) Newman, Keith Wallis, Max Stanniforth, Bob Danvers-Walker, Christopher Stone, Desmond Hawkins, The Ovaltineys, Roy Plomley, John Liffen, Sean Davies and Tom Doam. There is also a written transcript of this programme.

2011, Sat. 1st Jan., BBC Radio Devon, “The Radio Election”, .mp3 60 mins.
This programme about the part that Radio Nordsee International (RNI) played in the 1970 general election attempts to answer the question: Did RNI cause Harold Wilson’s 1970 General Election defeat? It also reveals some little-known, murky details like the extent to which the BBC itself was involved in the then Labour government’s jamming of RNI’s programmes. Includes the voices of Roger Day, Andy Archer, Larry Tremaine, Carl Mitchell, Duncan Johnson, Alan West and Mark Wesley. Programme written, produced & presented by Paul Rowley.

2014, Sat. 20th Dec., BBC Radio 4 Extra, “Here’s Kenny” – Kenny Everett, .mp3 61 mins.
Journalist Mark Paytress presents the story of Kenny Everett’s radio and TV career. Apart from Kenny himself and many of his souvenirs, jingles, promos and clips, this programme includes extracts from pirate Big-L Radio London with contributions from Tony Blackburn and Keith Skues. Also included is Kenny’s work with his friends, The Beatles. Kenny was the very first DJ anywhere to play the Beatles’ “Strawberry Fields Forever” on radio, toured America with them and even produced two Beatles fan club albums. This programme produced by Sian Price and first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in 2008.

2014, Thurs. 25th Dec., BBC Radio 4 Extra, Happy Birthday Maurice Cole / Kenny Everett, .mp3 60 mins.
This programme about Kenny Everett, originally broadcast at Xmas 2009, is produced and presented by the BBC’s Paul Rowley and looks at Kenny’s early life and in particular his pioneering work on offshore pirate Big-L Radio London and later with the Beeb.

2014, Thurs. 25th Dec., BBC Radio 2, Junior Choice, .mp3 116-1/2 mins.
One of the last voices to be heard on offshore station Big-L Radio London when it closed in August 1967, Ed Stewart was one of the first DJs to join BBC Radio One when it opened six weeks later. “Junior Choice” had started out in 1954 as “Children’s Favourites” on the Beeb’s “Light Programme”, the name being changed in 1967. Ed Stewart started hosting “Junior Choice” in 1968 and continued for eleven years. Although “Junior Choice” was dropped in 1982, it was brought back in 2007 for an annual two-hour Christmas Day special which continued until Christmas 2015. Ed Stewart died in January 2016.

Ready Steady Go! : Britain’s Iconic 1960s TV Music ShowReady Steady Go! RSG!
2019, .mp4 59 mins. Ready Steady Go! (RSG!) was a UK rock/pop music ITV programme on Friday evenings starting 9th August 1963 and ending 23rd December 1966. RSG! revolutionised TV for the young and coincided with the 60’s explosion of pop talent. Artists featured here include The Beatles, Manfred Mann, The Beach Boys, Stevie Wonder, Otis Redding, Georgie Fame, The Small Faces, James Brown, The Who, Sandie Shaw, Lulu, Cilla Black, Dusty Springfield, The Supremes, Donovan, The Kinks, The Animals, The Rolling Stones. This BBC video includes RSG!’s original producer, Vicki Wickham, its director, Michael Lindsay-Hogg, Annie Nightingale, Eric Burdon, Chris Farlowe, Mary Wilson, Martha Reeves, Paul Jones, Gerry Marsden and Jools Holland.

Can’t find what you are looking for?
Generic selectors
Exact matches only
Search in title
Search in content
Post Type Selectors