The Listeners' Stories



On its 50th birthday, Radio 2's listeners tell the story of the station.

Living up to the Lord Reith's ideals, Radio 2 has been informing, educating and entertaining the British people since it started in September 30th 1967. And to celebrate this landmark, Radio 2's own listeners will not only tell the story of the network, but will also describe how the station has shaped their lives. Radio 2 has been the soundtrack to millions of lives, and a selection of listeners will explain how the station's dynamic mix of music and personalities has been a fun, friendly and familiar presence in their daily routines.

The roll call of Radio 2's programmes and presenters over the last 50 years is incredible and indelible; Sounds Of The Sixties, Friday Night Is Music Night, Terry Wogan, Jimmy Young, Round The Horne, Pick Of The Pops, Family Favourites, Sing Something Simple, The Clitheroe Kid, Chris Evans and 500 Words, Ken Bruce and Pop Master, Steve Wright... all are important parts of Radio 2's history, and all are remembered with affection and affinity by listeners. For millions, Radio 2's presenters are like part of an extended family they've grown up with. Through times good and bad, through ups and downs, through triumphs and troubles, and through the whole business of day to day life.

And so, we'll hear from listeners who remember Radio 2 launching on the 30th September 1967, as well as from those who have recently discovered the station. We'll hear from cabbies and cleaners, dads and dog walkers, pensioners and pre-teens. Radio 2 has been a great source of company to those at work, rest or play. It's been the soundtrack for those toiling in the garden, driving up and down Britain's roads, or playing Scrabble in the front room. And for one chef, it was a lifeline, when he found himself employed in the Antarctic, thousands of miles from home, his nearest neighbours being 60,000 Emperor Penguins. For him Radio 2 was a vital presence in this alien, inhospitable place.

And as well as being great company, the station has been nurturing a new generation of writers with the 500 Words short story competition. Music nuts can test their mettle in the fiercely contested PopMaster quiz, or unburden themselves on Simon Mayo's confessions Radio 2 is also a source of discovery on a daily basis, whether it's the thrill of finding a favourite new group, the perfect disc for a first dance at a wedding or something surprising thanks to Steve Wright's factoids. And Rob Brydon can pretend to be Ken Bruce for a day.

This will not be a dry hagiography of Radio 2, nor an exercise in navel-gazing and back-slapping, but will be an intriguing and idiosyncratic look back at the last half decade of British life as told by Radio 2's listeners.

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Listeners are in the spotlight as they tell their stories of Radio 2 over the years.