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Chill (radio station)

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Chill (radio station)

Chill Logo
Broadcast area United Kingdom
Frequency DAB: 11B (Greater London)
First air date 21 February 2005
Format Ambient; Chill-out
Audience share 0.1% (March 2008, [1])
Owner Global Radio
Sister stations The Arrow, Capital, Capital Xtra, Classic FM, Gold, Heart, LBC, Real Radio, Real Radio XS, Smooth Radio, XFM

Chill is a British digital radio station dedicated to chill out, ambient and trip hop music.

The station

Chill Radio broadcasts online and via numerous mobile applications, and on DAB in London. The station's aim is to help listeners relax. It is owned by Global Radio.

It broadcasts 24 hours a day and, as of July 2009, features no news bulletins or commercials, although there is some sponsored programming. Chill originally had no presenters, interspersing tracks with pre-recorded links featuring messages voiced by Davinia Palmer that reinforced the laidback atmosphere of the station. One of these memorably described the station as "T'ai chi for your ears".

In August 2006, the station launched its first regular programmes on weekday evenings, "The Garden of Delights", presented by Pete Lawrence and "The Deep End", presented by Paul Noble, two of the organisers of The Big Chill festival. It also introduced a nightly programme made up of listener requests, and inherited the Chiller Cabinet sequence from its sister station Classic FM, which plays "ambient soundscapes, movie soundtracks and classically inspired chillout music".

The station encourages interaction with its listeners, who suggest new songs and artists for the playlist, as well as relaxation techniques, via the Chill website and Myspace. In March 2012 it attracted 229,000 listeners per week.[2]

It was announced on 28 August 2009 that Chill Radio will be replaced in Edinburgh and Glasgow by LBC Radio.[3]


The station was launched by in early 2005, as a means of filling empty slots on DAB multiplexes owned by GWR prior to its merger with Capital Radio. Group Corporate Development Director Gregory Watson and Programme Director Bern Leckie devised a format for a relaxing, ambient station, aimed at 18- to 35-year-olds.

On the station website, the founders claim, "We used to make compilation tapes for ourselves and friends to chill out to. That's where the idea for our station came from, and we make it the same way we made the tapes - listening to lots of music, swapping ideas, seeing what happens."[4]

In June 2006, Chill bid for its first analogue licence, for Bristol, citing the city's record in producing trip-hop artists such as Massive Attack, Portishead and Tricky in support of its application. However, in September 2006, Ofcom awarded the licence to Canwest and its Original 106 format. It is not currently known if Global Radio will bid for any more analogue licences with the Chill format.

Late 2006, Chill upgraded from a 32 kbit/s internet stream to a 128 kbit/s stream, offering internet listeners the same quality as the cable and satellite viewers.

The station stopped being broadcast on Sky and Virgin Media on 3 July 2007,[5] with other GCap stations Capital Disney, Core and Classic Gold Digital Network. It is speculated that this is connected with cost-cutting measures under previous owners GCap. In November 2008, Chill reappeared on Sky and Virgin Media, following the closure of jazz radio station TheJazz, using its old channel numbers on Sky and Virgin Media.

In July 2008, Bern Leckie was made redundant (along with many others) by new owners Global Radio.

In March 2009, Chill ceased to broadcast in Leicester, Nottingham and west Wiltshire due to competition regulator compliance following the takeover of GCapMedia by Global Radio.[6]

In July 2009, Global Radio announced that Chill would lose many of its DAB slots on numerous local DAB ensembles across the UK to allow for an expansion of the Galaxy network, but would still broadcast in London, some parts of the West Midlands and central Scotland. A spokesman indicated that this move was also financially led.[7]

On 20 October 2009, it was announced by Bern Leckie[8] that Chill Radio has moved from stereo to mono output on DAB Radio in the London area. However the range in which Chill can be heard has slightly extended to an extra 20 miles or so from London.

Rajar figures for the third quarter of 2009 showed an increase of weekly listeners by 9000, bringing total listenership to 209,000.[9]

On 15 July 2010, Chill ceased broadcasting on Virgin Media channel 961. On 8 June 2012, Chill ceased broadcasting on the Birmingham multiplex, leaving London as the only area where the station broadcasts on DAB Digital Radio. On 24 August 2012, Chill ceased broadcasting on Sky channel 0177.


The Chill playlist is largely drawn from the mainstream end of chill out and ambient music, mixed with downtempo rock, vocal jazz and lounge tracks, film scores and the occasional classical piece.


  • The 02 Chillout Room (weeknights, 7pm)
  • The Garden Of Delights with Pete Lawrence (Monday, 8pm)
  • The Deep End with Paul Noble (Wednesday, 10pm)
  • The Chiller Cabinet (Saturday and Sunday, 2am, repeated Tuesday and Thursday 10pm)

DAB multiplexes

  • Chill broadcasts on DAB using the London 3 multiplex.[10]

Former multiplexes

Chill closed in March 2009 due to Office of Fair Trading ruling on the merger of GCap and Global Radio:

Chill closed from August 2009 on these multiplexes:[7][11]

Replaced with Galaxy:

Taken off air:

Replaced with LBC:

Closed on the following multiplex in June 2012:

  • Birmingham


External links

  • Chill
  • links to archived audio
  • archive of music played
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