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BBC Radio Leicester


BBC Radio Leicester

BBC Radio Leicester
City of license Leicester
Broadcast area Leicestershire
Slogan A passion for Leicestershire, BBC Radio Leicester
Frequency RDS: BBC Leic, 104.9 FM
First air date 8 November 1967
Format Local news, talk and music
Language(s) English
Audience share 24% (July 2014, [2])
Owner BBC Local Radio,
BBC East Midlands
Website BBC Radio Leicester

BBC Radio Leicester is the BBC Local Radio service for the English counties of Leicestershire and Rutland. The station broadcasts from studios in Leicester on 104.9 FM, on DAB, and via the BBC iPlayer.


  • History 1
  • Studios 2
  • Transmitters 3
  • Programming 4
  • External links 5
    • Audio clips 5.1


BBC Radio Leicester was the first of the new wave of BBC Local Radio stations introduced in the 1960s. Radio Leicester began broadcasting at 12.45 pm on 8 November 1967 on 95.05 VHF from a transmitter located on Gorse Hill above the city centre.

The station's former 837 kHz medium wave frequency from the Freeman's Common transmitter near the University of Leicester is now used by the BBC Asian Network which originated in Leicester but is now a national network delivered via DAB, digital satellite, Freeview and other systems across the UK and beyond.

In 2007, the station celebrated its 40th Anniversary by launching a Ruby Rainbow Appeal in aid of the Rainbows Hospice based in Loughborough, within its TSA. Special events took place throughout the year culminating in a final fund-raising appeal around the time of the anniversary in November 2007.

As of October 2014, the station has a listenership figure of 189,000, representing 23% of the local audience share.


BBC Leicester building, at 9 St Nicholas Place

In 2005, the station moved to new premises at 9 St Nicholas Place, which have recently won a Civic Society award for design. This new centre is adjacent to the medieval Guildhall and Cathedral and includes many aspects of Leicester's history including Victorian tiles and an Undercroft (first revealed in 1841) with remains dating to Roman times. The Centre houses the BBC College of Journalism's base for the Midlands, an IT Centre which is used in partnership with local organisations, and a BBC Shop selling a wide range of BBC-branded merchandise.


Although the station's FM transmitter mast is only 70 m (230 ft) tall, it is set 235 m (770 ft) above sea level on top of the Jurassic limestone ridge at Copt Oak, next to the M1. This is a high point in Charnwood Forest, part of the National Forest. The signal reaches a long way throughout the southern section of the East Midlands, Warwickshire, and Northamptonshire. It can be heard as far south as Towcester and as far north along the M1 as the Woodall service station near Sheffield and towards Stoke. It can also be heard to as far away as North East Doncaster hence a line of sight. Since 6 December 2002, the station's DAB signal has come from the NOW Digital East Midlands (NDEM) Leicester 11B multiplex, which comes from Copt Oak and Houghton on the Hill. The Waltham transmitter and Houghton-on-the-Hill have a Digital One multiplex and Waltham has a BBC National DAB multiplex. The Copt Oak transmitter also broadcasts Gem 106.


The majority of the station's programming is produced and broadcast from Leicester. During off-peak hours, BBC Radio Leicester also carries regional programming for the Midlands and East Midlands regions, produced from sister stations BBC WM and BBC Radio Nottingham. As with all BBC Local Radio stations, it also airs the networked weekday evening shows, originating from BBC Radio Leeds and produced independently by Wire Free Productions. During the station's downtime, BBC Radio Leicester simulcasts BBC Radio 5 Live overnight.

External links

Copt Oak transmitter next to the M1 motorway.
  • BBC Radio Leicester.
  • The history of Radio Leicester.
  • History of local radio in Leicestershire.
  • Copt Oak transmitter (including coverage map).
  • Houghton-on-the-Hill transmitter (digital)
  • The old 837 kHz transmitter in Leicester
  • David's Transmitter World

Audio clips

  • Suspect dedication in 2006

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