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BBC Plans and Radio One Opening

At the end of July 1967 the BBC unveiled its long-awaited plans for the introduction of a pop radio service to replace the offshore stations. The old Home, Light and Third Programme networks were to be abolished and in their place four new stations were to be launched:-

Radio One was the new pop music station.

Radio Two a revamped Light Programme.

Radio Three a classical music and speech channel, replacing the Third Programme.

Radio Four was to carry the Home Service speech and news programmes.

It was claimed that 60 hours a week of extra broadcasting would result from the sweeping changes to be introduced at the end of September 1967.

Radio One opening

The much heralded replacement for the offshore stations, BBC Radio One was  launched on 30th September 1967. The station, which had been carved out of the BBC Light Programme (now itself re-named Radio Two) was to broadcast pop music from 7.00am-7.30pm each day and carry 'light entertainment' and easy listening music from 5.30am -7.00am and from 7.30pm  until 2.00am the following morning.

The new station's Controller, Robin Scott, announced his DJ line up on 4th September which included fourteen from the offshore stations, the majority coming from Radio London. It was also revealed that the station would carry jingles, station identifications and promotions for other shows - based on the style and format of the offshore stations, but of course without any commercial announcements.

On 30th September the old Light Programme opened as usual at 5.30am and continued until just before 7.00am when former Caroline South and Radio London DJ Tony Blackburn launched the new BBC pop station.

Despite all the hype and promises that Radio One would be a replacement for the offshore stations it soon became apparent, even on that first day of broadcasting that it had retained much of the programming style of the old BBC Light Programme and it even simulcast many of the programmes which were intended primarily for Radio Two's older and less pop orientated audience.

A look at the opening day's programme schedule illustrates this perfectly:-

  7.00am   The Tony Blackburn Breakfast Show - based on Radio London's format with jingles, promotions and Top                   40  hits.

  8.30am   Junior Choice - a new name for the old "Children's Favourites"programme dating back to the early 1950s.

  9.55am   Crack the Clue hosted by former Radio London DJ, Duncan Johnson.  A poor attempt to imitate the                  Caroline Cash Casino type of  competition and without the big money prize!

  10.00am Saturday Club - a survivor from the Light Programme schedules this programme continued the use of                  BBC bands to play cover versions of hit records - essential to comply with the needle time restrictions                  imposed on the new station.

  12 noon  Midday Spin hosted by former Caroline South DJ, Emperor Rosko, the second (of only two) all record                  programmes in the Radio One schedule.

  1.00pm   The Jack Jackson Show another legacy of the Light Programme, a mixture of big band music and comedy                   inserts.

  1.55pm   Crack the Clue (repeat of the morning programme)

  2.00pm   Where It's At,  a magazine style programme, again from the old Light Programme, hosted by  former Radio                   London DJ, Chris Denning.

  3.00pm   Best of Newly Pressed, another Light Programme show  playing new release records which were exempt                   from needle time restrictions.

  4.00pm   The Pete Brady Show, an ex-Radio London DJ, but playing music from artists such as the Bert Weedon                   Quartet and Spencer's Washboard Kings, hardly Top 40 radio material.

  5.30pm   Country Meets Folk, as its name implies a specialist music programme, not for Top 40 radio.

  6.30pm   Scene and Heard another topical pop magazine programme

  7.30pm   Radio One then carried Radio Two's output  until its closedown at 2.00am which included "Caterina Valente                  Sings",  "Pete's People" introduced by Pete Murray with studio guests and live performances and "Night                  Ride"  introduced by Sean Kelly, consisting largely of film soundtrack music,  live guest performances                  and other non-needle time music.

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Listen to the opening of BBC Radio 1 with Tony Blackburn