Signal 1

Infobox Radio station

name = Signal One
airdate = 5 September 1983
frequency = 96.4 MHz, 96.9 MHz, 102.6 MHz, DAB
share = 13.9%
share as of = September 2007
share source = [cite web|url=|title=Quarterly listening figures|publisher=RAJAR]
area = Staffordshire & southern Cheshire
format = Contemporary
owner = UTV Radio

Signal One is an Independent Local Radio station broadcasting from studios in Shelton, Stoke-on-Trent to Staffordshire and Cheshire, England on 96.4 (Sutton Common, Macclesfield), 96.9 (Pye Green) and 102.6 MHz FM (Alsagers Bank) for Cheshire, Stafford and North Staffordshire respectively. It also broadcasts on the Stoke "UTV-EMAP Stoke-on-Trent" DAB multiplex 12D.

It can also be received in a much wider area due to the power of the Alsagers Bank transmitter. In RAJAR surveys, Signal 1 have consistently emerged as the leading station in their market. In October 2005, it launched an MP3 internet stream facility.

It is now home to the "Darren and Louise" breakfast show, James Macdonald on mid-mornings, Liz Ellis' "The Big Drive Home" and Simon Moryken "Evenings". Local news and sport is broadcast each hour. Every first Tuesday of each month, Signal broadcasts live from Liquid Nightclub, holding an event for young clubbers aged 18 and under.


The station began as Signal Radio which first broadcast at 6am, 5 September 1983, with DJ John Evington selecting Neil Diamond's "Beautiful Noise" as its first track. [cite web|url=|title=John Evington] The station initially broadcast on 104.3 MHz and 1170 kHz (a wavelength of 257 metres, with the phrase "2 5 7" becoming a distinctive leitmotif), changing to 102.6 MHz soon after. The station's name is derived from "Signal" the name of the newspaper in Arnold Bennett's local novels.cite web|url=|title=About Us|publisher=Signal One]

Between 1990 and 1991, the Cheshire 96.4 frequency operated as an alternative AOR station, "Echo 96" also carried in Stafford on 96.9.

In 2000 the 96.4 transmitter returned to Signal 1 from Imagine FM.

Since the early 1990s, the Stafford area has also had a range of split programming on 96.9 and the alternative older targeted Signal 2 service has evolved from what was initially a "Golden Breakfast Show" only, on the original accompanying 1170 AM frequency, from back in 1992.

The Wireless Group bought the station in 1999 and were subsequently bought themselves by UTV Radio.

Former presenters

Some of Signal's past presenters include [cite web|url=|title=Where are they now?|publisher=Signal Radio]

*Steve Ball
*Paul 'Funster' Carrington (active in the early 1990s, and known for his self-deprecating jingles. Now at BBC Radio Leeds)
*Craig Cash
*Ray Crowther
*Jim Davis (now LBC and Heart FM)
*Carl Emms (since known as Carlos and now at 105.7 Smooth Radio)
*Dave Everson (who hosted a weekly northern soul show called 'Club Classics' in the 1980s)
*John Evington, the station's first DJ in 1983 and with a controller at the station until 2005.
*Kevin Fernihough (now at BBC Radio Northampton)
*Lee Finan (known affectionately as 'Leaping Lee', he hosted an extremely popular musical evening show first called 'ID 104' then renamed 'Lee Finan's Late Night Show', which ran throughout most of the mid-late 1980s, and began every evening with its own full-length theme song set to the tune of Carole King's "It's Too Late" but with alternate lyrics; he is now at Century FM)
*Mark Franklin (Ex "TOTP" Presenter)
*Phil Gayle (who hosted a late night show called 'The Show With No Name' in the late 1980s) *Jason Hardy (now BBC Radio Stoke)
*Paul Harvey (1996 ex Key103 Presenter)
*Stu Haycock (now Beacon Radio)
*Geoff Lloyd (who began his career here in 1992 as a traffic & travel reporter before taking on the station's evening show).
*Chris Lowe (not the Pet Shop Boys member; he hosted a popular early evening musical show in the mid-late 1980s that also featured a very popular multiple musical snippet identification game called 'Odds and Bods')
*Russ Morris (now BRMB)
*Chris Moyles (active 1994-95, he has since described the station as "the worst station he had ever worked at"Fact|date=September 2008)
*Rob Oliver
*Sam Plank
*Darren Procter (now Key 103)
*Matt Rogan (now Gemini FM)
*Alex Roland
*Mel Scholes (sadly deceased, known affectionately as 'Scholesy' on air)
*James Stannage (a comic talent who has worked at several different stations over the years, he hosted a popular late night talk show in the 1980s that at times was notoriously interrupted by callers who began talking normally then loudly screamed down the telephone line, forcing Stannage to cut them off)
*Digby Taylor (currently drive time, Radio 2 U.A.E.)
*Lee Thomas
*Phil Trow (who took over Chris Lowe's early evening slot when Lowe departed the station in the late 1980s)
*Anthea Turner
*Wendy Turner
*Terry Underhill
*Paula White (Now at BBC Radio Stoke)
*Doug Wood (now Signal 2)


