LBC Back On Air

LBC is back on the air on FM in London

This morning, London’s news and talk stations, LBC, came back on air. Of course, LBC is not really new nor has it really been away. The Chrysalis Radio Group have acquired the London speech licences from London News Radio and are continuing to use the LBC names (LBC being the original London commercial news station).

Sadly, while using the name with a heritage of almost thirty years, day one seemed a bit shambolic. The most noticeable and irritating part for me is the constant paper shuffling that goes on when the presenters are on air. I suspect, back when the news talk version was on AM, that this wasn’t that audible. Now, it’s irritating. Then there are presenters whispering to each other but still clearly there. It’s as if there is no off button on the microphones. This evening, there seems to be no off button the computers that play out the commercials as poor Clive Bull seems to be suffering from the fact that the advertisements keep starting and he seems blissfully unaware that they are about to play.

Still, I am pleased that the rolling news format has moved to AM. Not because it’s on AM but because it means most of my portable radios (which are FM only) have the more interesting of the two talk stations. These early teething troubles will, hopefully, be rectified and we’ll have a decent commercial talk station for London again (although, IMHO, BBC London seems to have been doing a fine job). I just wonder who is going to listen to the rolling-news on AM.

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The Grand Old Duke

I decided to go on the backstage tour at The Duke of York’s Theatre. It is a fascinating tour of the old London theatre that was built when the area was underdeveloped and helped transform that side of Charing Cross Road into the entertainment area it is today.

It is often said that those of us who call London home do not benefit from the great advantages that the capital city brings. People have been heard to suggest that Londoners do not use London. Well, glancing through a copy of this week’s Time Out I came across the backstage tour of The Duke of York’s Theatre on St. Martin’s Lane and decided to go. The tour wasn’t very expensive and lasted almost two hours and I reckon it must be one of the best value guided events around.

It is a fascinating tour of the old London theatre that was built when the area was underdeveloped and helped transform that side of Charing Cross Road into the entertainment area it is today. It’s the theatre that first staged Peter Pan, the theatre that first saw actors agree to the forming of UK Equity and it has seen many greats play its stage since.

I can now say that I have appeared on the West End Stage, and standing on the stage looking into the auditorium I was surprised at how close theatergoers would appear to the actors. I was also struck by how small the stage area really was and by how big the under stage area is. Also intriguing to know that Capital Radio once owned it.

A lesson leant, that’s for sure. I will be spending more time each week with the what’s on listings and try to take advantage of some of the things this city has to offer.