2. THE SCIENCE OF RADIO
• A man called Michael Faraday developed electromagnetic theories
from1831 to 1857, James Clerk Maxwell had predicted that radio
waves existed in 1864 and it was Heinrich Hertz who produced the
first man-made radio waves using a 'Spark-Gap' transmitter around
• Nikola Tesla experimented with various electromagnetic principles
and provided an insight into the science of radio which allowed David
Hughes to invent the microphone in 1880.
• In 1894, Sir Oliver Lodge created a device that could detect radio
waves called a ‘Coherer’, a predecessor of the electronic valve
method of detection.
4. THE CREATION OF RADIO
• Guglielmo Marconi is often credited with the creation of the radio in the early twentieth
century, however it was his team of highly-educated colleagues who should not go
unnoticed- in particular a Russian scientist named Alexander Stepanovitch Popov.
• Marconi’s introductory achievement would have to be the newly developed Morse code
transmitting device, which made the ‘Atlantic leap’.
• Marconi improved and commercialised Hertz’ apparatus.
• Radio broadcasting within the United Kingdom was initiated in 1920 by an experimental
station ‘2MT’ located in Writtle, Essex, ran by an individual called Guglielmo Marconi.
• Dame Nellie Melba made one of the first broadcasts from 2MT at 7.10 pm on 15th June
1920. Consisting of a concert of opera music to entertain the listeners, the broadcast
opened with a recital of Home Sweet Home and finished with the national anthem.
5. THE TITANIC
• On April 14th-15th 1912, the famous RMS Titanic
struck an iceberg in the middle of the ocean,
hundreds of miles away from civilization.
• Thanks to the invention of wireless transmission
and the two wireless operators John ‘Jack’ George
Philips and Harold Bride (employed by Marconi
Telegraph company), signals were sent using Morse
Code using a spark gap transmitter.
• Because of this, The Titanic was able to send a
distress call to its sister ship and an estimated 745
lives were saved during the tragic accident.
• This re-established the importance to the
government for these kind of transmissions.
6. ORIGINS OF THE BBC
• On October 18th 1922 the British Broadcasting Company (BBC) was formed with
a grant from the government giving them a licence to operate, after they had
attempted to thwart Marconi’s attempts to create a public radio for some time.
• By the mid 1920's programmes from the BBC could be received by the majority
of the population.
• Thirty-three year old John Charles Walsham Reith became General Manager of
the BBC on 14 December 1922.
• September 1923- The first edition of The Radio Times listed the few
programmes on offer.
• February 1924- Greenwich Time Signal (GTS) - the ‘pips’; the six short 'pips'
were designed to mark the precise start of every hour on BBC radio.
•January 1927- the BBC is established by Royal Charter as the ‘British
• November 1936- The BBC was the first broadcaster in the world to provide a
regular ‘high definition’ television service.
7. BBC IN THE WAR- THE HOME
• Upon the declaration of war, the BBC immediately replaced all
regional medium wave programmes with an alternate channel- ‘The
Home Service’. This was so that German aircrafts could not access
local transmissions for the use of directions in our air space.
• British Prime Minister at the time, Neville Chamberlain, announces on
the BBC Home service that Britain is at war with Germany on 3rd
• You can listen to the announcement by Chamberlain by using the
8. TRANSISTOR RADIO
• The first ever Transistor radio was commercially released in 1954.
• These radios were first produced as ‘Geranium transistors’ by John
Bardeen, William Bradford Shockley and Walter Houser Brattain in the
USA and were demonstrated for the first time on the 24th of
• The concept was that the transistor would replace vacuum tubes and
mechanical relays, thereby changing the future of electronical
• These individuals actually one the Nobel Prize for this invention.
9. FM RADIO
• Edwin Howard Armstrong FM (frequency-modulated) radio in 1933.
• FM drastically improved the audio signal of radio in general by
controlling the static caused by electrical equipment and the earth’s
• His discoveries drastically improved the quality of broadcasting
10. PIRATE RADIO
• In order to circumvent the strict broadcasting rules
within the UK (considering that, in the 1960s, the
BBC was the only radio station licenced to
broadcast), anchored three miles outside of British
territorial waters, the first ever ‘pirate’ radio
broadcast was transmitted.
• The individuals responsible for these stations were
often dubbed as ‘irresponsible’ and were even
labelled pirates, hence the derivative term ‘pirate
• This is how the media often portrayed the
individuals however, because the radios were
broadcasting from international waters, their
activities were never actually illegal.
• They primarily catered to a young audience and
many movies such as The Boat that Rocked (see
trailer URL below) have recreated the story of pirate
radio in order to be perceived as exciting, youthful
and incredibly illegal.
11. BBC RADIO ONE
• Following the forced closure of pirate radio stations, the BBC had
established the sound required to target a young audience.
• On Saturday, 30th of September 1967, Radio 1 went on air as a
station that would specifically cater to a youthful audience.
‘And good morning everyone! Welcome to the exciting new sound
of Radio 1.’
12. LOCAL RADIO
• BBC Radio Leicester
was the first ever BBC
local radio station and
transmitted its first
broadcast on the 8th of
13. OWNERSHIP OF UK RADIO
• Sound Broadcasting Act,1972- This new act transformed the ‘ITA’
into the ‘IBA’ (Independent Broadcasting Authority) giving it the
additional responsibility for sound broadcasting in the UK.
• The radio only license was abolished in February 1971.
• Many local radio stations were introduced in order to provide more
independence to community areas- the idea being that rather than
operating through a license, these stations would seek funding
through the use of advertisement.
• The first contractor on air was the London Broadcasting Company
(LBC), which had been awarded the 'London News and Information'
• In 1976 James Callaghan was elected leader of the Labour party and
Prime Minister. He was not keen on independently ran radio stations
and so shut them off for a brief ‘moment of reflection’- meanwhile,
the BBC was expanding their viewership and television industry.
• 1978 brought about a re-organisation of medium and long wave
frequencies, after international agreement at Geneva in 1975. These
changes were designed to make more efficient use of these