Signal 1 runs a youth club called Signal Smokebusters, for those who don't smoke or want to quit. Local children aged between 10 and 15 can join in for prizes and discounts. A show dedicated to the club is broadcast every Sunday at 7:00-10:00pm, presented by Chris Bovaird.

Presenter Johnny Owen has released two singles, one to coincide with the World Cup (reaching number 64 in the national charts) and one at Christmas 2006 called "Father Christmas Stole My Girl" to raise money for "Help a Signal Child". Johnny also works at Century fm in Manchester at weekends, presenting North West Football Fever.


As with the controversy as mentioned on Signal 2's page, Signal1 has undergone the same thing - the Night time slot is now filled with "Money On Your Mobile" hosted by Paul Fairclough, also, Matt Rogan who once hosted the Drive Time show had said that he was going away for a "short while", but then Liz Ellis revealed that she was the new host.

Between October 2000 and January 2004 the station's most popular late programme, NRG, was broadcast. The show focused mainly on dance music, though some R'N'B was played in its final year. NRG was so popular that it attracted listeners from as far South as Birmingham and as far North as Wigan.Fact|date=September 2008 Matt Rogan was the primary presenter, though Steve Ball presented the show on Friday and Sunday nights from May 2003 onwards. Memorable features from the programme included 'Vinyl Matt', 'Back to the Old Skool', 'Midnight Mess', and 'Midnight Munchies'.

NRG was dropped early in 2004 and replaced by the Late Night Love Affair which was pre recorded in order to save the station money. The show was nowhere near as popular as NRG had been. This move caused some of Signal 1's most devoted listeners to retune to other local stations and was one of the programme controller's most controversial decisions.

Trentham Gardens Controversy

Signal 1 radio was responsible for the disastrous '25th Anniversary' concert on 13/09/08 at Trentham Gardens that was so badly organised that the audience was kept waiting in a holding area for 4 hours after the gates were supposed to open with no facilities or information. The sound system failed to work properly and the head line band The Human League had their set cut by two thirds causing lead singer Phil Oakey to apologise to the audience for, in his words “the shambles".

Subsequent disinformation provided by Signal FM staff on the ground to prevent crowd disorder, falsely accused support act Ali Campbell of causing the delays by his alleged prima-donna behaviour. This then caused a hate campaign to be directed against Campbell by Human League and Go West fans who incorrectly blamed him for their bands being treated badly. Campbell had in fact been totally innocent and as the hate campaign began to get out of control his management jointly with the Human League and Go West issued a press release denouncing Signal 1 Radio for the concert organisation and exonerating Campbell. Angry concert goers have demanded refunds in their hundreds. UTV have refused to do so and are being pursued through the UK civil courts. They are also are being investigated by trading standards for breeching the UK’s Goods and Services Act. [Stafford Sentinel Newspaper 16/09/08 [] ] []


It was revealed some years later that, in the mid-1980s, Signal refused to play "Radio Africa" by Latin Quarter because of the fear some listeners may have thought they were actually tuned into an African radio station.Fact|date=September 2008 Andy Goulding from the breakfast show is leaving Signal in September to move to GCap Media station Mercia FM. Utv Radio are interviewing for a brand new host to be alongside Louise Stones

Clifford T Ward, the man behind such singles as Gaye and "Home Thoughts From Abroad", featured on the station's first jingle package, which were also recorded by the Halle Orchestra. [cite web|url=|title=25th Birthday|publisher=Signal Radio]


External links

* [ Official page]
* [ Signal Radio Jingles]
* [ Listening Room - first 25 years of Signal Radio]
* [ History of local radio in Staffordshire]
* [ Sutton Common transmitter, near Macclesfield]
* [ Pye Green transmitter, near Stafford]

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